One of the biggest changes that occurs when you become a parent is losing your alone time. Of course you still have moments here and there, but it’s not the same. Recently I got an unexpected week to myself when my trip to Chicago was cut short because I didn’t have enough paid days off with my new job. If I hadn’t been 27 weeks pregnant when I started the job I would have taken the days off unpaid, but unfortunately that wasn’t an option with my maternity leave just a few short weeks away.
The day Aaron and Max were flying out I got a gate pass at the airport so I could go through security and hang with them before they boarded their flight. It was great sitting by the window and hearing Max gasp each time he spotted an airplane taking off or landing, which you can imagine was a lot since we were at an airport. I wasn’t sure how I would react saying bye to Max, but seeing how excited he was to get on the plane made it a lot easier. However, until they landed in Chicago, I was a nervous wreck. I was worried that Max wouldn’t sit still on the plane, I was worried how grumpy he would be if he didn’t fall asleep, I was worried they would miss their connecting flight (their layover was less than an hour), the list goes on. The flight wasn’t perfect, Max didn’t go to sleep, he was slightly grumpy, but they made it there safely and everything was okay. I flew out a week later and got to spend a few days with Aaron’s family and meet my new (and incredibly adorable) nephew! Aaron’s mom got them the cutest matching PJs!
Here’s how I spent my kid-free, husband-free days.
I slept in until 8:45 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In fairness, I sleep in every weekend because Aaron is fantastic and always wakes up early with Max. But here’s the thing about waking up to zero responsibilities: You can lay in bed browsing instagram, shopping the internet or getting lost in BuzzFeed listacles and no one needs you. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love how much Max needs me, especially since I know he won’t need me forever, but it was really nice to have a little break.
Binge watched Netflix
A kid-free weekend wouldn’t be complete without a little Netflix binge (if you classify two and a half seasons of Breaking Bad a little binge). So for three (okay four!) hours on Saturday I dismissed my Watch’s “Time to stand up” notifications and happily allowed Netflix to “continue to the next episode”. By the way, does anyone else love Netflix’s new feature to skip the show intro? Because when you just saw the intro 40 minutes ago, you really don’t need to see it again. I got through two more seasons of Breaking Bad while I was painting and setting up Max’s room.
Completed a DIY project
My main goal for the weekend was getting Max’s new room set up. Over the last few months Aaron and I have slowly been clearing out the space and assembling his new furniture. Before the room became Max’s room it served several purposes, from guest room, to craft space, to the occasional overflow storage space and has even doubled as a small home office. When we found out I was pregnant, it made sense to move Max to the bigger room, and put the baby where the crib is already set up. Here’s how we transformed the space into Max’s new room.
We wanted to create a fun space suited for a growing boy. I knew I wasn’t going to have time to paint an elaborate mural (even though I loved creating this Calvin and Hobbes mural), but adding a little color to the walls goes a long way to giving a room life. After perusing Pinterest for hours, Aaron and I agreed on painting a mountain scene. Maybe not the most exciting thing, but I love how it turned out.
I swapped out my sewing and craft supplies on the pegboard for some of Max’s art supplies, stuffed animals and hats and hung up some of his recent art work. As Max gets older we will change how we utilize that space.
Aaron’s parents bought Max the Kura bed from Ikea. Rather than keep the natural wood finish, I used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint to give it a more finished look. Aaron’s mom suggested chalk paint and I’m so thankful she did because I was able to paint the bed frame without any priming or sanding! The wood has a slightly glossy finish on it, which means most latex paints won’t just adhere. I’m not sure how Annie’s chalk paint is different, but the paint sticks and is completely safe to use while pregnant. I chose Paris Grey, and only needed to do one coat. I touched up some areas with a second coat that looked a little thin. The paint itself is more expensive than paint you would get at Home Depot or Lowes, $34.95 a quart vs $15-$18, but when you factor in the time saved it is definitely a good deal. One quart of paint was enough to paint all the wooden pieces of the bed with about 1/8 of the can left. Also, I made the mistake of painting every single piece of wood, when in reality, I didn’t need to paint the bed slats. I’m writing a post on transitioning Max to his big boy room so more details to come.
Ran before work
Before Max was born, Aaron and I were in a consistent exercise routine that involved running before work a couple times a week. We learned that if we didn’t do it first thing in the morning, it wasn’t going to happen. Since Max was born I’ve become an expert at finding reasons for not exercising. It’s true that parenting makes it more difficult to find the time, but I figured I had no excuse during my kid-free and husband-free week. I forgot how much I missed those early morning runs and how great it makes you feel throughout the day.
Ate cookies openly
I have a serious sweet tooth. A quality that is less than desirable when you are trying to teach your toddler good eating habits. My solution - hide your habit. But when i was home alone, it felt great to openly prepare and indulge in a cookie and ice cream sundae!
What would you do if you had a week completely to yourself?