This past weekend, Molly traveled to Ohio for a baby shower for her brother’s wife. She was gone Thursday-Monday and I was home alone with our 5 and 7 year-old daughters. We had a great time and I learned a few important things.
1. My kids are a lot of fun. They are creative, funny, smart, and kind (98% of the time). We had a great time taking a bike ride, playing Monopoly, climbing at Riverview Park, and trying to do cartwheels (harder than I remember). Additionally, I went to visit a friend in the hospital on Saturday night and was able to leave the girls in the waiting room by themselves, knowing they would be respectful and patient enough to handle it.
2. Being a single parent is tough, especially without some help. Fortunately, my parents are around and were able to take the girls a few times when I had some things I needed to do alone. I needed their help more than anticipated. Gave me a new level of compassion for single parents, especially if they don’t have family around.
3. My wife works really hard. Molly is a “work-at-home” mom (I like that phrase), meaning her “full-time job” is to care for our kids and home. She’s amazing at it. And this weekend showed me (and the girls) how much work it takes. At one point, Abby was folding some laundry and exclaimed, “Boy, maybe I should help mom with this! It sure is a lot of work!” I felt the same thing as I loaded laundry, cleaned up, and tried to keep the house from looking like a bomb went off. I appreciate her at a whole new level.
4. Electronics are an easy (and sometimes really helpful) distraction. It’s easy to rail on electronics and we all know the many ills and temptations that come with them. Too many parents’ parenting strategy seems to be to plop a kid in front of a screen to distract them. This weekend showed me why this is such an attractive option — it’s hard to match energy levels with kids. And it’s a lot easier than helping them figure out how to play together. At the same time, I thank God for Minion Rush on iPhone. There were a few moments when it was wonderfully helpful to have a few moments alone to gather my thoughts while they clamored over the game. Used sparingly and intentionally, electronics are great.
5. I love my wife. It’s not the same without her. She’s an amazing fit in my life and I’m weaker without her.