Monday, May 6, 2013
The only one (for the most part, anyway...)
Something I've discovered in these 3 months as a widow is that it really is SO easy to take for granted having a partner in your life who helps out with things. They always were there and you probably never thought twice about how much easier life used to be in that aspect.
When your partner passes away, it turns out that there are many, many situation in which you end up being "the only one" able to shoulder the burden because you are the only one LEFT.
Side note: have I ever mentioned I hate the word "widow"? I do. I loathe it. I know its what I "technically" am, but I just hate the word. Or maybe I don't hate the word so much as I hate that the word applies to ME. How can I be a widow?? I'm only 31. But damn it if that isn't the cards I was handed and the life I am living...life is full of surprises and they aren't always good ones. Sometimes those surprises are the stuff nightmares are made of.
I do get a lot of help from my parents, for which I am VERY grateful...but it still doesn't completely fix the issue of frequently being the only one who can handle a lot of things now. Or if you do get help for something that needs to happen, it takes so much coordination to straighten out logistics or whatnot with whomever can help you that its exhausting or sometimes not even worth it.
If a kid gets sick- its all on me. We used to split up sick days so that neither of us would miss too much work if one kid was sick multiple days or if it spread through the house. Our kids are healthy but when you have 4 of them, sick days are bound to happen. I cant exactly ask my parents to miss work because of a sick kid, and I cant ask our nanny- if she gets sick, then I've REALLY shot myself in the foot. So when someone is sick- its 100% me.
Homework, cooking meals, cleaning, the never ending mountain of laundry, taking the kids to after school activities or extra practices or recitals- all on me.
If I need to run errands, go grocery shopping, anything of that nature I have to wait until I have a free night that my parents are keeping the kids so that I can do those things. I can no longer just run out of the house because there isn't someone else to watch the kids. I was able to do that before- he was able to do that before. Now its just me, and I have to plan accordingly to get a lot of things done. Even going to therapy requires a lot of planning and I generally have to reserve that for nights I don't have the kids because I usually stay for a few hours per session and then I leave completely emotionally exhausted.
I even ended up with issues with some of our electronics this weekend that left me feeling so lost. I was totally kicking myself for never having cared how those things worked- I took for granted that he had set them up, things worked, and when they didn't he could fix them. Well now he cant, and its just me. I'm the one who has to fix issues, or as in the case of this weekend, feel totally helpless while TRYING to fix the issues and being unsuccessful. I'm still not sure what happened but it eventually resolved itself but it leaves me feeling uneasy because I'm still very aware that I literally cant fix issues with most of our electronics if something should happen and some items I actually have NO clue how to use whatsoever. Note to everyone out there: learn how to set up and work your electronics, even if your spouse is the one who usually does it. I never thought I'd be living this life right now where I have to do these sorts of things on my own and I very much regret never thinking that I should be knowledgeable in how to work all of that stuff. I just didn't care, he had it handled. That has sure bitten me in the ass.
Even car repairs are an issue. J used to handle any and all car repairs or maintenance. All of it. Right now I need an oil change and just trying to schedule the appointment & figure out how I will get to work and then how I will pick up my car when its ready makes me realize how very much I took for granted. Something I took even more for granted- never worrying about who would take care of little things with the car. Like fixing the time on the clock. My clock has been off by an hour since daylight savings time. I cant figure out how to fix it. I've tried. I actually had to ask the guy at the dealership to fix it when I drop it off tomorrow. I know J would've been able to fix that in a snap.
I dont like being the only one. I didnt ask for this. I didnt want this. Yet here I am...