My husband left for a trip with his buddy last week for Costa Rica. Let's not talk about how jealous I am, because as I type this I imagine myself lounging on the beach, catching a tan with drink in hand. And then I remember I'm in Indiana, where it's 50 degrees and the sky is gray.
I bow down to single parents. Seriously, you are incredible. For the folks who solo parent regularly, especially for extended periods of time.....wow. Again, I am in awe. Parenting is hard work and when you "go it alone," it's that much more difficult. I am grateful I have extended family and friends in the community who help me out on the reg but it definitely doesn't fill the void of my partner/co-parent/best friend.
Without going into too much detail, I thought I could give you a peek into my 8-day week of solo parenting:
Wednesday, Day 1:
Hubby spent the night with a friend last night to make his early flight this morning. My kid, B, went to sleep at 8pm (!!!!) and aside from frequent nursing (we bedshare so it's no sweat), he slept until 8am. I decided to run errands and hoped he would take his morning nap while I'm drove around town. Instead, he fell asleep right when we arrived at Target (our last stop!) so I sat in the car with him, drinking the rest of my Starbucks and scrolling through Facebook. His napping patterns were weird the rest of the day and he was clingy and cranky. I was able to work on some homemade chalkboards and catch up on laundry later while he slept, which was comforting. We are living with my mom at the moment (Didn't you know?) and she fed us chicken pot pie for dinner. Wow- it felt so great not having to think about making a meal. My baby took a bath after and, on demand, showed me his bath book and duck. SWOON! But, we climbed into bed a little before 10 and he didn't fall asleep until 11. It was rough being nursed on for so long and eagerly wanting to get OUT of bed and get a few things done before sleep. I ended up going to sleep with him and deciding I could get the rest done tomorrow.
Thursday, Day 2:
I woke up at 7 to get ready for my busy work day and my kid woke up around 7:30 (early for him!). I got us both ready, dropped him off at my sister-in-law's, and helped clients from 9:30-3ish. I felt ready to go to bed by 6pm and my kid was showing signs of tiredness but wouldn't sleep until 10ish. After he fell asleep, I was able to work on some crafts and even watch a Netflix movie with my sister, BLISS! I'm enjoying the simple moments.
Monday, Day 6:
B wakes up at 8am and is ready to party. We leave by 11 to grab groceries and make a quick trip to Hobby Lobby. Of course, he fell asleep 10 minutes before we arrived at our first destination. I let him sleep for about 10 more minutes before trying to transfer him into the Ergo. Fail. He was snuggly but awake and decided nap time was over. By the time we were halfway through Hobby Lobby, he was unruly and screeching for everything in sight. We got home, ate lunch, and played outside for a bit before I took him in for another attempt at a nap. Although it only lasted 30 minutes, I was able to paint while he slept. By 6pm, he was still awake and acting crazy and slap happy because he was delirious and needed to sleep. But he wouldn't. So we ate dinner, I gave him a bath, and then he ran around the house for a couple of hours like a little Tasmanian devil. After nursing/crawling all over me in bed for roughly an hour, he passed out at 10pm.
Tuesday, Day 7:
I had plans to work today but because of cancellations had the day pretty much to myself. It was magical. I dropped my son off to my sister-in-law around 11, ran a few errands, grabbed a coffee, and crafted at home until about 6pm. I felt so accomplished and really couldn't believe how productive I could be without a tiny kiddo trailing close behind. Meanwhile, B had a really fun time with his aunt, uncle, and cousins. Like me, they took advantage of the warm weather and were outside pretty much the whole day. When I went to go pick my sweet baby up that evening, we ate pizza and chocolate cake. Yes, I married into a pretty great family. <3 I went to bed feeling hopeful and satisfied, not only with the work I did earlier but because my husband would be coming home tomorrow!!
Wednesday, Day 8:
I woke up feeling worn out- probably because of the busy day I had yesterday along with the fact I also went to bed much later than usual. Oh, and B woke up early, too. They gray, rainy skies made it challenging to get out of bed. We stayed at home all day, catching up on laundry and taking it easy. B only napped a total of 1 hour all day (yikes!) but crashed around 8:30 in the evening. Josh showed up around 11pm after a long day of traveling. I was so happy to see him and, in fact, kind of forgot what his voice sounded like (we ended up not being able to talk on the phone without crazy data rates so we'd only been texting for the past week).
Whew. It's over. Life will soon be back to it's regular schedule and I'll have an extra set of hands helping me make dinner, keep up with household chores, hang with B, and the like. I found after a few days of doing this, for the most part on my own, I got into the swing of things. Some chunks of time were HARD while other moments I felt like a complete badass taking care of a tiny human for a whole week. Again, it felt SO good having the support of my family and close friends. In a busy week of solo parenting, I was still able to take some time for myself and I wouldn't have been able to do that without my village. That definitely was the key to staying sane, no doubt.
I survived 8 days of solo parenting!