I am a single mother for most of the time.
My husband is a professional musician, which also makes him a touring musician, therefore making me a touring musician’s wife, also known as a single mother.
More often than not, I am a single mother. A part time single mother. I am in no way comparing myself to full time single mothers (or single fathers), but thoroughly understand them and have always had a great respect for single parents, but even moreso now.
Presently my husband is on the road (which, for those of you who do not know, is slang for traveling from place to place by plane, van, bus, car and/or on foot faster than the wife at home can keep track of). He comes back tomorrow and leaves again Saturday night. The good news is that he will be home for a bit. The bad news is that he is home for only a bit. He is also not home when he is home, since he will be at rehearsals all day until late preparing for his leave again on Saturday.
What this all means is that I appear to the world as a single mom. I am starting to think of myself that way too. My son goes everywhere with me and of course I go everywhere with him (although I’m debating letting him borrow my car at the age of four so he can have some alone time from mom).
I attend most family functions, celebrations, dinner parties and father/son activities with my son sans his father. Last weekend we attended a kid’s birthday party together (my son and I). Every child was there with both parents, including one child who was there with both of his fathers. Where are all the single mothers/fathers? Hello?
Every decision I make is my own. There is no one to reassure me, help me decide, or blatantly let me know when I am wrong. No diverting to “Go ask your father.” And I have to do jobs around the house that frankly are not mine - like opening jars even when I can not, rebuilding broken Lego castles, teaching my son paradiddles on his drum pad and functioning as the bottom wrestler in a wrestling match when my son decides it is time to play rough. (Clearly a father duty –this one.)
I knew what I was getting into when I married my husband, only I did not think I would be wiping off the remnants of cupcake frosting from my keyboard at my job (left over from my son, not myself) while my husband enjoys specially cooked entrees at the venues where he performs while “meeting and greeting” people backstage at his.
It would not be difficult, however, if the people around me did not tell me that it must be. “It must be difficult.” “How do you do it? I could never do it.” “How tough for you.”
I may be teaching my son incorrect drum patterns and unable to eat olives from a jar that can not be opened. But the moments I spend with my son are worth it regardless of my olive-less dinners. Each moment brings us closer. It is just the two of us on this adventure together and I am enjoying every minute of single mommyhood…until my hubby gets home. And I know I will enjoy the time with my husband (and eating olives) when he comes home. When is this tour over again?