I have spent 9 days alone with the baby while my husband was away on a course. Until now I had not really had to be on my own, juggling a baby and pets for very long. With my husband at home, and family near by, I have been very fortunate.
Obviously, it would be after my husband leaves that the baby gets fussy and stops sleeping for the 5-6 hour intervals I had gotten used to. This meant that I have been going to bed later, and getting up in the middle of the night/ early morning to try and calm a fussy baby much more frequently than I am used to. My days have required strategic planning to eat, shower, feed the dogs, let them out or even to pee. For the better part of the week, the baby refused to nap for more than an hour and was not keen on laying on her back for very long. This made regular tasks like doing laundry or washing the floors feel like an all day ordeal.
A fussy baby is no match for two needy and high anxiety dogs. Since the baby has been born, the dogs have been battling with some jealousy, and it was very apparent this week. During one particularly long day, I had the dogs waking up to go outside every 2 hours in the night, one dog puking, and the other stealing eggs and cracking them on my hardwood floor. When they weren't causing trouble, the dogs were fighting for my attention, demanding to be pet while I was feeding or changing the baby. By the time my husband got home, I was pooped.
The physical exhaustion is no match for the mental exhaustion, and feelings of isolation or boredom that can come with sitting at home with a baby all day. Naturally, I am someone who needs social interaction, so I made a point to book things into my days. I scheduled visits with friends and family so I had a reason to leave the house. I made a concentrated effort spend time doing something or seeing someone almost daily. Needless to say, my house hold chores did not get done, but I did keep my sanity in check (my sanity was hanging by a thread after the incidents of dogs puking, licking my bowl and stealing eggs, but it was still there 😊 ).
After spending a week on my own, I have even more respect for any parent who runs a household on their own. The amount of time management, patience and mental strength it takes to keep a baby health and happy, plus keep on top of daily chores. Trying to maintain a career on top of all that, you have managed to do it all.
For anyone who does it on their own daily, remember that you are a ROCKSTAR! No matter how overwhelming it may seem at times, you are doing an incredible job.