I’m usually a more patient, better parent when I’m on my own with our kid. I realized this when he was a baby and I knew it was because when he wanted a bottle or to be changed, there was no “Hey, who did that last?” that happens inevitably between parents. Also, when I know I have a 48-hour stretch of parenting, it is easier for me to be patient because we can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way — the easy way being a patient mom and happy kid, the hard way being multiple time-outs and early bedtime for both.
But after a few hard weeks and temperatures dipping well below freezing, my husband needed to be out of town and I knew I needed reinforcements. So I sent out a couple of texts on Friday night, and thankfully at 10am on Saturday morning, my girlfriends showed up with their own 4-year-olds. We had 4 boys running wild and 2 babies to watch and it was the most wonderful chaos. The older boys played beautifully by themselves and Harry was THRILLED to show off his Christmas toys.
By lunch, his friends were gone and he was exhausted and hungry. He ate his lunch happily, then settled in for a short nap. Because he had tons of friends that morning for several hours, he played beautifully by himself while I made dinner and ran laundry.
Short version? Call the community. Don’t be afraid to co-parent with your friends. Remember, do it the easy way.
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