My friend, Pam, uses this term around this time of year. She and I are both conference widows in late May and it is all due to The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, once known as the Learneds, sometimes known as the Stupids.
Straight from the website: "The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is the largest multidisciplinary academic gathering in Canada" John and John's work wife (Pam's husband Jim) attend almost every year wherever in Canada it is held. This year Congress is being held at Carleton.
John is Program Chair for the portion of Congress that is the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) this year. The CHA is one of the largest, if not the largest, meeting at Congress. So this year, not only was I a conference widow during the actual conference (which ended last night) but I had many moments of widowhood over the past year but particularly the past month and most intensively, the last two weeks or so.
I am so glad the CHA portion is over. Not just for the selfish reasons of having to cook and clean alone, play with the kids, bathe them and put them to bed alone and crave adult company all day only to go to bed alone as well. But also for John's sake; the stress was mighty, starting last summer and growing to epic proportions through the year. I'm so glad it is over and life can return to "normal."
Of course, "normal" will now include packing up our house, looking for an apartment to rent in Kitchener (this weekend), finishing up school for Emily, getting the house in good shape for our tenants, etc etc. No stress there.
I'm so glad that my partner-in-crime is back to help me! (Yes, yes, I know John, professors DO work in the summer.)