After 4 days and 3 nights as a single mom...I'm so happy to report that Jimmy made it back safe and sound from his first work trip at his brand new job.
I'm even happier to report that everyone that didn't get to jet off to sunny Orlando and went on with real life in Kansas these past few days is also alive and well.
Yep. We all survived my first extended time with solo parenting of two. The biggest accomplishment? Getting everyone up, ready and out the door on Tuesday morning by 7:10. Let's just ignore the fact that I was a sweaty mess on the drive to work (I swear getting children in the car and into daycare makes me swear so much) and I sat at my desk realizing while everyone else was fed...I was starving and hadn't taken a drink of water or peed.
Such is life.
So a quick rundown of the week and my new theory.
Monday was awful. Luckily my parents invited us over for a yummy steak dinner. I was so stressed for some reason and then it was bed time...and I tried so hard to plan Maddie's schedule so that she wouldn't be hungry or fussy while I was giving Charlie a bath and getting him ready for bed. I was so tense and stressed and trying to hurry the whole process along. I was so nervous about that night and the next day...I really think they could both tell. Needless to say, Maddie started screaming while I was trying to read to Charlie...so we went and sat by Maddie so I could stick her pacifier in with one hand and hold Charlie/read with the other. Well of course he didn't like that, so he started fussing. I mean COME ON people. I was really trying.
But guess what? Charlie ended up in bed asleep and Maddie, well she pretty much fussed the whole night and wouldn't sleep when I put her down (which is unusual). So I spent the night falling asleep with her on my chest, freaking out, waking up and trying to lay her in her own bed in our room and then she'd wake up screaming and repeat about every 2 hours. Come Tuesday morning I was tired and stressed - not wanting to go to work. But guess what? As I mentioned before, we all made it out the door - that was all I could ask and I was thankful.
Tuesday night, I had our first Building Better Mom's meeting at church. Go figure. My mom was out of town this week too and since Jimmy's mom and grandma had just watched them last Thursday I asked my sister and boyfriend to help - they were excited. However, I should have known how the night was going to go when she arrived and I was cursing Charlie under my breath for continuing to throw his cup of milk and it spilled everywhere and Maddie was screaming. I felt SO bad leaving and even worse coming home because she was STILL screaming. She's a momma's girl for sure.
At that point, I just pretty much gave up being stressed because what was I going to do? I took Maddie in my arms and she slept all night in her bed. Everyone slept in the next morning until 7:15. Um it was amazing.
The next night we met up with my dad at Chick Fil A for some yummy dinner and indoor playground fun. The meal was awesome and Charlie and my dad played their hearts out. I was convinced at one point my dad was stuck up there because he decided to go and climb with Charlie (ha!). I have to give him props because another little girl went in there and then came out and told her brother that "a boy's dad was stuck up there" - so apparently she thought he was Charlie's dad and not his grandpa...guess that mean's he doesn't look 61! Good job dad.
That night when we got home? I was relaxed and just going with the flow and guess what? Bed time and bath time went amazing. Everyone was happy and good and smiling. Charlie went right to sleep while Maddie just sat in her seat bouncing away. Maddie got a bath and went right to sleep and get this...everyone slept until 7:45. Are you serious? We just hung out in the morning too so I didn't take Charlie to school until after 9AM. It was amazing and actually so so fun hanging out with my little people. We had no where to go and I was not stressed.
It's amazing how I truly believe feeling like that not only made me a better mom...but I swear that my kids could tell. They could tell I wasn't stressed or worried or obsessing over every single little thing. And I actually think it made them act better.
Call me crazy. But after these days as a single mom and trying to do "it all" - I've come to the conclusion that
1 - "doing it all" is so unnecessary and pretty much impossible with 2 kids
2 - They don't care if you "do it all"...so why do I?
3 - A stressed out mom is no fun at all
4 - Kids can SMELL FEAR
I really think that they knew when I was stressed/nervous and when I wasn't.
So there you have it - my theory 2.5 months into being a parent of 2 and trying to figure it all out again. I am thankful because I feel like I gained SO much perspective this week (oh and the less stress was nice because I only was working on Tuesday and we could relax the other days). Perspective as a mom and an adult.
I stress about everything. Too much. And I really do think that I just need to relax and have fun with these kiddos. They are only this age once and they are so cute and so funny. So yes, my house will be dirty (and I may be too due to lack of time to shower/get ready), but I won't stress about it. Someday I will look back longing for the moments when Charlie took his golf clubs and squatted weird and banged them together. When he wanted to hug and kiss me. And when Maddie didn't want me to put her down because she just likes to be held. I will miss this. I realized that this week.
So Jimmy, thank you for going out of town.
But let's not do it again any time soon.
This is the pic we sent to Jimmy. Oh my.