…I Do When He’s Away on Business
My husband travels… a lot. His business takes him to all corners of the earth each and every month. It means that for at least two weeks of the month, my daughters and I spend our time on countdown waiting for him to return. Skype calls and phone calls keep us connected, but there are 10 things my husband doesn’t know I do when he is away – well at least he didn’t, until now.
1: I Don’t Eat
Well, I do… I just don’t eat healthily.
What is the point? With two mini divas to feed, it is hard enough to find something they will both eat, even harder to find something they will both eat that I will also like – so I am not going to eat octopus spaghetti with them at 4:30! No – instead I will have a barely there snack dinner (read crisps and dip) and a liquid desert of red or white wine – or at a push, a G&T.
2: I double and triple check the doors at night
There is something really calming about having the house to yourself. It is lovely to have control over the TV remote. However, watching a scary movie alone in a dark house, not so fun. I end up doing the paranoid android dance around the house checking, double checking and triple checking all the locks… You know, just in case that crazed clown with the scary mask is hiding behind the front door!
3: I Go To Bed Early
Every. Single. Night. I go to bed early. I lock up the house, make a mug of tea and slope off to bed thinking ‘a nice early night with an empty bed and enough pillows to bury myself in.’ At least that is the intention. In reality I take my tea, and my laptop to bed. I sit up all night on Facebook and watch crap on Netflix that has me wandering around the pitch black house again looking for creepy clowns.
4: I Snack in Bed
Going to bed early with a cup of tea is almost naughty. At least it is for me. That is, unless I am alone. Then out come the Hobnob biscuits, the mini Oreos and the Doritos plus dip to accompany my mug of tea. Oh yes. There is nothing more luxurious than eating Doritos and dip in bed at 3 am whilst watching for the shape of clowns in the shadows coming through your windows!
5: I am super organised
I have no idea why my whole life cannot run this way, but when the hubby is away everything runs like clockwork. The kids get up in the morning without argument, they get dressed, the have breakfast and 90% of the time they remember not to talk to mummy until she has had her first coffee of the day. I lay out all their clothes the night before, make the lunches and even lay out the breakfast bowls and mug ready for coffee, just so the mornings without the hubby run to perfection. When the hubby is home the house is like a zoo on crack; with kids screaming, shoes hiding under sofas and the kettle being boiled 40 times before I remember to pour the water into the cup. Super Organised Duchess lives much more harmoniously with the children when the hubby is not in the home.
6: I read, and write, and listen to music
It’s almost like the culture in me has returned. On the odd occasion that I take to my bed early, with my tea and biscuits, where I cannot be bothered to educe nightmares of the clown type, I will put some music on and enjoy my own company. I will read my favourite book – or write.
7: I talk. To People. Actual People
I use the time that he is away to catch up with the real world. I Skype my friends halfway around the world – I catch up on gossip. I talk to family and catch up on world affairs. I spend my time re-connecting with the world.
8: I cook. I bake.
I am no Miss Pollyanna and most of the time I spend in the kitchen is spent making cocktails and sampling my husband’s glorious concoctions. When my husband is not here however, the Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson in me is unleashed. Chicken Pot Pie, Fresh Soups, Fresh Bread, chocolate mud cake – I go the whole hog.
9: I drink
Being alone with two small Divas is no small task. In fact, it is bloody exhausting. The organisation is exhausting. The thinking ahead is exhausting. It’s exhausting. So I drink. Each night approximately 20 minutes after the children’s heads have hit the pillows I will pour myself a glass of wine (only one of course – I am a responsible parent alone after all). I settle into a hot candlelit bubble bath with a glass of wine and let the day’s stresses slip away.
10: I miss him.
Yes I know. That is soppy as hell. But I do. I miss him.
I don’t eat – because I enjoy eating dinner with my husband. I love to taste the recipes he dreams up but can never repeat. I never eat when he is gone, because food is boring when you eat alone.
I double and triple check the doors – because he makes me feel safe. I don’t think twice when he is here, because I don’t need to.
I go to bed early – because the living room is lonely without him. Because watching Scandal is no fun without the running commentary he provides.
I snack in bed – because I am hungry. Because I don’t eat!
I am super organised – because I have to be, because he is not there to make the coffee for me in the morning that jump starts my day.
I read, write and listen to music – because I need to fill my time. Because him not being here inspires the writer in me, because I miss him.
I talk to people – Ok this one I do because I miss them. Because when the hubby is home it is for such a short space of time that I don’t talk to anyone else – when he is gone, I use my time to catch up.
I cook and bake – because food is so boring alone that I try to make it exciting.
I drink – because I miss him. I drink because I am tired and I miss his company.
I am an independent woman and if my husband was not here, I would cope. The world will still turn, the kids would get fed, the house would still run and I would still write. The only difference is, I don’t like it. I like him here, I am independent but I love to have this person in my life that I can rely on to make my life happier.
So what do I do when my husband is away? Everything. Because I can. Because mums are superwomen that can still keep the world turning. But I Miss Him and I look forward to having him back.