In prison, solitude confinement is reserved for those prisoners who have behaved badly and as a form of punishment, they are separated from other inmates and the community they know. There are some perks that accompany the WAG lifestyle, but there are some downfalls as well; one of which is the dreaded Pro-14 February tour every year. In the month of February, most rugby wives resort to the single-mom lifestyle. This tour is especially hard because of the vacation time just prior to it. Just when we start gelling as a family, each having his or her own responsibilities and tasks, its tour-time. And suddenly, the work of two people falls on one. I might not be a prisoner but with every long, overseas tour, I get sentenced to solitary confinement.
Long tours are usually three weeks and although it doesn’t sound long to the untrained wife, let me assure you that it is. It’s twenty-one days of waking up alone and going to bed alone. Twenty-one times making dinner, for one (and a half) and almost twenty million nappies to change!!! It’s hard not having someone to share the burden with and it’s especially hard if you don’t have family close. But, what’s really hard is the fact that there isn’t someone to share the good times with. I sometimes catch myself looking for Jacques when William does something cute, only to realise that it’s a force of habit. I’ve also gotten into the passenger seat, waiting for no one to get into the driver’s seat. I sat there for a few seconds before realising my mistake and feeling like a complete idiot.
It takes a few days for me to remember that I’m not really a single mom when Jacques returns from tour. Just when you start getting the hang of it and start getting use to star-fishing on the bed, you have to get used to another person in the house again. We usually have a fight or two because I’m so used to doing everything on my own and because I have to start sharing the remote again. But absence really does make the heart grow fonder. You learn to appreciate the everyday things that your partner does and that you usually take for granted. It also gives me the opportunity to remember that I really am capable of more than I think, and that solitary confinement is only a temporary sentence.