My favourite parenting mantra is “the days are long, but the years are short”. I have repeated this over and over to myself on the toughest days and I know it is very true. However, when the mantra is not enough to get me through the day I have a few other tricks up my sleeve that I am not afraid to bust out.
My husband travels often for work and we don’t have any grandparents in town. There have been a few times where the thought of putting all three kids to bed on my own after an especially long few days of solo-parenting is just too much to bear. I have learned the guilty pleasure that comes from hiring a sitter to come over, feed the kids dinner, bathe them, and put them to sleep while I go to “an important meeting” which usually means a trip to the coffee shop or the library or anywhere that doesn’t have kids that need to be tucked (read: wrestled) into bed!
I have also learned that a dentist appointment can be almost spa-like in the mind of a tired new mother. I remember the first time I went to the dentist after our first son was born; lying in the reclined chair with my eyes closed and thinking “this is the life”. Now that our kids are older I can rationalize the idea of an actual spa every now and again – but for a brand new mom a few quiet, justifiable hours at the dentist can equal much needed rest time. (Lame but true!)
Finally, my husband and I have learned that pre-poured bowls of cereal left on the dining room table with an iPad queued up to our kids’ favourite show and three glasses of milk in the fridge will buy us at least an extra hour of lying in bed on a weekend morning. I feel a little guilty when we finally emerge from our sleep-in to find the dining room occupied by three little tv-watching zombies eating soggy cereal, but not guilty enough to not do it again the following weekend!
I know I will long for the days of tucking my sweet children into bed or waking up with them at the crack of dawn when they are grown, but for now, in these days of full-on survival mode, I will not begrudge myself the odd bedtime babysitter, more-often-than-necessary teeth cleaning or 8am “sleep in” care of Spongebob and Rice Krispies!
Haha! I had the same thought at the dentist yesterday.
I love the mantra!
Hi I read your post and thought, poor dear. I must allow her through writing to live just one day in my shoes. So close your eyes, hold on tight and prepare for a bumpy, tired ride. My day begins at 6:30am everyday, I get up let my (7) backyard hens out of the coop, clean the overnight poop out (I do this daily because I use pine pet bedding, and it smells like pine as long as there is no chic poop build up smell, chicks don’t like harsh smells)’ give them their food and fresh water. Then return indoors to prepare breakfast for my family, which are my four little ones who are 10-8-6-and 3, my 20 and 18 year olds also. Then wash the breakfast dishes. By now it’s time to gather the eggs, sometimes my children help with this, mostly not. Next it’s the indoor household chores. My husband died a couple of years back so I am on my own, in a town with no family except my children. So it is all on me, which is why I have become the self sufficient single mom. I do all my own repairs around my house, and have become quite the proficient builder of projects such as building my own chicken coop, raised garden beds, herb shelf and outdoor benches for my little ones. Now that they have eaten, dressed, and completed their daily chore lists, we together plan their outing event for the day, wich consist of a list they can choose one event that they all agree on. Either the movies, bowling, the water park or whatever.
Once that is over and the heat of the day has passed, I return home to attend my garden, checking for squash bugs, weeding, or watering.
Now it’s time for a light snack for my little ones before dinner which at this point is two hours away, I finally get a quick sit and rest before cooking. I plan all meals in weekly intervals because that’s easier. After dinner, and clean-up i put my little ones to bed, and have some me time, which is usually spent behind tired closed eyes, so you may open yours now and feel good about your life and the way you spend it. I know you miss your husband while he on business trips, but he will return and you can tell him all the funny things the children do while he’s away, as well as how much you miss him. It is good to have time for yourself being a new parent can be overwhelming, yet very rewarding. It just take some daily planning and organizing. So god bless you and good luck.
What a wonderful mantra for frazzled moms to remember. Don’t hesitate to check out the parenting tips on our blog, we certainly love reading yours!