This week was a reminder of the importance of partnership in parenting. It’s funny that it happened on this particular week – one in which our community totally helped share the load. Between friends and neighbors and my parents, I didn’t have to cook one meal or worry about those post-nap, pre-dinner hours. My “connection with community love tank” is completely full because of the kindness and generosity of those surrounding us.
On the opposite side, it’s also been a rough week for Frank. He’s reached the 70+ hours schedule that won’t stop until April 18. Even though the girls and I have found a bedtime routine that works, Bea was up, crying that she just wanted daddy to tuck her in. I get it. I wanted daddy to get up out of sleep and tuck her in, too. This time of year renews my awe and appreciation for those parents who do it alone – either by choice or circumstance. What do you do without someone to share the hugs, the frustrations, the load of parenting?
And for us as a couple, this is the moment in tax season when we are like ships passing. Even in the years without kids, this last month and a bit was tough. But now, with two, we never have a moment just the two of us. I think that’s a hallmark of this season of parenting anyway – two kids (and a dog!) and two parents means someone is always occupied. But, adding the time factor, and our shared time as a couple is about as low as it can get without Frank being completely gone. (Again, renewed appreciation for those whose partners travel for extensive periods. It’s rough.)
And yet. At those moments when I just feel like I can’t anymore. Or I just need Frank to step in and share this with me, a gap in his schedule opens. A Noodles date happens or he squeezes in time to take the girls out for donuts so I can write this five minute post.
And I’m reminded that tax season doesn’t last forever. That he is home every night (even if it’s after midnight). And that I do have a partner to share this load. In the meantime, I’m so grateful for those who share as they can. They remind me of the importance of front-loading community. Of accepting help and saying “yes, please.”
Do you have people to help share your load? Or are you more one of the helpers, who takes the burden?
Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is share.