Weekend Shenanigans


This past weekend, the tail end of a week without Andrew, was… prickly. I’ve had a really nasty upper respiratory thing that has kept me up all night coughing, but the worst of it is that Oliver was also suffering. And when that kid suffers, everyone suffers.


Last night I reached the point of absolute exasperation. There are times that parenting him feels like an impossible task, and I have no idea how to do it. That’s it, I just have no idea what I’m doing — those are the times when I want to crawl under a rock and let someone else, someone with the answers, step up and give it a go. Where are you, Person? And can you please show up before I ruin my kid?!!


There were moments of normal, sweet Oliver, but overall the weekend just sucked. And some times will be like that, I know. Andrew will be back in town for a bit, thank goodness. We’ve all missed him, that’s for sure.

We’re not meant to do this task of child rearing alone. There are too many levels of need, there is not enough to give, to empty into them, on our own. I feel for those who have no other choice, who are doing the best they can and constantly feel as though they are coming up short because they are one, only one person.


If that is you, on your own, reading this, I send you my love, my support, all my good feelings and hopes. If you had a crappy weekend too, well, let’s hope for a better week, together.

6 thoughts on “Weekend Shenanigans”
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  1. Oh that’s tough. The only thing worse than feeling tired and under the weather is knowing that you have to plow through things regardless. I hope you get some time to relax and feel better and take some deep (non-raspy) breaths soon. It’s going to be soooo hot this week, and that makes it tough too. Sending support and good feelings your way. Solo parenting is NO joke.

    I love the cacti in the Linnean House. Our girls were at their grandparents’ house all week, so we went twice without the girls, which felt really odd. (But also lovely! No whining!) The corpse flower is weird, isn’t it? Have you ever seen it when it blooms? I haven’t, but I know it’s happening soon.

    I made a dish about a year ago that had prickly pear in it. Now the girls remind me of it every time we pass that giant prickly pear in the garden. It was actually good in the dish, but such a weird texture when chopping it – that aloe-y goo.

    I hope you feel better soon. I’m pretty confident you aren’t ruining your children, even on a sucky weekend.

  2. Much love and support to you, too! I depend so heavily on my husband, that parenting solo tends tends to be really tough on me. I try hard to take moments when he is away to enjoy some calm – even if it is 5 minutes with my coffee in the kitchen when the kids are distracted. I hope you were able to find a few moments, too.
    As always, you share the most beautiful photos with us! Thank you!

  3. I have a kid that’s hard to parent too. He’s only 4, and has younger twin sisters, and I never really worry about them although there are plenty of challenges for twins, I just worry constantly about him. I recently started getting a bit more sleep and along with that, a bit of perspective (finally!) and realised I need to expect difficulties with him and I need to sort out a consistent way to deal with those difficulties, so when they arise we both know how we can expect things to go.

    Do you have anything like that? I am thinking of a repetition of acknowledge and validate his feelings, when he’s calm offer information, discuss what he can do and set expectations, and when it all goes to custard start again but throw in an acknowledgement of how I’m feeling too. I feel like I need a process to fall back on in those weeks and months of overwhelm.

    I really appreciate your comments about child rearing not being meant to be done alone. My partner is fully involved but I am still alone with three small children a lot and I often think of those parents permanently solo and how hard it must be. And I think the primary carer can become a bit of a punching bag (emotionally and physically too with the little ones!) for their kids when they’re having a hard time, and what I want to get across to my kids is that they are safe with me and when I’m finding it hard to deal with them this is what I do to help myself, and what can we do to help you? Because I want them to grow into people who can give and take support rather than veering into the extremes of being martyr or parasites.

    Sorry about the extremely long comment but I would be interested in reading about any processes you fall back on to deal with recurring difficulties.

  4. Sarah,

    Thank you for your long and thoughtful comment — I loved reading it and can totally relate. I can generally tell a bit in advance when I’m going to run into difficulties with mine. He is very sensitive to sensory things and small illnesses that make him uncomfortable are definitely included in that. I also expect to have difficulty, and find that extra physical affection (hugs, holding him tightly on my lap, even lying down with him on the couch to cuddle before things escalate) tends to help. However, sometimes things arise when I’m distracted (and therefore miss his signals) it snowballs and he just can’t deal.

    I also find that being very consistent (for example, not giving in once I’ve said “no”) is essential for this one.

    I guess acknowledging how he feels in addition to how I feel works sometimes, but it has to be short, to the point, and not wordy, otherwise that backfires and he escalates (extreme sassiness, back talking, saying hurtful things, etc.). Also, asking “What can I do to help you, buddy?” is in the mix. I think we sound like we’re dealing with these guys in very similar ways, Sarah!

    The thing with Oliver is, there’s not a particular recurring difficulty, it’s just his way of processing life in general that is unique and sometimes needs to be guided. It’s so hard, but he is such a sweet, smart, kind-hearted, helpful team player most of the time.

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