First we were here, then we went there, and finally back HERE

Basic rules on the Internet say to not tell the world when you’re home alone. Well, I WAS home alone. With a toddler and a Beagle. Neither of whom is very quiet, unless they are sleeping. Which happens to be an activity that they both enjoy, the dog especially since he spends 90% of his life sprawled out on the couch. Well, the three of us were “home alone” for 9 days/8 nights.

It was slap-in-the-face shocking in the beginning. I mapped out my meals, chores, and life for the week so I could be the most efficient and productive while Bryan was gone. My second day, it really sunk in. It was a rainy day so we were stuck inside. All seemed fine until nap time and I found myself in an extremely quiet house. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn’t sure how often I’d be able to talk to Bryan, let alone communicate with him because he was traveling in some remote areas of China. All of a sudden it was just me. And it was going to be like that every day after Maximus went to sleep. I let my emotions get the best of me and let myself be really sad until Maximus woke up. It was tough, but I made it through that day.

I wasn’t sure how I’d make it through the week, but I did. I ended up keeping myself so busy that I fell asleep almost immediately upon hitting the bed every night. I made sure to focus on getting things done instead of sitting and thinking. In turn, by the time Wednesday night came I was exhausted. My body was heavy and my energy was low. I couldn’t do much to bring it back up the rest of the week. I did the bare minimum around the house and let myself cruise the Internet each night before bed. The key to surviving was that I didn’t focus too much on the time remaining. While it was hard not to wish away my weekend so my husband would be home, I couldn’t focus on how many days away that was. When pregnancy exhaustion sets in, it does no good to think about the six hours of toddler care left in the day. It’s a lot easier to focus on the next activity. Somehow bedtime always came around and I’d muster the energy to pick up a little before collapsing into the recliner.

The house wasn’t nearly as tidy at the end of the week, but my husband didn’t care. By that time, all he cared about was being back on US soil. The condition of our home meant little to him. He was exhausted and happy to be home. The thing I didn’t think about was that when he would get home, he’d be just as exhausted as I was. He came off of 21 hours of travel, of which he got no sleep. Not only was he physically exhausted, he was mentally cashed, and emotionally empty.

I thought I’d had a crazy week taking care of a house, toddler, and dog on top of a normal work week, but my time wasn’t done. He’s been home for almost a week and it’s finally starting to feel like a shared household again. He spent the first half of the week trying to get acclimated to our time zone. Then, focusing on all the work that came out of his trip. Then, I had a work trip to Minneapolis.

Since we haven’t seen my sister-in-law and family a lot, Maximus and Bryan decided to tag along. He was especially looking for some time away from work since he was coming off of two months of insane work hours basically seven days a week. What was already a quick work trip considering 4 1/2 hours are spent driving each way, was even more packed full of things to do! I wanted to visit a friend and introduce our toddlers while snuggling her brand new baby, but that didn’t pan out. {NEXT time, Sara!}

Life with a toddler is unpredictable. It turns out that your first major travel with him is even more unpredictable. His first hotel stay after his longest car ride, which was also the first time he got to sit forward facing and {I think} the first time he actually watched a movie. Man, we threw a lot at him and he’d barely gotten used to daddy being home again. He was a trooper. We dealt with a lot of whining in the car and really late bed times with the normal wake up times and delayed nap times, but overall he did pretty well. Not having much of a routine and not staying in the same place more than one night or eating the same food more than once. It felt like a lot and wasn’t all that relaxing, but he was very behaved in the eyes of others. Not as good as we are used to, but nothing to be too upset about.

I don’t think we’ll be taking off on any more adventures any time soon, but it’s nice to see that he will adapt when we need him to. He only went to bed 30 minutes late last night and did sleep in compared to the last few days. Nap time appears to be going like normal and the adults are taking advantage of the quiet before the next toddler storm. It appears that are jam-packed week has made him forget that he knows how to play with his toys. He’s wanting constant entertainment and the tv is not what either of us is going to start doing now. We even convinced him to watch the navigation system in the car when we went to the grocery store. He was satisfied with that and forgot that he had wanted to watch a movie. Crisis adverted! I don’t want to deal with THAT every morning!

Hopefully we’ll get back to the normal bed time routine tonight and we can stay awake “late” enough to watch a movie. We sure could use some downtime and some form of a date night! It’s not normal for both of us to be at the ends of exhaustion and struggle finding the energy to balance a toddler’s. And I’m afraid the fountain pop did nothing for my husband as he’s currently asleep on the couch. Maybe I should take a hint and take a nap too!

1 thought on “First we were here, then we went there, and finally back HERE

  1. Fiona's Mom

    Definitely next time! We actually ended up with our own little drama on Thursday night (writing up the details on my blog right now). But next time, we’ll make it work. I know the toddlers could wear each other out for the us!

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