Peter went back to work on Monday (yay!), and as a result, our five-month family vacation/his extended paternity leave is over. I've said this before: him being out of work was such a huge, huge blessing (yep - I used the word I rarely use, to be used only on exceptionally intentional circumstances). I do not know how I would have completed that pregnancy without his daily help. He was vital to keeping our family functioning, and I cannot stress that enough. Then of course Dash came early and we had our hospital stay, and then a brief period of newborn life to adjust to. We always knew he'd go back to work (obviously), and it was looming on the horizon for me as a real test. How deep will I have to dig to find extra reserves of patience and energy, dealing with both kids by myself? What will happen when they both need me at the same time? When Ellie has her meltdowns, how will I handle it? When Dash melts down and Ellie refuses to cooperate (of course, this always happens at the same time), how can I manage all by myself? What about stuff like cooking, cleaning, showering, etc? I hadn't had to test myself and my limitations with him home, so it was a big unknown for me.
And it turns out we're managing okay. Baby steps, but my confidence is building.
Interestingly enough, it's the first time in almost a whole year that I've felt capable of parenting by myself. I got pregnant at the end of August last year, and since then my confidence has taken a nosedive. I spent 35 weeks trying to get through the days with as little extra effort put in as possible. We were in survival mode. I had the tv on almost nonstop when we were home, trying to find ways to keep Ellie somewhat distracted and entertained. It certainly didn't help that the pregnancy coincided with the grey and dreary Fall, Winter and Spring seasons which give Seattle its bad reputation. I was sick, had zero energy, and was quite frankly pretty depressed.
So this week has been a breath of fresh air. It almost feels like my "real life" has been on pause since last September, to restart this week. We had a glorious and wonderful five months with Peter home, but it felt like vacation. Now it's real life again. Big difference is that there are two babies now, but other than that, it's strikingly similar to last Summer. Sunny days, long walks, park time, fun with friends, and it's only been a week. I'm so thankful to feel like a capable solo parent again (this is despite Ellie giving me a serious run for my money this week. Chipped teeth, corn kernels up the nose, diaper-less diarrhea at the park....).
So, here's to at least a couple more months of glorious summer.
|I got sunshine with my girl|
|Life of luxury|
|She adores him|
|and he is terrified|