Split-shift parenting

Yesterday was … exhausting.

Darling Husband and I are accustomed to tag-teaming it with the kids, because he does shift-work and I freelance, so our lives are a constant juggling act.

But yesterday took it to a new level.

When I woke up, he wasn’t there (he was still at work from the night before). I got the kids changed and dressed, wrangled them in the bathroom while I took a quick shower, and eventually got us all downstairs.

I fielded a few calls to my office line in between bites of cereal and set up a few interviews for the afternoon. We were finishing up breakfast when Darling Husband came home from work. He took the garbage out, kissed us, and hightailed it up to bed.

I put the baby down for a nap, spent some special time with D, and then got her up and changed another set of diapers. Then I put on a show for D, popped C into her bouncy chair at my feet, and proceeded to interview a cabinet minister (it was the only time he was available).

After some playtime in the basement, it was time for lunch (tacos) and some more playtime in the living room (doctor, farm, and dancing to the credits of The Fresh Beat Band). Then another set of diaper changes, some milk for C, and they were both down for naps (while Darling Husband slept soundly across the hall from them).

I cleaned up from lunch, threw the toys back in the toybox, grabbed an apple and a giant bottle of water, and headed back to my office. I lost track of how many interviews I did, and how many emails I sent and received. It was busy. Edited a few articles, worked on a few others.

When I heard C wake up over the baby monitor, I passed the baton (literally) over to Darling Husband (who had just woken up) and went back to my office. He changed the kids and played with them in the living room, and heated up leftovers for supper while I worked.

I was pulled out of my writing haze when I heard C crying (loudly) from the floor above me. Darling Husband called me on the intercom to say supper was ready (and the baby was hungry). I ran upstairs, gulped down some food while nursing C, and ran back downstairs to keep writing. I was so close to being done the last of FIVE articles that were due the next day.

Darling Husband played with the kids, but I could hear D was cranky because he wanted me. When it got closer to bedtime, he doled out D’s bedtime snack (Cheerios and milk, as always) and fed C some sweet potatoes that I pureed the night before.

I sent in the last article, ran upstairs (hmm, I’m seeing a pattern — lots of good exercise i.e. stair-running) and helped him get the kids changed and jammied and brushed. Then he passed the baton to me, and I read the bedtime story, sang the bedtime songs, and said our prayers (while Darling Husband showered for work).
He kissed the kids good-night while getting his uniform on, I tucked D inx and then went into C’s room to nurse her. Darling Husband ran downstairs to clean up from dinner and snacktime, ran back upstairs to kiss me good-night, and then headed back to work.

I got C to sleep, went down to my office to pay some bills online, and collapsed on the couch to watch a recorded episode of America’s Next Top Model (while eating my modest little Weight Watchers portion of potato chips). I debated on watching another episode, decided I would just want to eat more chips, so ultimately went upstairs to wash my face and climb into bed.

Luckily, not all of our days are that nonstop. It’s hard on us to not get five minutes to talk, or just SIT without rushing around.

“Two ships passing in the night”? More like two parents passing on the stairs!

2 Comments on “Split-shift parenting

  1. Wow, that's amazing! I'm terrible at getting work done on the days my toddler is home with me, and you manage to interview a cabinet minister! I'm impressed.

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