I'm back from Florida, and I had an excellent time. It's hard to believe that I was sitting on the beach just three days ago enjoying the sun, sand and surf. Now, I have to bundle in my thick coat, scarf and gloves to be outside. Sigh...
Not only was Florida beautiful and (mostly*) warm, but I got to spend a lot of bonding time with my daughter. A lot of time. My parents did help me out and give me quite a few breaks, but it's just not the same as having my partner with me to share the childcare. Don't get me wrong, my parents were really great. They were flexible, helpful, patient, fun and entertaining. But for the entire week, I gave her all her bottles, changed all her diapers, put her down for every nap and every bedtime, coslept with her every night (most nights from 11:30 on, and she tossed and turned and kicked and flailed all night), gave her every bath, fed her every meal and ensured her well-being and routine (as much as possible while on vacation). My super active toddler is a handful.
I knew the deal when I insisted I bring her with me even though Londo couldn't come and offered to keep her home with him to give me a real vacation from everything. I was prepared to take on all the childcare. I am not complaining. In fact, it was really neat to be the go-to parent for everything. We really did bond and have a great time together. I can even see the enjoyment of being a stay at home parent, because it is fun and really nice to spend so much time with the kiddo.
This week's question of the week is a two-parter because I didn't do one last week:
What is the hardest part to you of being the sole parent for a period of time? And what is your favorite part of being the sole parent for a period of time?
To me, the hardest part is--I'm trying to find the right words for this--the constant expenditure of energy. By that I mean that there is no long period of break, not even overnight. Especially overnight. I was so tired from the restless nights sleeping with my child who doesn't stop moving even at night that I took a nap on the couch when she napped and did not stay up late any night. This meant that I did not get any long period of time to just be by myself without her. Apparently, I'm more introverted than I suspected, because my energy was constantly drained without the time to recharge alone. Luckily, being in sunny Florida helped my energy a lot, and so did the naps.
My favorite part is the way she looks to me for everything she needs, whether it be a change in diaper (she will not sit or move when she poops in her diaper until she is changed) or comfort from a fall. Sure, she would ask for my parents and sometimes want them over me, but when it came down to a real need, it was "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy." And that was nice and sweet and a really great bonding experience. At least for the week, because if it continued longer... Well, see the previous paragraph about time to recharge. ;-)
How about you? Have you had to be the sole parent for a period of time? Love it? Hate it? Why?
*We did have a cold front for the first part of the week, where it did get down to 65 degrees and really very windy! Meanwhile, up in the DC area, it was in the low 30s and there were snow flurries. So I'm not complaining about the 65 degrees...