Flying solo

By Published On: May 30th, 2012

Written by: Suzanna Palmer May 29 2012 When I was […]

Written by: Suzanna Palmer

When I was a brand-new mom, I didn’t feel the slightest bit nervous about bringing Jacob home from the hospital. I had heard a lot of new moms talk about being apprehensive about their first moments alone with their little one, but for me, it was a total relief. Not only was I not nervous, but I was thrilled that I wouldn’t have to eat hospital food anymore, wear flip flops while showering, and have nurses wake me up at all hours of the night just to see how I was doing (“Better before you woke me up!”)

Maybe knowing my mom and sister, both baby nurses, were only a phone call away made the transition easier for me. Or, maybe I was just so overcome with joy at escaping those awful fluorescent lights that I didn’t have time to think about being scared. (Memo to hospital design people: There are lots of things that new moms need, but fluorescent lights that highlight our under eye bags and make us feel like we’re trapped in an episode of “The Office,” but without the benefit of Steve Carrell’s company is not one of them.)

Seven months into Jacob’s babyhood, I thought I had escaped the new-mom heebie-jeebies. Then a couple weeks ago, the little suckers finally reared their heads when Tom mentioned he would be heading out of town for a pastor’s retreat. It was the first time I’d ever be alone overnight with the baby. When Tom broke the news, I’m sure he was thinking something along the lines of: “I’m going to have an awesome time talking about the Lord, eating great food, and riding jet skis.” My thoughts included the Lord, but that was where the similarities ended: “Dear Lord, help me. I don’t know if I can do this on my own!”

Despite having done this mom thing for over half a year, I found myself wondering if I could handle things alone. Tom would only be gone for two-and-a-half days, and I had been on primary baby duty for longer than that while he put in long hours at the office. But this was different. Knowing he would be hours away in the mountains, and I would be on my own with our little guy made me question my merits as a mama.

Turns out, I had no need to worry. Normally, I’m all for a modest, unassuming approach towards personal accomplishments (“Oh, it was no big deal. Really.”) But just this once, I’ll make an exception. My solo weekend with baby? Yeah, I totally rocked it.

Not only were things a-okay in the world of J-cub, but I was able to tackle some long-awaited projects in Tom’s absence. For starters, I painted an accent wall in the nursery and the six-foot-long dresser that my sister and I used as kids. (Photos of the finished product coming in the next couple of weeks!) Because I’d never done this kind of thing before, getting the right paint color and all the supplies required more trips to Lowes than I care to count. By the end of it all, the folks in the store were calling Jacob their “little friend.”

And because I’m a glutton for over-commitment, I also decided to undertake the task of cleaning our massive back deck. I’m pretty sure the folks who lived in the house prior to us didn’t know the meaning of the word “clean,” so there was approximately 19 years worth of mold and mildew coating the wooden boards, and the deck is only 10 years old. Even with the fancy, schmancy $70 cleaning stuff, cleaning a 2-by 2-foot section took about an hour. (The deck is 18-by-30-feet. I’ll let you do the math.)

Meanwhile, Jacob had his second tooth come in and he learned how to stand up by pulling on everything. In. sight. (More on that later!) After two days of feeling like a mix between supermom and Tim the Tool Man Taylor, I was feeling pretty darn good. Then, I watched Steel Magnolias for the first time and things got even better. I made Truvvy’s “cuppa-cuppa” cake mid-movie and cried my eyes out at the end.

Would I want to fly solo every weekend? Not a chance. I was exhausted by the time Tom arrived back home and more than ready for some help. (Not to mention I kinda missed the guy!) But it was nice to know that I could hold down the fort with baby on my own—and leave it a little cleaner and prettier, too.