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When Lorne got the offer to do a rotation in Australia we knew it would mean spending at least a month apart.  Since I was already pregnant when the opportunity came up the time I would be able to spend in Australia was very well defined.  On the advise of my doctor, lots of reading online about common recommendations and my own gutt feeling, I knew I had to travel back no later than 32 weeks into my pregnancy.  Lorne’s company had a requirement that he be there for at least 4 months (they wanted more).  Based on when we could get all the necessary visa paperwork, etc that meant he would be in Australia for a month longer than me and wouldn’t be able to travel home until just a mere 3.5 weeks before Baby Girl 2.0’s due date (I know cutting it close right!).

Up until we left Australia last Thursday the reality of that hadn’t really sunk in.  As we said good bye at the airport it hit me how hard it was going to be.  It hit me that for the next month I was going to have to be a single parent and I would be alone if anything were to happen and I went into labor early (I’m trying not to think about that aspect of it because sometimes ignorance is bliss).  Luckily, at the airport, saying good bye, I had a 3 year old and airport security to worry about so I couldn’t cry, but boy did I feel like it.

I’ve been at this single parenting gig for a week now.  The parenting part of it hasn’t been bad.  Maya and I are in a good groove and she is handling the separation from her daddy very well so far.  I think since I”m a stay-at-home mom and responsible for most of the child rearing aspects of our day to day life anyway the actual parenting part of this single parenting gig comes easy for me.  Some days have felt a little endless since I’m not getting my usual couple of hour break at the end of the day where I get to co-parent and someone else can take over the often exhausting job of entertaining Maya, but most days have been good.  The part that has been hardest, the part that gets to me everyday, is the absence of my best friend, my favorite person, my partner.  It is the absence of someone to bounce ideas off, to complain to, to just talk to at the end of the day.  Spending all day, every day, talking to a 3 year old can be exhausting.  Especially when that 3 year old is my daughter who seems to think the day is not complete unless she has literally talked every second of the day!  I didn’t realize how important it was to me, how nice it was, to have a grown up (especially one I’m awfully fond of) to talk to at the end of the day, to unwind with.  That part has been hard and I look forward to those phone calls and email exchanges that let me unwind a little.

I have a few single parents in my circle of friends and my mom was a single parent for part of my childhood and this experience has given me a new found respect for what they go through everyday.  Being a parent is a tough job, often a thankless job.  Being a single parent is a tougher job, and an even more thankless job.  My hat goes off to you.

One week down, three weeks to go.  Fingers crossed that things continue to go well and that Baby Girl 2.0 stays put until her daddy gets home.

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