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.