Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday's Motherhood Moment - Home Alone (with my kids)

Over the weekend Trey had to take his godchild, who had been staying with us for the past week, back home to Louisiana. Originally the plan was for them to get up Saturday morning to leave. Trey was going to stay over for one night and come back on Sunday afternoon. On Thursday afternoon a few things came up, so he decided to leave Friday before I got off of work. My weekend outlook had changed and I quickly realized three things…

1. I have never done the single parent thing for more than a couple hours since Tallen was born. Sophia continued to go to daycare while I was on maternity leave and taking care of Tallen was a full-time ordeal.

2. I was going to be spending two entire days alone with two kids after just finishing my second week back to work. No time for catching up on my rest.

3. It was just three short weeks ago that Tallen was just coming out of his screaming/crying phase so what if he had another three hour meltdown while I was alone with the kids?

When it comes to my kids, I will admit that I struggle with asking for help from family and friends. On one hand, I feel that I should be able to take care of my children own. I am with them every day, know them better than anyone else, and should be able to take care of their needs. I think - other moms do this all the time! A stay-at home mom could take care of a three year old and a newborn on a full time basis. Why do I struggle so much? What is the big deal about having my kids by my-self for 48 hours? I feel guilty and incompetent when I even think about asking for help.

On the other hand, being a mommy of two young children is still pretty new to me. I need to learn and practice how to handle both of them at once. Taking care of Sophia is second nature now – I have been doing that for three years (and she is pretty independent). Once Tallen was born, I had a crash course in newborn care again (it is amazing how much you forget about taking care of a baby). During my maternity leave, the only time that both children were home there were other adults around to help (Trey, my mother-in-law, my mom). Besides a few nights when Trey is racquetball or band practice, he is at home every evening to help me with the kids.

The downfall of being a working mom is that a lot of things still need to be taken care of around the house after work hours (i.e. the same time that you are home with your kids). Which meant that this weekend I needed to do the laundry, clean the bathrooms, go to the grocery store, and cook dinner while still finding time to play with Sophia and her dollhouse, cook in her play kitchen, color with her new crayons, dance to “Rockin’ Tots” CD AND take care of Tallen. I warned Trey that by the time he returned on Sunday I might be exhausted, overwhelmed, and in desperate need of a few hours away from home to recover.

So when Trey walked in the house Sunday evening around 6:30 PM, he was a little wary about what he might find… I admit that my mommy-of-two skills are still a work in progress, just like most of the things around our house this weekend. In addition to Trey’s dinner waiting for him on the stove, I left two baskets of clean laundry for him to fold (because Sophia had asked me to come up to her room and play with her dollhouse). The dishes in the dishwasher were clean, but not put away (because Sophia wanted to cook dinner for Tallen and me in her play kitchen instead). I had left the vacuum out in the living room but never managed to clean the rug (because it was occupied by Sophia dancing to Rockin Tots and Tallen on his play mat, giggling at his toys). Trey walked upstairs and found all three of us sitting on the floor in Sophia’s room, still in our pajamas from the night before, playing and laughing together.

I didn’t need a few hours away from home that night. Instead I spent the night in with Trey, telling him how much fun he missed over the weekend. And how glad I was to have him home…

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