My Solo Summer Begins

on June 9, 2011

I am a single mother and have been for nearly ten years. An unfortunate aspect of this reality is the dreaded summer separation. This will be my sixth year of sending my daughter more than 2000 miles away for two and a half months.

Other than the major savings in childcare, this situation comes with a pretty nice perk – total and complete freedom for ten full weeks.

[I’ll pause here while the moms who do not have this luxury take this in. You good? Okay.]

I can go where I want when I want. If someone says, “Want to catch a movie Friday night?” I can say yes without the hassle of finding a babysitter. (Not that this ever happens, but if it did, I’d be ready.)

There’s less laundry, less yelling, and more hot water.

At the same time, there is the negative. I lose my daughter for ten weeks. My daughter is my best friend. We do everything together. Which means when she’s gone, I have no one to hang out with. And now that everyone knows I have no friends, we’ll move this along.

There are stages to this ordeal and I’m currently in what I call my trying-not-to-think-about-it stage. We’re at T-10 days and counting so this stage should continue through the weekend. However, next week, I slide into the grumpy phase. This is when not thinking about it is no longer possible but thinking about it makes me mad. I growl. A lot.

Then a two day drive and my solo summer begins.

The best way I’ve found to get through is to have a plan. So far, in all five previous years, my plan has been derailed immediately and by the time Kiddo gets back, I’ve accomplished nothing. So my new plan is not to have a plan. Instead, I’ve set one goal.

Finish the current rough draft no later than August 15th

I realize this might not seem like much, but that’s at least 70K words in under two and a half months. So maybe I should add one more goal – come out of this summer with a complete MS AND my sanity.

Alone Sucks

on June 22, 2008

As much as I’m an extrovert and love to be around people, I also tend to be a loner. Between being a control freak uncomfortable asking anyone for help, even when I really need it, and being reluctant to relive hurts of the past, I pretty much keep to myself. I’m a single mom, but I’ve been a single mom almost since the moment of conception so I don’t know parenting any other way. Oh, I was married when she was born, but I was still a single parent.

My daughter spends her summers with her father which just happens to put her over a thousand miles away from me. This puts me in an odd situation. I’m a mother without a child. Talk about something missing. It’s like that feeling you have on those days where you know you forgot something but you can’t put your finger on what that something might be. Very frustrating.

In the past I’ve managed to fill my child-free time with second jobs or casual dating or just generally staying busy. That’s not the case this time around. Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of stuff to do around the house. But as I’m a procrastinator and she won’t be back for nine more weeks, I have about seven or eight more weeks to go before I tackle my list.

Here’s my question. How do you stay busy? Where I usually wish someone would add hours to my day, this week it’s the opposite. I have too many hours and not enough to do. So give me some ideas. And I know I should be taking advantage of all this writing time. I am, partly. But I have to break things up so give me some more ideas. And anyone want to come stay at the beach for a while? I have an empty room. *g*