My lovely husband has been away a lot for work lately. Most of the time that's ok, the two girls and I manage just fine. But Miss Sophia got sick last week - the first time since coming home from hospital at 10 weeks of age - and things suddenly got a lot harder.
"Arsenic hour", that wonderful time at the end of the day when kids need to be fed, bathed and put to bed and are horribly ratty and tired, is never particularly pleasant, but it's bearable. Add into the mix a baby who has been crying all day and waking pretty much every hour during the night and it's a whole other story. Suddenly you're bouncing the howling baby on your knee trying to buy a few more minutes to get your older child fed before starting the bathing process; or fighting the urge to lock yourself in your room with the music turned up very loudly while they both have tanties.
When there are two of you at home you can tag team; one can rest while the other takes care of business. But when it's just you suddenly there is no respite. So, Day 9 of illness and I'm beyond exhaustion...but I know I've only got to hold on another couple of nights and we'll resume normal programming. Hubby will be home and (hopefully) health will be restored.
But, for single mums, that relentlessness is par for the course. Unless that have significant support from their family or friends, they can't call for subs if they're tiring...and, for that, they have my utmost respect.
p.s. On the subject of sick children, this fantastic book has seen me through nearly three years of childhood illnesses (and, let me tell you, we've had our fair share). If you have kids, or are going to have them in the near future, do yourself a favour and grab a copy from Dymocks.