I’m giving the baby a bath upstairs, when the dog starts barking to be let in. It’s dark, cold, and there’s snow on the ground. Who could blame her? Then, the timer on the stove goes off to indicate that time is up for my 4-year-old son to finish his dinner. This also means that it’s chicken and bean soup for breakfast and no extra piece of cornbread. Then, the phone starts ringing. My daughter is yelling upstairs, “Mommy, someone’s trying to call you … Mommy, the timer is going off.” Seconds later, she’s right behind me telling me the same thing. I try to explain to her how to shut off the timer—all the while attempting to block out the beeping and barking. By the way, if I had cookies in the oven and the timer went off while I was upstairs, there is no way I would hear it. While I’m explaining this, baby hits his head on the water faucet, screams, and looks at me like it’s all my fault.
10 minutes. That’s all it was. 10 minutes.
I am very lucky that my husband has very few overnight trips or late evenings. I’m not sure how single parents or parents, whose spouse travels frequently, manage day in and day out. If you are one of these parents, what do you do to get through the evenings without polishing off an entire bottle of wine and losing your voice from screaming at your kids?