Confessions Of A Hunter’s Widow :: My Seasonal Solo Adventure
It’s that time of the year again. The leaves are falling, the air is crisp(ish), and my husband is probably in a tree stand with his bow, waiting to take aim at an unsuspecting buck. Yep, it’s hunting season, and I am officially a hunter’s widow. But don’t shed any tears for me yet; being a hunting widow has unique perks and pitfalls.
As much as I adore my husband, and he really does help, there’s something strangely peaceful about his absence during hunting season. Suddenly, chaotic mornings and overly tired evenings flow smoother. The kids, like magic, know what is expected of them to get ready for school, and bath time is less of a day at the splash pad. Daddy’s playful presence and lack of urgency is now under the authority of mom’s get-to-it, on time schedule. The kids can’t whine, “No I want Daddy to bathe me. No I want Daddy to brush my teeth.” Because Daddy is not here. You got me kid. And mama’s gonna get it done.
No Dinner? No Problem.
Some nights I just don’t feel like cooking. Sometimes all I need is a bag of popcorn or a salad and a glass of wine. Yes, I realize that is not a substantial meal, but when it’s just me at home, it’s perfectly satisfying. So when the hubs is off killing prey, I can get the kids fed and bathed and sit down for a relaxing non-dinner and not feel the slightest bad about it.
Staying up Past Bedtime
I’ll admit this may also fall under the con list of being a hunter’s widow, but on the nights when the kids are in bed early (because of that smooth-mommy-only bedtime routine), I like to scroll through Netflix titles and probably only watch the trailers, but definitely lose track of time and stay up way past my bedtime. Even though I always vow to go to bed early when the kids are in bed early, it’s a rare occasion that I get to watch anything on my own, so I stay up regretfully late trying to decide on which show to catch up on first.
A Full Freezer is a Happy Freezer
Of course the best part of being a hunter’s widow is the whole reason my husband is gone for days at a time. Hopefully, he comes back with stories of tracking and killing an elusive buck that almost got away, and we will have dear meat for months. This house runs on tacos, meatballs, sloppy joes, protein bowls, and any other kind of dish that can be made out of ground meat, so having a freezer chock full of it is all worth it.
But it’s Not All Roses.
Being a solo parent is hard work. I have empathy for those who do it all the time. It’s stressful. There is a lot of juggling, and you only have yourself to rely on – making sure you have enough milk and diapers on hand because there is no late night running to the store; toting the baby along everywhere, even during nap time. Being the only adult and making all the decisions is exhausting and lonely.
Do I wish I could go away for days at a time? Leave the hubs at home to tend to the kids while Mama goes on a much-needed vacay? Well yes. I would love to. But mom guilt would never allow that. I couldn’t leave the kids for as long as daddy does. And that’s not throwing any shade. It’s just that when I am gone for a few days, I think about all the things I’m missing out on or fretting over what I will be coming home to – as in a disaster of a house and rambunctious kiddos who have fallen out of normal routine.
Mom’s Hunting Trip
But don’t get me wrong. Just because I have full-on mom guilt when I leave my kids, I’m going to leave my kids! Last spring, me and my best friend and fellow hunter’s widow implemented our own “hunting trip.” We trekked it to Fredericksburg for a wine-filled weekend of relaxing, not cooking, not keeping schedules, and sleeping in. We only went for three nights, but it was a deserved getaway, and we plan to continue our hunting trips as long as the hubbies continue theirs.