"Go Away, Mama!"

I’ve been hearing that a lot lately. No, it’s not because I’ve been unusually strict and now Dylan is mad at me. It’s not because I don’t let him have any “alone” time. It’s because Bill has been traveling a lot for the past month, and when he gets back into town Dylan wants absolutely nothing to do with me.

From the moment Dylan sees his dad is back home, he starts pushing me away. All I hear, all weekend long is: “Go that way, Mama!”; “No, don’t come with me”; “I want Daddy.”

Do I take it personally? Well, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt a little bit, but of course I know why he is acting this way towards me. He misses his Daddy, and little boys deserve to have lots of time alone with their daddies, so I try not to take it personally and to give them lots of space.

It is, of course, also a very welcome break for me. I love, love, love my son, but to have to care for him alone, 24/7, 5 days a week…it’s exhausting. I don’t know how single mothers do it day in and day out. My hat’s definitely off to them, because I know that,  come Friday night, I am tired, cranky, short-tempered, and more than ready for Bill to get home from the airport so we can open a bottle of wine!

When Daddy is home for the weekend, Mami is out the door – doing errands, going to the gym, getting a much needed massage…anything that will give me a few hours of peace and relaxation. It’s great for me, and like I mentioned above, Bill and Dylan also get to make up for some lost father-son time together.

Except…did you catch it yet? The one little hitch in this whole arrangement? That’s right, where is MY alone time with Bill?

It hasn’t been easy finding time together, but we are making sure that we do. At least one night of the weekend, we try to have some “just us” time. One Saturday night, we might forgo plopping down on the couch to watch TV after the boy goes to bed and head down to the basement to play pool and listen to some music. The next weekend, we’ll leave Dylan with a babysitter and go to a nice dinner. Those moments together reinforce our bond and our commitment to each other, and leave us refreshed enough to battle yet another week of Bill going out of town for work.

Of course, the moments Dylan spends alone with Bill do the same for him too, and after a bit, I am welcomed back into Dylan’s presence and we can do a few things as a family… before he decides he wants Daddy all to himself again.

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