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Finally – the day has come. The one day I have dreaded since Tall Mom gave birth to Felicity. I knew it was coming, but pretended that it wasn’t there in the hope that maybe, just MAYBE, I wouldn’t have to deal with it. What is the day I have dreaded for over a year? When Tall Mom leaves me alone with two kids for more than a few hours. What’s worse? Not only is she leaving me alone with them – but she’s leaving for an entire WEEKEND. Oh boy. Luckily, I’ve got some ideas on how I’m going to survive the weekend with a one year old and a three year old. Hit the jump to find out what I’ll be doing, and what I think every dad should be doing when this very special day inevitably hits you too.
Yes, Tall Mom is leaving me alone with the children all weekend to go to Mystic, CT with her best friend. And while I know this is going to be a tough weekend for me, I’ll be completely upfront and readily admit she totally deserves it. She deals with kids every day, ALL DAY. Frankly, I don’t know how she does it, and I admire her that much more. Jeez – I have a hard enough time being with them alone for a couple hours – let alone all week!
But, if we’re being totally honest here – I’m also too proud to ask her for help! If I’m going to be alone with the kids all weekend, then I’m going to do it my way 🙂
So here are the top five things I’ll be doing to survive the weekend and to avoid creating as much damage as possible. Sure, to the kids, and yes to the house – but mainly to myself!
Getting out of the house as much as possible – No, I don’t mean going for big huge adventures or elaborate plans. That’s way more effort than I’m able to handle, nevermind put in. But, I’m putting my backyard to some serious use here. We have a huge swing set, plenty of room to play, and more toys than I care to admit. All I need to do is let Rhys run around like wildfire, put Felicity in the outdoor pack ‘n play with her little Elmo toy (she really is the best baby ever btw. She will sit anywhere and play quietly as long as that Elmo is with her.) Or when the kids get sick of the backyard, I’ll just strap ‘em into the double stroller, take a walk to the park, or walk around my beautiful city of Providence. Remember guys – the more kids are outside, the more likely they’ll sleep soundly. Speaking of that… Put everything else on hold for the sake of naps – NAPS ARE ESSENTIAL. Yes, they give you a little “me” time, and help out the sanity for the time being. BUT – the real golden benefits here are the fact that more sleep begets more/ better sleep. So, if you stick to the nap schedule and make sure you really focus on it, you won’t have to worry about midnight wake ups, the heinous, Guantanamo Bay-esque witching hour of 5:30 to 7pm. Which of course means more “me” time at night and better conditions for the following day. Don’t skip the naps. Don’t delay the naps. EVER. Felicity goes down at 9am, and then again at 1pm with Rhys. That’s it. Your friends can wait, House of Cards won’t disappear from Netflix, and tinkering with your fantasy baseball team will have to happen at a later time. During the 9am – 3pm time, all bets are off for your life. Supplement breast milk with Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula – You know that saying, “happy wife, happy life.”? Well, while that is 100% true, I’ve also come to realize that if the baby is happy, then my entire world is happy. Why? Well, I am so freaking paranoid that Felicity will be starved while her mom is gone. Of course, she is a breastfed baby, and we have also been giving her real food since 6 months. But, I see how little she eats, and I never think its enough. I am, however, always self assured that everything will be ok when mom is around because it’s like an endless tap of food/nutrients at the ready. As much as I am sure Tall Mom would love it if I were able to breastfeed too, I simply (and thankfully) can’t. And I’m terrified that Felicity won’t have enough nutrients while her mom is gone. So, Gerber sent us some samples to try out, but I also went out to Target and bought the Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula just to make sure Felicity is getting all the food she needs. What the heck happens if I run out of the bagilliion bags of breastmilk Mary packed, right? Well, I can sleep more soundly knowing that I at least have this supplement ready. Of course Gerber makes all these different kinds of formulas for different reasons, but I wanted to make sure I got the formula that SUPPLEMENTS the breast milk – because making sure she is breastfed first really matters to me. Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula is gentle nutrition for when moms supplement. It is designed to complement breastmilk with Comfort Proteins® that are small and easy for tiny tummies to digest probiotics, which are good bacteria found in breastmilk. Again – happy baby, happy world.
Have Star Wars Ready – Listen, I get it – there are lots of parents out there who won’t even let their child LOOK at a television screen let alone watch it with intent. That’s great for them. But, it ain’t good for me. Even if my kids eat, and sleep well, there are times when they’re just going to be kids. They’ll cry, they’ll throw temper tantrums or they’ll be miserable because that’s what kids do. Whenever they feel like it. So my answer to this conundrum? Star Wars. Rhys is absolutely in love with all things Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, Kylo Ren, Rey, Han Solo, and the Millennium Falcon. You put that bad boy on, and suddenly he’s as entranced as the residents of Salem, MA when Bette Midler sang “I’ve Put A Spell On You,” in Hocus Pocus. Even Felicity can’t get enough of The Galaxy Far, Far Away. This is my ultimate secret weapon and I’ve got my finger on the button just waiting to push it.
Outlander and my Mother-In Law – So after I’ve gotten them outside, got them to nap, fed them to their hearts content, and even bribed them with Star Wars – it’s still a rough long day. Will I sit down and watch Outlander to wind down after the kids are in bed for the night? Maybe I can watch Jamie and Claire try to change history (spoiler alert.) Perhaps. Or, maybe I’ll call the most gorgeous, loving, kind, caring, and bestest mother-in-law on the planet (see what I did there?) to have her hold down the fort while I go out for a couple hours with some friends, or, heck, better yet, by MYSELF.
You’ll notice that I did not include anything to do with Tall Mom here. That is by design. This is her weekend away and I WILL NOT rely on her to solve my problems. She needs to relax as much as she can. If she chooses to call me, or to speak to the kids, then it’s on her terms. I’m happy with that.
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How would you survive the long weekend without Mom?