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Solo parenting

It’s Tuesday afternoon and I find myself with the first chunk of alone time I’ve had in 12 days – no exaggeration. Mark returned from a 12 day trip to China at lunchtime today, and I am relishing having another parent in the house. How do single parents do it?

Really, how do they do it? I suppose most of the time they don’t have a teething 6-month-old and an unsettled toddler whose dad is away for the first time in his life, which would be ever so slightly easier than the circumstances around here the last 2 weeks. But they also wouldn’t have the most helpful Nanny and Grandpa ever, which we did (thank heavens!)

Still, it’s been two weeks of me doing all the wake-ups at night, and there have been so so so many. Teething Ella and unsettled Arthur means my best night had two wake-ups, my worst had seven. Seven wake-ups in nine hours. Do the math – it doesn’t work out favourably.

It’s also been two weeks of changing most of the poopy nappies for two kids, two weeks of calming tantrums and easing fears and crying fits, two weeks of being Mom and Dad rolled into one. Before Mark left, I told him I was most afraid of clingy days and bad nights… So of course that’s exactly what I got.

And in between, of course, there were such beautiful slices of joy. Really special time with my mom and dad – hearing them chatting to Arthur as he bathed, falling in love with Ella (and vice versa), rose picking in the sunshine, tea and scones at the Cellars-Hohenort, a very exciting Easter egg hunt, two wonderful days of family time with my brothers and their families… Such lovely memories.

But oh my my I am so happy to have my husband back! And Arthur and Ella are so delighted to have their dad back. I look forward to a few weeks of blissful normality: good health, two parents to two kids, no sleep because of teething but at least that’s nothing we haven’t dealt with before! Bring it on.

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