Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Lonely Road

As I briefly mentioned, last week it was just me an the wee ones. Nelson had a week-long meeting in Texas. He left Sunday afternoon and was slated to return late Friday. That would leave me with SIX nights alone with the boys.

Now, I'm alone with them every day so that's really no biggie. But at night? The dreaded dinner, bath, bed trifecta of doom? That is tough stuff to do solo when you've got just one kid. And two kids is more then double the trouble.

The last time Nelson went out of town for this long, I called in the reserves. I had friends and family come by every night but two. They brought me food, they helped me bath my kids, they read Oscar books.

Of the two nights I was alone, one was a fucking nightmare and one was easy peasy. I thought I learned a lot based on those two nights about what worked and what didn't, so I decided to go solo this time. Aside from one night when my sister came over and stayed, I managed alone. And it was not awful. I was remarkably successful, even.

Here's how I did it:

1. I prepped, big time. I spent most of the day and a half preceding Nelson's trip doing laundry, grocery shopping, running errands, etc. (with lots of help from Nelson) so I we had clean clothes and plenty of food for the week. This way I had no errands to run during the week, toting the boys along.

2. I took a tip from the Baby Bunching website and I bathed my kids together every night. I know this does not work for everyone, but it worked really well for me. Bath time is an important part of our ritual so they were bathed every night but one. That one night was the most difficult to get them down, too. It seems the bath is worth the extra effort.

3. I asked for help. I asked my sister to come over and help out on Wednesday and she did. I was hanging in there quite well, but it was a welcome relief and nice to have some adult conversation.

3. I accepted help that was offered. Danny's moms offered to bring dinner over one night and I accepted. I didn't have to cook, they even cleaned up, and ADULTS!

4. I ordered out. Twice. And I didn't feel bad about it.

5. I used disposable plates. That little bit of extra garbage gave me a lot of extra sanity.

On top of all of this, I had pretty low expectation. Like, way lower then you are thinking. Lower. LOWER. I decided that if I could not cry on the phone to Nelson every night; and we all got dressed and ate one good meal every day: SUCCESS!

And I did it! Nelson caught an early flight home and bathed the boys all by himself on Friday while I relaxed (or sat in the next room terrified someone was going to drown.)

Single moms? You guys are my heroes. I barely made it not quite a full a week; you do it every single day. Hats off you, ladies. Hats off.

14 comments:

Cara said...

For real, momma. That's how I feel every time Chase is gone.

Sprite's Keeper said...

John is going away for a week in January. I am bringing in reinforcements. Do it my own, my ass. I've done it once, I'm calling my mommy!

Sprite's Keeper said...

But good for you!

bsouth said...

Blimey. You got dressed and had a good meal EVERY day. My expectations were way lower than that! I wouldn't be able to do it on my own. Well done you.

bsouth said...

Blimey. You got dressed and had a good meal EVERY day. My expectations were way lower than that! I wouldn't be able to do it on my own. Well done you.

rachel said...

It is really hard, I can't imagine with two under 3! I am a single mom, working full time, college 3/4 time and about to lose my MIND. I think it's great that you gave us singles credit :) thank you!

Mrsbear said...

I have to be a single mom every third day since my husband works 24 hour shifts. It sucks, but I try to make it easier on myself. Paper plates are crucial, ditto on easy meals. Now when he was gone last year for a week on a training conference, I was a wreck, physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I was this close to stepping out for a newspaper and some cigarettes and not coming back. ;) Congrats on surviving. You deserve a quiet nook, a good book, and a box of chocolates.

Jamie said...

You are a superstar! Nick goes to China a couple of times a year for about 10 days and I tell you what that is generally the L-O-N-G-E-S-T weekend EVER. Last time I just scheduled the hell out of the weekend and it went by much quicker. Otherwise, I do as Jen does and call my mommy or my mommy in law or daddy in law.

Susanica said...

Anytime you need anything Jenni, you know should know that we are there for you. Oh, by the way, did Nelson have a heart attack in Texas when he read your blog post with the word "pregnant" in it? ;-) Danny's moms

Casey said...

Good for you for letting your friends help and for surviving on your own. Our kids bathe together every night and although it's a time saver, it's like WW3 in the tub. Have you tried a small laundry basket in the tub for Miles? That way he can hold on and is less topsy turvy but still in the water.

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Try 4 kids under 7 by yourself : ) Its hard and then add homework, swimming lessons, soccer games and just general quality of care and there are days I just want to get into the fetal postion and never come out! : ) It took me time to not think I was totally fucking them up by doing it all on my own but its pretty simple ish now : )

Angela said...

Congrats to you and everyone survived, which is always a plus. Thanks for the props to the single moms! Sometimes it is the hardest job in the world - especially since mine has some issues. But they are worth it. Especially when they are sleeping. :) Love the blog

Krystal said...

you survived - I would have died - one day without the Ape and I was a mess - 3 days without him I was looking like I stepped out of Arkham assylum - 6 nights? That would just about have killed me - I bow down to you!!

Captain Dumbass said...

Lowering your expectations is always a good start.