THE BLOG

When the Kids are Away, Does the Single Parent Play?

12/02/2010 05:44 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

My children have been at their father's for the past week and don't come home until Sunday. This is unusual in itself, because he hasn't had them for longer than a week for the past 2 years. Why am I telling you this?

I am so lonely and bored! My dog is at the trainers...my kids are at their fathers...my new husband is traveling. What fills my weeks when the kids are home seems to have disappeared. I wander around the house thinking of what I can organize, clean, utilize, materialize, deodorize and then wander back to the computer. I have cleaned out and up every nook and cranny of this house. I have organized and reorganized. I still have until Sunday to keep busy.

This is the double edged sword that most divorced parents are afraid to talk about, especially the primary caregiver. Carrying the majority of the load of raising your children is exhausting. There are times you want to pull out your hair, or get a Brazilian bikini wax instead of hearing, "Mommy can I..." one more time.

Let's be honest, sometimes you can't wait for the kids to go to the other parent so you can have some peace and quiet for a change. It isn't the same for a two parent household. Even though they have the kids full time all the time, there is usually a second set of hands to put the straw in the juice box while turning on the shower and helping with homework all the while making dinner.

And, when you finally do have that peace and quiet, what happens? You are lonely. Remember when you were young and your parents farmed you out every summer to camp? I used to think my parents would run around the house naked and have sex on every conceivable surface while partying all night long. How wrong I was. They probably went about their everyday lives and organized in the peace and quiet. Are married parents as lonely when they send their kids away as divorced parents are when their kids have to go for visitation?

For all the married parents out there....being without your kids is the pits. Enjoy the dirty dishes, the spills and messes and the clean ups. Enjoy the arguing, the fighting and the he said/she said or he touched me's. Enjoy the blaring of the TV, computer and video games. Enjoy the Mommy Mommy Mommy. Enjoy it all, because when they are gone, the silence that you long for can be stifling.

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