Two weeks ago, my husband was gone for 5 days.
To be completely honest, I was dreading this trip since he told me about it several months before.
When you have 3 kids under 5 years old, the thought of doing it alone isn’t exactly exciting.
I’ve learned that my attitude makes all the difference in all things. During the weeks leading up to his trip, I stopped dreading it and started planning what we would do with our days.
I wrote out a big list of things we could do that would be fun. Included on my list was go out for lunch, go shopping for baby sister a birthday present, go to the library and get lots of books and watch movies..
Instead of just having the mindset of simply surviving while daddy was gone, I wanted to enjoy these 5 days with my children and make some memories.
The first day he was gone, we ran a few errands, stopped in my favorite local resale store and went to the library. We came home, read library books, snuggled up and watched a movie. It was a fun day! After finishing our movie, Weston was very calm and quiet which is a sign of sickness for him. Sure enough, he had a fever.
So now not only is my husband is gone and I am alone with 3 kids but one child is sick.
I put Weston in bed early and my plan was to get Cecilia down around 8 and spend a little bit of quality time with Paxton before turning in myself.
I nursed Cecilia and tried to put her down twice between 8 and 10:15 before she finally let me walk out of her room without screaming. At this point, I get Paxton ready for bed (he’s a little grumpy because the baby interrupted our l time). I go check on Weston who is moaning and seems very uncomfortable. And, I finally start getting ready for bed myself when I hear the baby crying again.
Her crying, my sick Weston and pouting Paxton makes me want to cry and give up.
I felt so torn as to whose needs I needed to meet first.
I wanted to call my husband and say, ‘You have to come home. You cannot leave me, this isn’t fair. I have sick children and I am all alone.’ (I didn’t call him, but I did send a few text messages about the situation because I needed some encouragement.)
His encouragement, coupled with prayer helped my attitude.
I tried to soothe her back to sleep. I was unsuccessful and then her crying shifted to unconsolable screaming which lasted for 45 minutes until I propped my knees up, placed her in a sitting position, rubbed her head and whispered ‘shh…’ I sat like that for probably another 30 minutes, too afraid to move for fear of waking her up, before I finally realized it was after midnight, I was tired and had a full day alone with 3 little ones ahead of me the next day!
The next day, I sent my husband this message “Honestly, the hardest night of parenting with a sick little one and an unconsolable, clingy baby.”
It was a rough night but I knew that just because we had one hard night, didn’t mean the rest of the days were going to be awful. I examined my attitude and started fresh with the new day.
Thursday we had a lazy day. We stayed in our pajamas most of the day since Weston was still feeling bad and we had nowhere to go. We watched The Jungle Book and Monsters, Inc., read books and played with Legos.
Friday morning we headed to town for a few fun errands. We bought baby sister a birthday present, had lunch at Chick-fil-A, bought some party supplies for Paxton’s birthday party (which he is super excited about) and spent time looking at toys. When we arrived home Papaw David was here. The boys were super excited to see him and so was Cecilia. By later Friday evening, Paxton was running a fever and slowing down too.
Saturday morning, Paxton woke up feeling much better but sweet little Cecilia was running the fever. I fixed breakfast while Papaw held Cecilia. Papaw played with the boys all morning and left early afternoon. We also had a surprise visit from Papaw OB and Nana (the boys great grandparents). When they left, we watched another movie and then had dinner and a calm evening.
Sunday we went to church, played outside all afternoon and then the boys went to AWANA that evening. After AWANA, I got them tucked into bed and John David was home by midnight!
We had survived and enjoyed 5 days without daddy!
My attitude makes all the difference.
If I would have continued my feelings of dread in the days leading up to the trip, I would have went into these days with a bad attitude which would have rubbed off on my children, made my husband feel guilty for leaving and made me miserable.
Keeping a positive attitude even during sleepless nights with a baby and sick children made these 5 days with my husband away good days. We were able to make some memories, my husband was able to enjoy his trip and I learned there is so much truth to the saying, ‘when mama’s happy, everyone’s happy.’