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    30 minutes = evening sanity

    I’ve decided that the difference between a “tear your hair out” evening as a single parent, and a “hey, I feel pretty good about my parenting (survival) skills” is 30 minutes. 30 minutes of child-free time. This isn’t “relax, zone out” time, mind you. It’s time to: get dressed from work clothes into evening home clothes; prep baby milk bottles for the following day; prep dinner and set the table. These tasks may not seem like much, but you’ll be surprised how long they take, and NOT having to worry about them when 2 kids are with you offloading emotionally from their day makes a big difference. I wish I can do them after G goes to bed, but being the late-bird he is, he’s not in bed before 9:30, and still insists you snuggle with him, meaning that I fall asleep right along side him at 10 and NOTHING gets done past that point.

    S has had a business conference since Wednesday. While it’s in the city and he’s been coming home every evening, by the time he comes in both kids are in bed, which is more or less the equivalent of being alone.

    So I’ve been bailing out of work 30 minutes earlier than usual. I come home, drop off my bags (because carrying a purse, pump, diaper bag, milk bottles bag, infant carrier AND toddler, all at the same time, is NOT fun, despite how amusing it appears), and do all the items I describe above. Then I turn around and grab the kids. We come home, wash hands and go straight to dinner. And you know what? By the time we’re done, I actually have 20 minutes to play with both of them AND rinse diapers, instead of scrambling to get those other chores done. Now… if I can only figure out how to actually “cook” with all this, I’d be set. I’ve been relying on take-out, or warming-up frozen foods. Not ideal, but again, survival mode here.

    I’ll say that these last 4 days haven’t been bad. G has really helped out by actually being in pretty good spirits and NOT throwing tantrums and testing me every five minutes. S2 has actually give me 2 good nights of only waking up once. It’s as if they got the memo that mommy’s needs them to cooperate at this time.

    So yeah, we made it through Saturday. I have about the same number of gray hairs, and am not ready to sell the kids off to the highest bidder. I’d say that’s a win 🙂

    2 responses to “30 minutes = evening sanity”

    1. kt says:

      Next time, let me know, and I can help out with whatever it is you may need – even if it’s just keeping the boys occupied while you have 30 minutes to yourself. I know this doesn’t happen often, but I’d be there in a jiff – ‘kay?

      • avalikelava says:

        KT, I know I can count on you, and S and I agreed that if it came to it, we’d ask you to come in and help out. However, it ended up working out because of those extra 30 minutes, and it really wasn’t a problem. I was fortunate that work was in a good place where I could do that. If it hadn’t been, your re-enforcement would’ve been greatly needed 🙂

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