Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.



Steve is home! I survived my first full week as a single mother. This was the longest I’ve functioned as a single mom since adding a second child to our family. I learned a few things this week.

1. Even with good intentions, blogging while being a single mom isn’t a priority. (That might be related to the great loss of blogging voice of 2010-11. But that is another post.)

2. Normally when Steve is going away for a few days, I get it in my head that we are going to have The! Best! Time! Ever! I’m going to be fun mom. The girls are going to be so excited by the fun things I plan that they will behave like angels. Everything will be rainbows and roses. Then about 6 hours into Steve being gone it all goes horribly wrong and comes crashing down around me – usually because I stop respecting the schedule that keeps things going smoothly around here. I’m disappointed that my rosy picture didn’t come true and the girls aren’t happy because Daddy is gone and Mommy is irritable. This time, I had it in my head that this week was going to Suck! So! Hard! I planned nothing special and had no rosy picture in my head. Lo and behold, it wasn’t a bad week at all. Things went smoothly. We stuck to our normal routine and had a pretty good week.

3. If I was a single parent, my children would almost never get hot, home-cooked meals. (Not that they would eat it anyway.) I grilled chicken and roasted a bunch of broccoli 1 night (and ate it for 3 days). Otherwise, we ate sandwiches. Also? Ordering a pizza without the husband is silly. We ate 4 total pieces of it over a dinner and a lunch then it sat in the fridge until Steve got home and had some for breakfast this morning.

4. Doing bedtime is sort of fun but I am so happy I don’t have to do bedtime. Steve is in charge of bedtime. It is his special time with the girls and my time to sit down and enjoy a few minutes of quiet after a day of all girls all the time. While he was gone, I enjoyed doing bedtime with the girls. Except bath. I’m not up for bath time after a long day so I think this summer we’ll change up the schedule and do bath time right after naps instead of right before bed. The girls love baths and I hate to cute it short because I don’t want to deal with it.

5. Parenthood is much better as a team sport.

6. I missed Steve but liked sleeping in the middle of the bed. (He would say I do that whether or not he is home. He lies. I hog covers but not the bed.) He enjoyed the king he had all to himself in his hotel this week. We had a serious conversation about buying a king sized bed when we move. I laugh that when we were dating we declared we would never want a king because who wants that much space? We do, that’s who. We like our space.

7. It is really hard to get anything done with 2 kiddos underfoot. That isn’t a new lesson but wow it was driven home as I was trying to pack up a few boxes, mow the back yard, weed and mulch a small flower bed in the back, and generally get the house ready to go on the market. I only got about 1/3 done of what I wanted to accomplish. Actually, I shouldn’t blame both kids. Sabrina is pretty agreeable. Tessa is the X factor. Sometimes I think that child wants to crawl back where she came from.

8. See # 2 but it is worth repeating. It amazes me that 4 1/2 years later I still have to slapped upside the head with the fact that the schedule exists for a reason. Small deviations are fine but throwing it out the window entirely results in grumpy small people.

9. Showering starts to seem much more optional when there isn’t a husband returning home at the end of the day.

10. My girls are amazing. Again, not a new lesson but I was reminded of it this week. They are doing great with all of the uncertainty and changes around here lately.

posted under family
5 Comments to


  1. On May 14th, 2011 at 9:02 pm Sonia in MO Says:

    I love the Queen Sabrina picture! Tessa is too cute for words 🙂 And from a single mom for the past 5.5 years, trust me – you did great! And don’t be so hard on yourself re: #3 – I figure if I can get a hot, home-cooked meal on the table 5 nights out of 7 I’m doing fabulous. Twice a month we do a “snack-out” night – a kids’ movie, carrots, celery, ranch dressing, little bagel pizzas, popcorn and call it dinner. I figure she’s getting veggies – I’m off the hook – therefore deserve the break. I adore snack-out night 🙂 When you are doing it all alone and have those days you are totally worn down – you have to cut yourself some slack. Fun Mom can’t be FUN! if she’s frazzled!

  2. On May 16th, 2011 at 8:01 am Melany Says:

    Great pictures! I’m glad you not only survived – but didn’t totally suck – at your week home alone. 🙂 I’m so JEALOUS about the fact that Steve does bed time. It’s not that I mind bed time duties that much… but that “time alone” that you speak of seems to elude me if the kids are home. Ah well. 😉 Have a good week back together as a team!

  3. On May 16th, 2011 at 8:27 pm Bobbi Says:

    Queen Sabrina!! Love it!!!

    Sounds like a great week, give or take. I used to like the “just us girlss” ties when Joe traveled. Now, after doing it five days a week for 2+ years, I am.over.it.

    I am not good with bath time. I am not one who takes a long shower, so I never get it, and I am done too!! I get the girls to do it here……..bribery is my bff!!

    Enjoy having Steve home again, for at least the time being

  4. On May 18th, 2011 at 4:55 am Heather Says:

    I know how you feel. My DH travels a lot for work and when he goes away I try not to have great intentions, as they all go to pot once he actually leaves. I feel much better if I go in with low expectations.

  5. On May 18th, 2011 at 8:29 pm Rachel Says:

    Oh, how I can relate! Especially #9, lol. See now why I never shave my legs? Why bother? I’m doing pretty good if I manage just a shower.