This morning, as I dropped off my youngest child to daycare, a woman whom I did not know, asked me if I was okay.
I was leaning up against the open door, head hanging in defeat, exhausted.
What does it mean? Only one thing…
I am officially a corporate widow.
We all know the joke about being a golf widow where their husbands disappear for the weekend — all day Saturday and Sunday — as they hit the greens.
But I think there’s a new genre of women out there — one that has yet to be truly defined because no one wants to admit it.
It’s called the corporate widow.
For years people referred to the corporate wife.
The husband would go to work, and the wife would stay home, taking care of the house, joyfully washing the laundry and cooking a lovely meal.
June Cleaver knew how to take care of her husband and her boys; but it’s not like that anymore.
Instead of trying to keep the house together, many of us are trying to keep ourselves together as our husbands are gone for a part of the week and sometimes for even the whole week… week after week after week.
The absence starts to grind you down.
It’s not just one week that makes you tired or even two weeks or possibly even a month.
It’s the daily grind of managing the kids by yourself.
So last night my little Hbomb got out of his bed no less than 10 times.
We’ve been trying everything under the sun to bride him to stay in his bed for the night.
Take a guess if it’s working. Nope!
And so, well past 10 o’clock, I invited him into my bed just so I could get some sleep.
Then, in the middle of the night, my six-year-old announced his bed was wet. And so another person joined us.
Cocooned in wriggly ants-in-the-pants boys, I pretended to sleep.
When they woke up at 5:30, I almost started crying I was so tired.
And so, this morning, as I laid my head against the open car door window, taking in the coolness of the glass, begging my child to get out of the car, a complete stranger asked me if I was okay.
The simple fact she even said anything already gave me my answer. No. No. No.
I miss my husband.
I miss my boys’ father.
I miss being a family.
I don’t blame him for traveling for work.
I don’t begrudge him for needing to travel to get his job done.
But it does make it particularly hard on me.
I would say it makes me feel like a single mother, and I guess in certain ways it does.
However, that would be an insult to single moms everywhere.
I honestly cannot imagine working full time, running from daycare or school to pick up the kids, keeping the house in order — making sure the clothes are clean, dishes are washed, lunches are ready — only to repeat it the next day.
You truly must have superpowers or willpower of steel to manage as a single mom, but it is still difficult being a corporate wife.
And so to all of those corporate wives out there, I salute you.
I salute your silence even though you may feel like screaming.
I salute your perseverance when you feel like you can’t take one more child’s tantrum.
I salute your dedication to running a family, sometimes completely on your own, even though you may feel like laying on the floor and giving up.
It may feel like you don’t have a reason to complain because you are not a single mom.
But the fact is, being a corporate wife is no easy walk down the lane.