This past week we were fortunate to have Nick’s parents stay with us. Nick’s sister, Allie, joined us for a few days as well. It was Friday when Nick looked and me and said, “this is what it must feel like when you live near family to help you.” Yes honey, it really does take a village.
While GG and Grandpa Slim were visiting, I was able to get to the gym at 4pm every day and had the chance to get a facial one afternoon. I know getting to the gym doesn’t seem so exciting, but for me getting there before 6pm or 7pm was the hi-light of my day! It was nice to get that out of the way early. My normal routine is to wait for Nick to get home and then head to the gym. Once I get home, it’s time for the last bottle of the night for AJ and then it’s bedtime for the babe. After all that, its shower time while the hubs is cooking and then we eat, around 8pm. Now you can see why going at 4pm was so exciting and we were eating dinner at 6:30pm for five days in a row. That was the cherry on top I tell ya. Nick and I had another successful dinner date; that was date night number four in 9.5 months (yes, I’m counting). On several occasions we got to sleep in until after 7am; another hi-light of the week. Diapers, feedings and keeping the baby entertained didn’t always fall on my shoulders during the day. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but it is hard when you’re home all day, every day with the energizer bunny I’ve dubbed CrA-J.
I don’t think it dawned on us how helpful having family close by was until they had come and gone. I don’t think we realized how exhausting it was doing it all, all of the time, just the two of us. We juggle everything between the two of us, all of the time. I don’t know if it seems so hard because AJ is so young, or if this is what our normal is.
I suppose we are partly at fault because we haven’t connected to anyone who we feel comfortable enough to leave AJ with; however, it still wouldn’t be family. Some times I think we did ourselves a disservice by having AJ with just us almost all of the time. Besides us, only our parents have put him to bed, maybe two to three times total.
Any time that our family is in town and can help out we are so grateful. We are grateful for one less diaper change, one less bottle-feeding and most of all, we are grateful for that extra hour or two of sleep. We are grateful because it gives Nick and I a much-needed break and a chance to get out on our own for a few hours. Having help is like a re-set button for us. It’s a re-set button for AJ too. He gets to have new faces to play with, he gets quality time with his grandparents and aunt and uncle.
We know this is just part of the parenting phase and someday it will get easier. Until then we work through it together and enjoy the small breaks our families provide when they can.