Lion was away last week-end and I stayed home with Apple and Peanut. He left on Friday morning when I was at work and returned on Monday night after bedtime : I therefore had to care for the girls on my own for 4 consecutive bath and bedtimes, 3 mornings and 2 full days. This is regular life for my newfound heroes that are single parents, stay-at-home parents, army spouses and the likes (even our nanny, this goddess). But for me, it was the very first time. And I must admit, I was a little bit (very) scared.
First of all, I wondered how I would manage both girls’ needs (e.g. : Peanut wants to feed and Apple wants to pee : who goes first ?). Then I wondered how I would manage my needs (e.g. : do I bring them both in the bathroom when I have my morning shower ?). Finally, I wondered if I would enjoy this week-end at all (e.g. : if their naps are misaligned and I end up not having a single minute to myself during the 13 hour day, will I just snap ?).
Eventually, the week-end was very enjoyable ! Of course, there was more Peppa Pig than usual, meals were a little less elaborate and I was exhausted at the end of it, but we had lots of fun ! We went to the farmers’ market and to the park for a ride on the swings. We went for breakfast to a lovely restaurant. We read stories in the garden. We went to church to light candles. The girls were absolutely lovely and Apple and I really enjoyed our dinners and conversations just the 2 of us, like girlfriends.
If, like me, you are just a tiny bit afraid of being outnumbered by your kids, here are a few tips that let me survive and even enjoy the week-end :
- Make the fun a priority : Keep chores to the minimum. At the end of the day, you want to make this a nice moment, so prioritize the fun. . That being said…
- Take it easy – no expectations : just roll with it. Kids can be unpredictable, so it’s not worth having a massive list of what you want to do with them.
- Simple healthy meals : a ham and cheese sandwich and a side of cherry tomatoes is perfectly fine.
- Peppa Pig is your friend, Paw Patrol is your friend. Yes, screen time should be limited but sometimes, you need to keep your toddler entertained when you give the baby the care she deserves. And let’s face it : little ones love it ! Just choose a program that you can trust 100% and maybe don’t leave them in front of the telly for hours.
- Know your children : Apple likes going out and is easier to “manage” when out and about than at home. Peanut is easy going and can sleep anywhere. Hence, outdoor fun it was for us ! If your toddler is the runaway type or your baby only sleeps in their cot, maybe you want to stick to indoor fun though. Bottom line : know them enough to know what will make life easier and more fun for everyone.
- Go to bed early : you never know when they might wake up.
- Take your shower as early as you can, ideally whilst the kids are still asleep : it will save you having to take them both with you (and then run naked through the house looking for the toddler)
- Get help : if someone can come and help during evening rush hour, accept their help ! You’ll be glad you have some respite at the end of the day.
When Monday came, I must admit I was a tiny bit relieved to go to work. A day in the office has its challenges but I can have my tea hot, go to the loo alone and have an actual conversation with an adult. Again, kudos to all parents who have to manage alone on a daily basis !