For the last week and a half, I've been single parenting. Mr. Geeky was first in VA, returned, next day went to Seattle, returned, next day went to Buffalo and has now returned. During this time, Geeky Boy was grounded from video games, so had to find other ways to entertain himself. (For the record, we've now seriously limited his game playing time.) Instead of feeling completely stressed out, I was actually able to enjoy having the kids to myself. Last weekend, for example, we went to an early soccer game, then went out for breakfast and went to another soccer game. Later that day, we played board games and watched tv together. Every night this week, we've eaten dinner and watched the Simpsons and Family Guy together. The kids also did a fair amount of reading. Geeky Boy finished a book and we went to the book store to get the rest of the books in the series. He's now almost through the third one. I got Geeky Girl a couple of Ramona books and she's doing a book report on one of them. She doesn't love them as much as I did. Which is kind of sad, but maybe she'll find other books she loves.
It's been nice to hang out with the kids and not feel like they're "in the way." Especially when the kids were younger, whenever I was on my own, I'd feel slightly insane by the end of my time with them. Trying to manage feeding, bathing, and putting to bed two kids all by myself after a long day at work completely stressed me out. And sometimes it wasn't the work itself but just the mental pressure of knowing I was on my own. I also think there's a little bit of changing my perspective here. Instead of thinking about how much work dealing with the kids is, I just went with the flow and found opportunities to make it fun--like having breakfast between soccer games. I tried to stay in the moment and not worry about what I needed to get done or what I was going to be facing at work the next day.
It's certainly good to have Mr. Geeky home. We all missed him. But I think I'll miss having the kids to myself.