Solo Parenting

March 6th, 2009 by Rainey

This month I am taking on solo parenting duties two out of the four weekends so that my husband can go gallivating around the state to do Very Fun Things.  Namely go see a three-night run of Phish shows in Hampton, thereby reliving his days of following them on tour with two of his buddies.  And then running a marathon in VA Beach.  While I find the first fun in its own right, the second seems more like a brand of torture to me…but whatever.  Different strokes for different folks.

For months now Conan has been able to say he needed two or so hours of freedom to do what he termed “training” during the weekends, leaving the baby duties to me.  It was not until the last month or so that we realized he could “train” on Saturday mornings rather than Sunday afternoons when I am most drained.  On Saturday mornings I can sometimes even be energetic…which is a better place to be while baby-wrangling.  Then Conan would bound out the door, all gatorade belt and garmin GPS watch thingy armed, as he met his friend D to run.  And I would try to figure out how to engage and entertain a one year old inside on cold winter’s days while he frantically tried to escape through the storm door, crying with his shoes and coat in hand, to be let OUTDOORS, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S GOOD AND HOLY, MAMA!

I have decided that soon I will begin my own type of “training” for what will eventually be a marathon sleep session when Zeke has weaned.  It will require that I build up my sleep endurance over the course of about a year.  I will start slow…half an hour weekly.  Then build up to more and more unlikely swaths of sleep–say two hours a go.  It will be hard.  But you have to start small and have a goal.  

That said, I am not “training” yet.  Instead, I am spending the weekend with my parents in an effort to grab whatever help I can get while Conan is away.  Well, that and I am preaching for my dad and spending time with my grandfather and parents.  But whatever.  The help is nice too. 

I am working on asking for help more.  I am not so good at that.  But when you are a working mom, you have to cultivate that skill or you will gradually be ”training” to lose you ever-loving mind.  Especially as we live hours away from family, I have had to get better at accepting help from church family.  Which is doubly hard as one of their pastors.  I feel like I should be caring for them…it is harder for me to flip to the other side of the coin.

Anyways.  I am asking for help.  And this weekend I am definitely getting it.  Zeke loves being with my parents and they have spent hours walking around in the unseasonably warm outdoors looking at birds and plants and playing with windchimes.  My mother bought Zeke some cute little rainboots so that he could march through the soggy ground post-melted-snow.  They are a little large, so he sometimes looks a little bit like a stroke victim, dragging one half of his body behind him as he tries to figure out how to walk with ski-like appendages on his feet.  But he loves them and loves pointing them out to whoever will look.  

The marathon weekend should work out better than hoped as well.  My sister has agreed (i.e. gleefully booked a flight after receiving an invitation to spend time with her nephew) to come down and spend time with us.  I am looking forward to it.  I think Zeke is too if his reaction to her photos at mom and dad’s is any indication.  Pointing to her he says, “Kat.” and then hugs the frame to his little body, waddling around with it like a bulky and unweildy new lovey. 

So maybe I should revise my post title.  I am not solo parenting at all.  We never really can, can we? 

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