Thursday, September 17, 2009

A taste of being a single parent

From Sunday around 4:30AM until Thursday around 1AM, I was by myself with Tristan. Jean-Louis went out of town and I got a taste of what it felt like if I were a single parent or if he wasn't around. No, I didn't like it at all. I hated being alone.

We tried to invite my parents over here from Victoria but my mom couldn't make it and it would just be my dad so we told them to forget it. Tristan is still unfamiliar with them and would be scared too. Luckily, we had daycare on Tuesday so that Tristan could see other human beings other than just Mommy. I was able to arrange a play date for Tristan at home on Wednesday afternoon and a friend of mine came over during dinner. Wednesday was definitely the most social day of the week!

Sunday and Monday were very long days. I thought I was going insane so I forced myself to go out for a walk with the stroller for a change of scenery. I don't like having to take care of everything myself. I always did most things around the house and I am the primary caretaker of Tristan but at least in the evenings, I get some relief here and there when Jean-Louis is home. Even little help is BIG help.

How did I survive? Well, needless to say, I couldn't even attempt work until Tuesday but something else came up and I bailed on work again. I know! Every time Tristan took a nap, I would try to prepare food or deal with all the messy things. Unfortunately, his naps lasted 30 minutes at a time. For his second nap during the day, I would run off to shower downstairs. That worked well the first night but was a disaster the second night. I didn't prep beforehand and had to creep into the room to grab my clean clothes just when he was about to fall asleep. Damn it! So, after a few more attempts at trying to put him to sleep, I just let him cry in his crib and I ran off to shower. Yeah, nightmare :( So days where he only had 1 nap were miserable days.

Another challenge I had was taking out the trash. The garbage room is downstairs and you need keys to get to it in the building. Or you could go around the building from the outside and enter near the underground parking. I didn't feel comfortable leaving Tristan at home alone, even if he was just sleeping. I placed my tightly packed garbage and recycling on the Mommy hook of the stroller and took Tristan out with me. That worked pretty well.

Now for cooking and feeding. I always start by feeding Tristan first. Then I may take a break after a course and do a few dishes or cook a bit more for myself. We ran out of food for him too so I had to cook for both of us at one point. Tristan can't be left alone too long without anything to do. I try to speak to him every now and then whenever I'm in the kitchen. Even when I eat, I have to sort of talk and play with him along the way. Afterwards when I have to clean up, I set him up for his finger food and that keeps him busy enough for me to do the dishes and put things away. So far, it has worked fairly well but I do have to run in and out of the kitchen constantly. It is a bit tiring but this way he doesn't fuss much. That means less stress on Mommy :)

Taking care of Tristan all alone was tiring but that wasn't what drove me nuts too much. It was the thought of being alone without help. I'm paranoid and I was always scared that if I got sick or he got sick or hurt, who would I call? 911? Or what if I lost my house key? Whenever I was out, I would check every so often that I still had my house key. The idea of having an emergency and not being able to turn to someone either than 911 was scary. I am the parent here so I am responsible for everything.

It was also an emotional time for me. Jean-Louis and I have not slept apart since 2003 and that was just 1 night, I think. Indeed we are an independent couple but as individuals, we depend quite heavily on each other. That is probably a very bad thing. We don't have close friends or family we can turn to. Just us, us, and us. It has always been that way. When Tristan gets older, we will have him :) Very cool :)


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