Last week I had a brief stint as a single mom of two while my husband was away on a work trip. I was very anxious before he left because I had never taken care of both kids alone for a long period of time. The world did not come to an end. In fact, we had a great time just the three of us and I learned a lot about myself and my kids in the process:
*I am a much less whiny mother when everything is up to me. It is so easy to complain about the daily challenges and delegate things to my husband. But not this time. I had to be on my “A” Game to keep life running like a well-oiled machine. I was worried about the extra challenges that my daughter’s last week of school would bring with it. But in the end, teacher gifts were purchased, the last day of school pic was taken, summer camp registration finalized, business meetings handled, doctor’s appointments were fulfilled, and all three of us enjoyed the end of school year family picnic together. Getting through all these tasks really made me feel like one tough mother.
*I can hold my baby with one arm, while wiping my toddler’s butt with the other. I also managed to wash everyone’s hands too. They really should give out awards for this sort of accomplishment.
*I can bathe both children at the same time. Usually bath time takes what seems like hours from start to finish in our house and we divide the responsibility. But I realized that while the little one is in the baby tub, my big girl can give herself a quick sponge bath and even help bathe her baby brother. This makes her extremely happy since she can’t get enough of him and wants to help out. I also discovered it cuts down on the bath time ritual. By bathing two little birdies with one stone, that leaves more time for stories.
*My children’s age differences really worked out. We never intended to have our kids be nearly four years apart, but that’s what Mother Nature had in store for us. This turned out to be a big blessing for me last week because my daughter was able to get herself dressed and entertained while I nursed and put the baby to bed.
*Free play for everyone results in much better family time together. There was a moment in time when the baby was rolling around on the floor, learning to crawl on his own; my daughter was in her room, playing quietly with her dolls; and I was working on my laptop in the baby’s room. It was such a great moment because I realized I made these little people that are so different from each other and it was so great to realize they can play independently and we did not have to be together all the time.
*Electronic devices are still the best temporary babysitters ever. Nothing else in the world can keep my daughter quiet and entertained like a good Disney movie or time on her Leap Pad 🙂
*My daughter is growing up to be a very cool girl. Even though I gave birth to this girl and we live under the same roof, ever since the baby was born I have not spent as much time with her as I would like. During the day she is at school and in the evening my husband takes over her bath and bedtime. I am glad I had some more quality time to spend with her because I was able to see that she has become a FUNNY and intelligent little girl.
*We have the best family and friends ever. I’ll admit that I didn’t survive last week totally alone. I had to call in some reinforcements. We had playdates with friends every night and on Friday my sister, her kids, and their friends came for a sleepover. We purchased our home with the vision that it would be the gathering place for family and friends and I am at my happiest when our home is full.
And while I am thrilled and relieved that hubby is back, I am glad I was able to discover strengths I didn’t know I had during this exhausting but enjoyable week!