I’m one day into my week long “adventure” as a single parent. My husband is out of the country for the next seven days, and I’m already missing him terribly. I already feel battered and exhausted. This is the second time Jake gone on a trip out of the country and has left me for a week or more to parent and run our household solo, and each time I am left in awe of single parents everywhere. It also solidifies to me exactly why God made us helpmates for one another, why He created marriage. Doing this alone is hard.
Jake does so much for me. More than most husbands, I know. Each morning, he turns off the alarms and gets us out of bed. He turns my shower on to just the right temperature, makes breakfast, has my thermos of coffee (made with beans he grinds fresh each morning), and he helps get the kids up and ready to go for the day. Some husbands snore away, but not mine. The magnitude of that blessing is not lost on me.
In the afternoon, we share the task of getting everyone to and from practices and games and events, and we divide and conquer the lists of tasks and errands to be done. We help each other with dinner and with laundry and dishes. We share the tasks of adulthood and we parent together.
At night, I wake up and adjust the pacifier for the baby, and Jake makes bottles while I feed. I put up his dirty clothes while Jake changes him. We take turns sharing the work that an infant requires.
With him gone this week, I have to do it all on my own. It always gives me a refreshing perspective on how single parents live. I say I don’t know how they do it, but the reality is that they just do what needs to be done because they have no other choice. When loss or divorce leaves someone to do life alone, you can’t just not do it, you just do. It’s exhausting, lonely, and it leaves me convinced that when God formed Eve from Adam, He truly envisioned them a team. In His omniscient wisdom, He knew rocking fussy babies at 2 am, dealing with the attitude of a fourteen year old, and figuring out how to keep all the plates spinning would be better with two.
I have no doubt that God is using Jake in big ways on this trip. He was able to share our daughter’s story through a translator, so I am in awe of the way her little life is touching hearts on the other side of the globe. It makes the work of doing this solo worth it.