Sunday, July 17, 2011

Solo Parenting Exhausts Me!

Dan flew to Ohio early Friday morning for a wedding, and isn't returning until Monday. In order to prepare myself for a weekend of solo parenting, we had a grown-ups only day on Thursday. After I did my glucose test (yes, I finally did it!), we headed out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, saw a late matinee screening of Pirates of the Caribbean 4, and then checked into a hotel for the night. (It was right across from the airport, enabling him to take the shuttle over, which eliminated the need for us all to get up super early and drive him there.) It was so nice to have all that alone time with my husband. Especially with another little one on the way, I know those times are limited and rare, and we wanted to make the most of it. It was very relaxing, and felt like such a luxury. Even more luxurious was the fact that I then went to Target and Gymboree Friday morning ALL BY MYSELF! No toddler yelling and crying and fussing because she didn't want to be in her stroller. Amazing!

I picked Stephanie up from my mom's around noon on Friday, and brought her home for a nap. She woke up cranky, and proceeded to be cranky all afternoon. After dinner (frozen pizza, because why would I spend all that time cooking just for the two of us?), we went outside to try and eliminate the crankys. I blew bubbles for her, and she spent 20 minutes chasing them all over the front yard. It was that time of day where the sun is setting, and the humidity has worn off a little, and she just had the best time. I felt relaxed and happy too. Well, until it was time to come inside for a bath, which started a full-on screaming temper tantrum. But then she went right to bed, and I felt like, ok, I can handle this!

Then Saturday morning happened. She must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, because from the minute she woke up she screamed and cried. She followed me around, and no amount of cajoling, comforting, feeding, etc, would get her to calm down. Finally I resorted to Baby Einstein, which afforded me a half hour of calm. (Also let me know that nothing was really wrong with her, since she was able to settle down to watch it.) But then the crying started up again. I think that she just knows something isn't normal, she's missing her Daddy, and we've been running here there and everywhere. She's a routine girl, and to disrupt her routine is just asking for trouble.

We ended up video chatting with Dan on the computer for an hour and a half, which made her happy. Then we ran some errands, came home for a nap, and spent the evening at the beach with my family. Today I had a coffee date with some friends, so my mom stayed with her for a few hours. (It's been amazing to have all this help, and i'm so grateful to my family for being there to pull some babysittting duty. I don't think I would have made it this far without them!) Now she's napping, and I'm exhausted so I might put off the cleaning that needs to get done and take a little rest myself. This parenting solo thing is hard, especially being seven months pregnant. I really admire the people who have to do it all the time, and am so grateful that, for the most part, my husband is around in the mornings and evenings to help out with the care of our little one.

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