I have a renewed respect for single mothers, women whose husbands travel frequently, military wives with deployed husbands, and all parents who for whatever reason don’t have a backup. Dom’s been in Chicago this weekend and I’ve been flying solo with the girls for the first time. Oh boy! Really, I don’t know how people do this day after day week after week, year after year without a break. After just three days I feel flattened.
I was most afraid of Sunday mass but that was actually a piece of cake. Both girls behaved beautifully. Sophie got a little cranky and restless but never actually cried. No one but me even noticed.
The hardest part to negotiate has been the evenings. I’m used to doing all the day time stuff myself. I have the morning routine down pat. All the variations from what to do if Bella wakes first (unlikely), what to do when Sophia is the early riser, what to do when both girls get up at the same time (a little more crazy as it involves ignoring one girl’s screams while I change the other’s diaper) and even the rare blissful what to do when I wake up before both girls and don’t just turn over and go back to sleep until someone cries. But most days by 4 or 4:30, I’m watching the clock, wondering how much longer until Dom gets home and I can let him take over on minding the girls while I finish dinner or take over cooking dinner while I tend the girls.
I haven’t actually cooked anything but oatmeal since Thursday night. Unless you count the loaf of bread that I baked yesterday morning. But bread is easy, the mixer does all the hard work of kneading and it has lots of steps that involve waiting with time for reading a story or changing a diaper or nursing a baby. And none of it is so time critical that I can’t ignore the timer for a minute while I finish taking care of what I’m doing. Anyway, I’ve been eating leftover pizza from Friday night when all my dinner plans fell through and soup from the big pot I made on Thursday. With fruit and yogurt that’s been enough to carry me through.
But bath time and bed time just can’t be finagled. I’m used to having two sets of hands so that Dom is tending to Bella’s needs while I settle Phia. So the last few nights I’ve had to juggle the two of them. Bella is just not old enough to leave alone while I settle Sophie. So poor Sophie, who is used to nursing herself to sleep in peace and quiet while Dom reads to Bella, has had to endure a chatty, bouncy toddler who sometimes bursts into tears for no reason. We’ve managed. Barely.
Sunday night was the worst. Sophia pooped in the tub before I’d even had a chance to wet down Bella’s hair. I had to get both of them out stat and rinse them off. Poor Sophie lying on the bathroom floor wrapped in a towel while I rinsed and toweled Bella. Then poor Bella shivering with her towel falling off while I diapered and pajamaed Sophie. And Sophie screaming while Bella donned her pajamas and Bella having a meltdown because I wanted to say prayers while I nursed Sophia and brush her hair and teeth after Sophia had been put to bed. How dare I changed the order of things? Hair and teeth always go before prayers! And once both girls were in bed I had to scrub the tub and soak all the bath toys in bleach. And then going to bed with the smell of bleach on my hands. I hate that smell and nothing but nothing gets it off (and yes I know I could wear gloves but I also haven’t found gloves that don’t make my hands smell funny, leak or both.)
And I haven’t packed a single box since Thursday either. We’re supposed to be moving at the end of the month and so far I’ve only packed 8 boxes!!!!
Ok enough ranting and whining. I know many people have it much much worse. I’ve only had to survive a long weekend on my own. I am just so thankful that I don’t have to do it all on my own all the time. And I am so thankful that Dom comes home tonight. And very, very, very grateful for my wonderful husband who makes my world complete.