#tbt One from the Archive: Home Alone

happy mum mumlife parenthood solo parenting toddler weekend

(First published on The Contented Calf website on Monday 6th June 2011.)

It was with an immense sense of trepidation that I approached this weekend just gone. With Hubby working away during the weeks, I’m a pseudo single mum on weekdays and used to it, but it does means BF and I relish the weekends even more, when there’s the three of us.

This weekend Hubby was away on a stag do, going straight there and straight back, so we wouldn’t see him for two whole weeks.

As I work Monday to Wednesday, it was the four day stretch from Thursday to Sunday I had to fill.

When BF and I were on our own once before, we headed down to my parents’ for a long weekend, which was lovely. But as my parents are of the ‘newly retired’ generation, they were, of course, on holiday (possible weekend visit #1 a no-go)!

On holiday with my Aunt and Uncle who live relatively nearby (possible weekend visit #2 a no-go).

Various friends, on whose doorsteps we could turn up for the weekend last minute, were away (possible weekend visit #3 a no-go).

Sis is in the midst of “post-graduate study, while still doing a full-time job” hell, having just a few weeks to revise before big exams, so hosting a big sis and toddler wasn’t conducive to study (possible weekend visit #4 a no-go).

So it was going to be a case of addressing each day.

I know this might sound a very strange state of mind to be in. But as I work from home (alone) Monday to Wednesday, and spend most of my evenings home (alone) as Hubby’s away, I really (REALLY) relish adult company and conversation being woven into the mix of my four days of mummydom. Otherwise, the lack of adult contact means I go slightly insane, plus I don’t have the emotional strength and patience to deal with a very wilful 22 month old.

So the thought of four continuous days, evenings and nights with little adult interaction seemed like it could be a bit lonely, a lot of hard work and at times stressful.

Thursdays are normally fine as we have swimming in the morning – both a fun activity and a chance to chat to the other mums. Then BF went down for her post-lunch nap a bit later and slept until 3:40pm!!  Then the glorious weather meant she was happy just pottering in the back garden in the sun. Day one complete!

Fridays we generally meet up with the NCT crowd in the morning, so again, it’s just the afternoon to contend with.  But two of the four were away on holiday, and my sole fellow mummy had had to quarantine her son with suspected Chicken Pox!

Luckily a good friend who lives nearby, but for some reason we hardly ever see, was able to pop over for a long lunch, and even could stay for an hour after BF hit the sack for her siesta. So that, after a morning’s summer shoe shopping for BF, was great. The sun delivered again, so the afternoon was more time in the garden. And I FINALLY kept my promise to myself of doing painting with BF now that we have our new laminate floor. Day two complete!

Painting with BF (toddler)

Saturday was a bit sparse in terms of adult interaction. I’d contacted a couple of friends who were having get togethers on Sunday saying although we couldn’t make Sunday, we were free all day Saturday if they were around? But neither of those came off (weekend company #5 a no-go). So it was just the two of us.

Luckily I’d slept really well on Friday night, so woke up feeling refreshed. So we pottered round the house, then headed out to town to do a little shopping and take back Friday’s shoes.

(Bless her cottons, BF LOVED the frog and lily-pad design on one of the shoes, but found the accompanying dragon-fly and lily-pad design on the other shoe “a bit scary” and refused to wear it. Realising that she couldn’t go through the summer wearing only one shoe, I knew they had to be exchanged for the less scary flower design.)

We went to the park and shared a Calippo, and generally had a lovely time. After her siesta, we had had vague plans to catch up with some neighbours for a play-date, but various things meant that didn’t come off (weekend company #6 a no-go). But more time in the garden and a trip to the rugby store to replace a faulty mini rugby ball and it was time for dinner. I have to say, I think the shop assistant in the shoe shop and the rugby store were the only adults I spoke to all day, but I was still more or less sane and….Day three was complete!

Sunday I knew was going to be great, but potentially hard work. My cousins are also Londoners (well to be honest, they’re much more true Londoners and me a ‘greater Londoner’), so after a few text exchanges mid-last week, we arranged to meet up for lunch up near them.

This meant BF and I going on a massive adventure to cross virtually the whole of London! Our journey there involved a bus ride to the tube, riding most of the Piccadilly line, then jumping on the Northern line North (the clue’s in the name ).

Yes BF got a little bored at times and wanted to run off and throw herself out of the tube doors at times, but really for an almost 22 month old, she was an absolute angel. The journey took slightly longer than I’d hoped, so we hung out in the ‘under-6 years old’ playground in a lovely park near the pub for a good 45 mins to let her have a good run around, free from mummy holding on to her hand and saying “no”.

The pub was good fun, with great food, despite a few spots of rain.  Then a quick visit to one cousin’s flat, and a taxi (where BF could finally have a little shut eye) back to Waterloo to jump on the train home.  Saturday’s pasta for dinner had been a great hit and I’d completely over catered.  So when we stumbled back through the door, all I had to do was heat it up and we were away. And Day four was a wrap!

Last night (Sunday), as I sat on the sofa watching rubbish on TV, not only did I feel like I’d survived the last four days, but that I’d actually really enjoyed them, especially Sunday’s trans-London adventure.

That’s not to say that I didn’t listen with baited breath when I heard a few coughs during the night, really hoping it was just a tickle in BF’s throat and she wouldn’t have to be off from nursery today. (She was OK and happily waved me “bye bye mummy” this morning.) But we had fun.

I think I managed to get the mixture of interesting activities for BF vs. just trying to hang out the washing just right. I did plan ahead meals-wise and prep during afternoon and night-time sleeps, so that helped be more flexible during the day.

So I’m really pleased and overall really enjoyed our long weekend, home alone.

(Can’t wait til Hubby gets in late on Thursday night though! )

As ever, with love from our family to yours,

Elena x

Elena Cimelli Signature

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