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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Single Mom: The Plan

Over the last few months I've become accustomed to people saying this to me:

"So Dave is going to get a new job down here so he can live at home with you, right?"

My response is always the same: No.

First of all, he likes his job a lot. It offers great variety (office work, meetings with the public and/or agencies, reading water meters, replacing water lines, preparing bids for jobs, painting, operating heavy equipment, etc.), he gets to work with his dad (they adore each other), he gets to use his education and the handiwork skills he's honed his whole life and--most importantly--the work he is doing will directly benefit us in the future.

Our plan for me has always been for me to finish my Ph.D. or masters, work for a while either as a professor or researcher, and then to move up to Gualala to work for the family business. Our plan for Dave was for him to work in the Sacramento area while I was in school and then for him to work for his dad. Technically our plans are still on track--Dave working for his dad just happened sooner than either of us expected.

Since it is expected that Dave will eventually "take over" the family business (third generation of Bower men in Gualala!), the sooner he can learn the ins-and-outs of the company's many, many facets the better. Although he would prefer to be driving a backhoe all day, he knows that the mundane office work and tricky policital manuevering is a must. I'm so proud of his telephone and writing skills now that he works for his dad--he couldn't draft a coherent email/letter or speak professionally on the phone a few years ago and now he's a master at both! I actually swoon a little when I proof read the letters he's written. (I just get a lot of satisfaction knowing he's thriving in his career I guess.)

Second, what are the chances of him finding a comparable job in this area? The economy sucks and people are getting laid off every single day. I'm thankful every day that he even has a job, let alone that he works for his dad (you can't beat that kind of job security!).

Third, why fix what ain't broke? Our system works out really well: he arrives in Davis every Thursday night and doesn't leave again until Sunday night. (He claims that he doesn't mind the 3+ hour drive.) I keep the dogs here in Davis unless I'm really stressed, in which case he'll take them. (We don't do that often because I miss them too much!) I do all my major cooking projects on the weekends (except cooking in bulk to stock the pantry and deep freeze) since he's actually around to enjoy the food and I mostly eat left overs during the week. Major house projects are done on the weekends and with 3 full days to work on them we usually get a lot done.

So, no, Dave won't be looking for a new job down here.

What this means, of course, is that I will be a single mom four days a week. Some days that sounds more daunting than others but I figure the more organized and stream-lined I can get our household now, then the easier it will be with a baby. My hope is that we'll have video chat time together every night so Dave can say good night to Eddie (and so I can vent to him). =)

Yes, the laundry (including the cloth diapers I'm planning on laundering myself) will have to be done by me even when I'm exhausted and covered in spit-up, there will be no one around to make dinner for me, and I will have to make sure the dogs get enough attention and exercise (they are border collies, after all). Yes, there will be days when I freak out at the weight of the responsibility that has been placed on me and will feel resentful. I'm sure there will be days when I call Dave begging for him to come back early. And yes, there will be days on end when my poor doggies get no walks or ball-throwing because I will be too busy/frazzled/tired.

But at least I'm lucky enough to have Dave come home every single weekend--there are many, many military families out there with parents stationed in scary parts of the world. I don't know how they deal day-to-day taking care of their kids as single parents wondering if their spouses are alive and well. Dave and I are in a great situation, if you ask me.

But Dave will be on full-time "Daddy duty" those three days a week when he is home. You better believe it.

I'm writing this post on a hormonally/emotionally normal day in part to share our plan with everyone who has been wondering but mostly so I can look back at it when I'm strung-out after hours of unsuccessfully trying to calm my screaming infant and feel like I'm about to lose it. (So, in about 4 months!)

Whenever I vent to Dave about how "it just isn't fair that I will have to do all the work" of raising this baby, he reminds me that I'm totally capable and he'll always be there if not in person all the time then on the phone or computer to help or offer advice/encouragement. I know he's right. Of course I can handle it............right?


Mimi mouse said...

Yes you can totally do it. I tell Kalon it isn't fair for me to do this and that etc. and he comes home every night, but I am totally a big baby. It sounds like a sacrifice that is going to be better for your whole family in the long run. And no one will thing poorly of you or him if you complain once in a while

Updates on Allison said...

Yes you can! We'll be here for emotional support too!

steph.kelley said...

Go Bowers go! You three will thrive at least as much as any family home together everyday of the week -- but more, of course, since you are the Beautiful Bowers and super-capable. xoxo

huntfamily said...

uuuuuhhhhhhhhh right? you can totally do'll be dang tired, but you can do it!