I have almost completed week four of single parenting, and let me tell you, it was not what I was expecting. This is due to the fact that I am a clueless idiot. Or at least I was. Now I have a clue. In fact, I’ve been accumulating clues for a month now. Single parenting is far less like a frat party than I had assumed, and much more like being waterboarded.
When this whole thing began, I had plans. You see, the kids are in bed by 8 PM every evening, and then I hang out with my wife watching television, or talking, or planning, or cleaning, and then I go to bed at midnight or later. But with my wife gone, I would have four free hours every night in which to complete projects, do extra things, and be super productive. This was going to be awesome. I would clean out the entire house, one room per week. I would redo my blog, designing a new website and transferring the old one. I would learn music, write songs, and paint pictures. I would start a webcomic. I would write another novel. I would invent something. I would have it together!
The first thing I quickly realized was that putting two children to bed takes much longer than one. Normally my wife and I each take one kid and do their routines somewhat simultaneously. With no wife around, I had to put Edward to bed first, and then Ruby. Bedtimes were not done until at least 9 every evening. And then there is just the overall energy drain that I had not accounted for.
Week one I did okay. I worked on the new website. I played video games after the kids went to bed. I watched “Game of Thrones.” I stayed up until midnight. I was tired, but at least the kids were in school during the day. It seemed as though I was going to survive.
Week two was more challenging. I got less done. The house started to slowly fall into disrepair. I worked less on my website, and more on trying not to go insane. I was exhausted. I did not watch any “Game of Thrones.”
Week three was Edward’s last week of school. Now we were together 24/7. I had rehearsals for which I had not reviewed the music. I had meetings for which I had not accomplished my tasks. I stopped responding to e-mails, voice mails, and my name being shouted. I texted my wife on Friday to see where she was at around 9:05, and when she got home at 9:15 I was passed out on the couch under a pile of half-folded laundry.
Week four is almost over. But now they are both out of school. Just me and two kids who each require 100% of my attention or they will smack the other one. Just me and a house that I can no longer find under all of the dirt and crap and junk that has become magnetically attracted to it over the past month. Just me and levels of energy that have dipped into the negative numbers. In order to even move my arms or legs, I need to vampirically leech energy out of someone else using my psychic energy vampire superpowers that I have yet to acquire.
And honestly, week four is not quite over yet. I cannot even guarantee that I will survive the day, much less week five. And so, single parents, I apologize for thinking that life would be laughs and giggles and fart jokes around the dinner table interspersed with touching moments and lovable foibles. Hollywood has lied to me. Rather, it is so much work. So, so much work. And it is so draining and exhausting. I commend all of you out there that do this all of the time, and I finally understand a bit of what my wife went through every time I left for an opera gig. Except I left all the time, not just once. So thank you, wife. Thank you, parents of the world. And most of all, thank goodness it’s almost over. I need a nap.