Saturday, July 6, 2013

Single parents are like superheroes

I'm sitting alone (sort of) in a hotel room, wondering how in the world single parents do this

Hubby, T man & I drove 300 miles for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary/family reunion.  Unfortunately, hubby has to work tomorrow =(  T man & I drove in the car while daddy rode his Harley (oh, poor guy!)  This experience has been a real eye opener for me.

Now, we've traveled a bit since T man was born.  Nothing amazing, but we've gone a few places.  We came down to Grama's during Christmas and we took the train to St Louis for Memorial weekend.  But those trips were completely different!  Our winter travels were during my maternity leave and the train ride was with the entire family clan.  I've never had to deal with a traveling baby all alone.

The car ride down here was full of crying, screaming, toy throwing, angry chatters, etc.  If hubby was in the car we'd have no problem, but alone?  What am I supposed to do?!?  I'm driving!!!  I can't very well stop every time, we'd never reach our hotel!  =(  I did my best to retrieve the toys and the sippy cup.  I stretched and reached to hand him puffy snacks, but in the end, I just had to listen to him scream & cry.  I haven't really discussed CIO with you guys, but in a nutshell, I think its the single worse thing a parent could ever do to their baby (but that is a whole other post!!) Listening to him scream & cry out for me simply broke my heart, strained my nerves and wore me out mentally. 

(after our final gas / boobie stop T man fell asleep for the remainder of the drive.  Whew!)

Our day with the family was wonderfully pleasant.  Hubby stayed as long as he possibly could but we knew that he needed to get on the road home soon.  Once daddy left, it was just T man & mommy.  Bath time, boobie time, bedtime, right?  No problem, we've done this alone plenty of times (sometimes daddy works nights)  I fixed up the king size bed so T man could fall asleep safely in the center without rolling off and proceeded to "put him to bed" ... yeah, right.

This is where my real appreciation for single parents kicked in.  As I'm putting T man to sleep (or not, in his opinion) I was hit with that sudden explosive need to run to the bathroom.  You know the feeling, it only strikes you when you're absolutely unable to go right that second.  Okay T, hurry up and finish nursing and fall asleep so mommy can go take care of business!! .... Nope! he wants to snack and visit.  Okay, fine.  Lets lay in bed so we can side nurse & you can just drift off to sleep!! ... No way mama! I wanna crawl around. =(  I wish daddy was here. 

At home I can safely leave him in his crib to fall asleep on his own (without crying) but on an open hotel bed?  What can I do?  I can't leave him, he'll crawl right off the bed.  He needs to go to sleep though, so I don't want to set him on the floor because then we'll have to start all over again with our bedtime "shut down".  Argh!! How in the world do single parents do this all day, every day? 

How do you function as a human, as an adult, as a parent and all the while taking care of a baby solo?  When do you shower?  Do you ever get to eat your dinner while it's still hot?  How do you deal with the silliest, most basic everyday life situations that most of us just take for granted (like being free to poop whenever the needs hits you) I'm already trying to plan how I'm going to get the car loaded in the morning (babywearing to the rescue!) and I'm dreading that long car ride home ... alone ... again  ={  Oy.   Did I mention that I wish daddy was here?

My single parent experiences may be limited to only a few random hours at a time, but I can tell you now, real single parents are AMAZING!  You moms (and dads) are superheroes and I have nothing but admiration for you guys. 

(don't stress out about those fluffy pillows on the bed.  They are only there while I'm sitting over here at table typing this)

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