I realize that there are many women who do this alone, either some or all of the time. Around here, their partners work at remote mine sites. They fight wildfires, stationed in the bush in the territory or flown out to help in other provinces, sometimes gone for weeks.
Women's partners are long-haul truckers, or in the military, or just not there at all, ever. So many women do this all alone, all of the time.
After a day like yesterday, where P is out the door at 7:30 a.m. and doesn't pull into the driveway until 7 p.m., I find myself wondering how these women do it. How do they go for days, or weeks, or years as the primary caregiver? As the only adult in the house, all day long? How do they make time for that mythical beast called self-care? How do they fill the well? How do they not lose their minds?
Or maybe they do.
Lose their minds, that is. I know I feel close to it on these particular days. I find myself resenting being stuck out here alone for such long stretches of time. I pace within these log walls, or without, in the clearing around the house, swatting at mosquitoes and wishing someone would pull into the driveway, anyone, and not just to turn around and drive back to the gas station at the corner. I'm armed with tea and a wild 3 year old and a sweet baby. I'll invite you in, I swear!
In the absence of (grown) human contact, I find myself spending too much time on the internet, never really making much of a connection there, either. I sing "Mr. Lonely" in my head and feel sorry for myself and then tell myself to cut it out, shake it off. I wash the dishes, I build a block tower and watch the baby knock it over. I count the minutes until.