I’m solo-parenting this week. I’m half-done. I feel like I’m coming apart at the seams. It’s really not that bad, but it’s tiring.
Bryson sleeps like crap, and I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. I think he is frustrated by not being able to stretch out in his rocker, but he refuses anything else. He’ll sleep 4-6 hours. Then is up every 2 hours. Midnight, 2:00, then 4:00 last night before I put him in bed with me. Then Matthew woke up and needed me (us) at 5:33. At 5:53, all three of us got up. Holy hell! It’s a good thing I napped yesterday!
It’s really just the nights that are killing me. And this morning. I’m just so tired. B can’t get home soon enough! He left Sunday morning at 10:00 and comes home Friday at 5:30. It’s essentially 6 days and 5 nights in a row on my own. It’s hard. I have so much respect for single parents, especially those with more than 1 little one.
I enjoyed alone time with Matthew when B would travel. A week of him being gone never fazed me, because, well, one kid is easy. Two kids… someone is always being ignored and that makes me sad. 😦 I just pile on the self-guilt when I can’t give either of them what they truly need and want from me.
I told B that Saturday is MY day. My only kid responsibility is to nurse Bryson. I’m sure I’ll choose to hang out with them all most of the day, but I want to SLEEP and I want to go somewhere, anywhere, by MYSELF while they nap.
The above was written this morning, when I was grumpy, tired, and… pissed off.
I’m much better now.
What changed? I have no idea. Maybe it’s the realization that despite the exhaustion and pissiness, I know that things aren’t that bad and that in all honesty, I get a lot of shit done when B is out-of-town. I mean – I GET SHIT DONE! Here’s what I’ve done that would normally go by the wayside when solo-parenting:
- I tried out my new pouch maker! I steamed up 5 apples and 4-5 sweet potatoes, pureed them, and pouched them up for Matthew to try (I got only 4 applesauce pouches and 4 sweet potato pouches out of that, saving most of the sweet potatoes for a later recipe and also freezing some in cubes for Bryson who starts solids after Christmas)
- Met up with one of my best friends who moved away a few years ago, and learned that she may move back (YAY!)
- Bought heaps of produce to make more pouches
- Everyone in bed by 8:45
Monday (Preschool Day):
- Took Bryson to get his photos taken with Santa
- Scheduled all 3 cats’ vet visits ($$$ ugh!)
- Bought Christmas PJ’s for our trip to St. Louis after Thanksgiving
- Ordered 12-18 month sweater one-piece outfits for Bryson (everything we have 12-18 months is for SUMMER)
- Everyone in bed by 8:36
- Matthew’s dental exam first thing in the morning (went well!)
- Lunch with my friend, K
- Trimmed and steamed 1 large butternut squash, 12 apples (variety), 1 bag of blueberries, 2 bunches of fresh carrots, 2 large parsnips, and 4 bananas for pouches (with Bryson strapped to me on the front as he napped)
- Blended 5 different types of pouches ending up with 34 pouches and 3 trays (36 cubes) in the freezer
- Changed out all towels
- Everyone in bed by 8:30
Wednesday (Preschool Day):
- Took one cat to the vet while Matthew was at school
- Forced 2 pouches on Matthew who refused them until just before dinner
- The cleaners came (yes, I have cleaners… but most everyone knows that)
- Took both boys to see Santa (and Matthew rode the train)
- Dinner at Chip.otle
- Changed all sheets
- Laundry (all done now)
- EVERYONE IN BED BY 8:05!
Here’s what’s on-deck for the rest of the time while B is gone:
- Watch my friend’s daughter
- Go to the grocery store for more produce
- Steam up the produce I still have (peas, pears, broccoli)
- Blend 2 types of pouches and freeze them
- Zoo activity at 10:30
- Buy new sheets for Matthew (he’s picking them out!)
- Lunch and naps before picking B up at the airport at 4:30!
I’ve come to realize that even though things get stressful, I like to stay busy when B is out-of-town because I get lonely. You can only watch so much Bre.aking Bad before you want to just DO SOMETHING. I’ve always been this way, which is why I have a ton of super crafty scrapbooks to showcase my travels as a single person. When I’m alone, I don’t like to go to bed – I’m a night owl. So if I’m going to be a night owl, I should use it to my advantage and get shit done.
I’ve also come to realize that I am really, REALLY good at putting my kids to bed. I wasn’t sure how it would go with B out-of-town since he reads to Matthew while I nurse Bryson, but we figured it out and will actually modify bedtimes from now on because of what we’ve learned. Matthew has RUN to his room every single night with B out-of-town because of one little change I had to make (let him watch 15 minutes of CG while I nurse Bryson). He is excited to read his books now, rather than fighting us because it’s bedtime. The break between bath and books is what he needs to not feel overwhelmed. AND THESE KIDS ARE GOING TO BED EARLIER! I always tend to roll bedtime back while B is out-of-town, but then it slides a little here, a little there once he’s home. I’m not saying it’s all his fault. But what I’m saying is that it’s all his fault. 😉 He just isn’t tough enough with Matthew, and I am. Bedtime, from this day forward, is now 8:00. Lights out at 8:00. No toddler needs to be up past 8:00!
So yeah, I’ve been stressed, but I’ve also done a lot of good stuff. I’ve loaded up our freezer with healthy snacks for Matthew (and some essentials for Bryson that he’ll need in just a month – WOW!), I’ve got all the laundry caught up (this is very important to me before B comes home), everyone is sleeping on clean sheets, we’re still getting out of the house at least once (if not twice) a day, I’ve gotten everyone (including the cat) to all activities on time, and bedtime has been moved back to a reasonable time. Good things happen under pressure, I think!
Whew! It feels good to get all of that off my chest! Now, it’s time for some Breakin.g Ba.d!
I’ll leave you with photos of my boys with Santa! It went really well – my plan worked and although Matthew did not smile, he did go sit with Santa willingly and gave us some cute things to capture!