David had to work at another facility a couple hours away this week. Not only was I going to miss him, but I was a bit nervous about flying solo in parenting. It has certainly been a growing experience!
I have learned so many things during this brief time. The greatest lesson has been that I'm capable of far more than I give myself credit. When you have no one to lean on, assist you or rescue tough situations, you find out just how strong and capable you are. (You also find out just how dependent you had been previously). It was all me all the time- all the cooking, all the cleaning and all the childcare. It was a lot of work! It was also quite exhausting. Yet, we made it through. I can now proceed in my role as a Mama and homemaker with far greater confidence than I ever had.
Being all me all the time, I learned a few keys to having a more successful day:
1. Sleep when the baby sleeps- Considering the amount of work that must occur during the day, often I needed an hour or two after he went to sleep to finish everything. I was also the only one getting up with him during the night. Those two deficits meant that I had to take a nap during the day. I opted for the morning nap time which is typically fairly brief. Just a little snooze to feel refreshed and ready for the rest of the day.
2. A tidy home is essential- Starting the day with yesterday's mess is the quickest way to have a struggling day. Tending to the housework will take three times as long to accomplish while also tending to a baby. There's no time or energy to clean up big messes. Keeping messes contained to only that which pertains to that day keeps it manageable. Furthermore, you absolutely don't want to have to spend extra time looking for or preparing an item for use on the spot because that by the time you finish the baby will be demanding your attention and you've just gotten to a point of starting.
For instance, cooking dinner took three times as long the first night because the kitchen was messy when I started. Soon enough, Tennyson was tired and about to meltdown. Yet, I had meal components that had to be finished. I ended up not finishing the meal and eating until 8pm. Ugh. Also, it took me two entire days to clean it up the house. It wasn't two days worthy of a mess, but with a baby it took me so much longer to get it all picked up. Meanwhile, Tennyson had to just play independently more than he normally does. Replacing time to spend with my children with housework saddens my heart. I have definitely learned from the consequences of a disorderly home!
3. There's no sense getting bent out of shape over a tough situation. Sometimes I feel that people get bent out of shape over a tough situation just because there is an audience. Our audience can unintentionally feed our poor habits/ character qualities by offering us attention in response. Interesting how I had a better attitude when it was just Tennyson and myself. This goes to show me that I am capable of more self-control than I believed myself to be (I had always attributed p.p.m.d. hormones to a lack of emotional self-control, but I did demonstrate an ability to overcome which means it is possible).