Solo Parenting: Day One

So far so good! Today was Ryan’s first day back at work and my first day alone with three kidos under three years old. And it’s not the train wreck I was expecting! Or at least not yet (knock on wood). I spent all last night while I was rocking Reuben and falling asleep myself planning out my strategy for the day–I hate to go in unprepared.

Look at that sweet face
Look at that sweet face

Of course right off the bat, Reuben threw off my perfect plan. He’s been waking up between 6-7:00 in the morning. So my plan was to feed and get him back down then get a shower myself before the girls woke up around 8:00. Perfect, right? Reuben woke up at 5:00am. I couldn’t help myself, I got back in bed and set my alarm for 7:30. I couldn’t help myself again and threw the alarm across the room when it went off and slept until all three kids woke themselves up into a full roar around 8:30. So while Evangeline and Felicity climbed the walls in their room, I fed and rocked Reuben. Thankfully he’s been an easy newborn and happy to go right back to sleep.

Once Reuben went back to sleep, I got the girls up, dressed with hair pulled back (a very important pre-finger-food-breakfast step).  We all ate the same thing (a big pile of scrambled eggs and apples) at the same time which made for an easier morning. This is hard to achieve with Felicity just making her way into the world of finger foods. but today it worked wonderfully. Both girls were fed and ready to play at the same time. For the rest of the morning, Evangeline played and Felicity went back down for a nap. I was able to get the kitchen clean (with Evangeline’s help of course) and sit down to color with her for a while until my mom came with lunch to break up the day and save us until Ryan got home from work.

Playtime at it's finest
Playtime at it’s finest

This has been my easiest postpartum recovery to date. I’m just over one week past delivery; I’m upright and forming complete sentences! It’s amazing. I have had a lot of help which I do not doubt has made all the difference in the world. For my sanity’s sake and for the sake of my family’s well-being, I’ve wanted to hit the ground running re-establishing a routine.

I’ve worked out a chore list for myself, assigning each day a chore or chores on top of what needs to be done every day.  I’ve used this method before and it’s the only way I keep my scatter brain from wearing out my body and keep me from spending all of my time away from the kids. I’ll start doing one thing just to find one more thing to do…and one more thing to do…and next thing I know, I’ve gotten nothing finished all the way and Evangeline’s grumpy from playing by herself all day. No one wins. This way, I can get all the things that need to be done each day right after breakfast, then during the day work in a chore or two. It also means once I’ve done my one or two chores, I’m done and I have to stop. It forces me to spend the time when the kids are up playing and reading and being with them. This more than anything was severely lacking during my pregnant days–and we all paid a price.

Life with three very young kids isn’t always predictable and some days just aren’t going to work according to my to-do list. But I’m trying. I know doing the little things consistently makes such a huge difference in how our house is run, which makes gives us more time with each other, which puts everyone in a better overall mood. It’s worth it. This week, my hope is to do the every day chores every day. They are:

  1. make our bed–I always thought this was a stupid thing to do, but Ryan has dropped the hint a few times that he really likes getting into a bed  that’s been made. The more I do it, the more I realize  I agree. There’s just something so soothing and rewarding about getting into a cool, clean bed at the end of a long day.
  2. unload and reload the dishwaher–after so many years without a dishwasher, this is still a chore I get excited about doing. I look at a sink full of dishes and moan and groan until I make myself remember washing dishes by hand. Then all of a sudden I’m motivated simply by how quickly it will take. Plus, it just sets the tone for the rest of the day. Having a clean kitchen and keeping it clean just makes me feel orderly and accomplished.
  3. do the kids’ laundry–seriously. Every day that I haven’t been in the hospital, I’ve done a load of the kids’ laundry. What’s up with that? Do people really do laundry every day?? We used to get away with laundry once a week, but now with the little ones pooping, peeing, spitting, jumping, splashing and rolling, I just can’t keep up! So this chore has been bumped up to an every day thing.

In the weeks to come, I hope to add weekly chores like cleaning bathrooms, sweeping the floors, tending outside plants and doing Ryan and my laundry. Here’s hoping our house stays just a little bit sane during this newborn phase. And even more, let’s hope the house stays just a little bit clean because within a month’s time we’ll have a birthday party (Felicity’s) and a baptism reception (Reuben’s) all at our house. At least the back of the house won’t have to be clean for those.

So with a little strategic planning and a lot of help from Nana, we survived our first day with flying colors. I even got a real dinner made and one the table before 7:00pm! (More on that dinner later). Dream a little dream of me and if you say prayers say one for me because today was only Monday.

hint hint
hint hint
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4 thoughts on “Solo Parenting: Day One

  1. Betty Young

    You are amazing!!!!!! I am sooooo very proud of you! Funny thouing about the bed making, my Mother always said not making the bed was the first sign of slothfulness. I still can hear say that. Just remember to listen to your body aand slow down if it tells you. Anyway, as 82 yr. old I am very impressed and love reading your writings. Love and prayers coming to y’all.
    betty young

  2. Pingback: Solo Parenting: Back in the Saddle | Being the Carruths

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