I had the daunting task of spending 17 days in a foreign country with my toddler while my husband traveled back to the States for a training course for his job. Granted, I’m a SAHM so I spend my days with Nathan anyway, but to have no relief at night or on the weekends felt intimidating—especially since I have no family nearby.
I made it my goal to keep us busy (tire him out!!!) and leave the house at least every day for something fun-even if it was a quick trip to our nearby playground. Nathan no longer naps (unless we are in the car) so I wouldn’t get a break mid day from either. These 17 days were all about survival and fun. (In no particular order)
I’m happy to say I survived (as did Nathan) and I ended up exploring more parts of this region than while Dan is in town! Usually I try to be home by 4 so I can get dinner going and Nathan can have some downtime before Daddy gets home and sometimes we are slow to get moving, so we usually don’t have ton of time to go anywhere far away. Without the time constraints, (and my handy Google Maps app on my phone) I felt brave enough to travel further out and spend more time at more places.
I also met a lovely German family at our local wine fest and they have a son close to Nathan’s age, so I had a couple of playdates with them and a couple of playdates with a wife of Dan’s co-worker.
Nathan and I went to a pony park, a zoo, Volkspark in Mainz (A huge park with fun water features and slides and a train), an indoor playground, and much more! Here are some photos of all of our fun:
Volkspark: (Trains, playground, water splash pad)
Various Outdoor Playgrounds:
Playdates with cousins and friends:
Being Super Silly:
Nathan will be heading into German school the first week of September for a couple of days a week and I am both excited for some time to myself and nervous that he will have a hard time due to the language barrier. One teacher speaks English and one child Nathan’s age does as well, but the goal is for Nathan to learn the language so he can fit in with the other kids. So my new goal is to learn so I can keep up with Nathan! I hope to enroll in a class during some of my free time. (I also hope to have a nap, read a book, watch TV, get a haircut, shop for shoes and maybe fit in a workout or two-lofty goals?) Perhaps.
I love being at home with Nathan, we have bonded and explored Germany together and he has grown so much since we have been here but he is missing the social interaction with other kids he was so accustomed to and I am missing having a few minutes to myself each day.
Lessons learned from 17 days alone:
- It’s hard and you need to bring your patience
- Single Mothers have the toughest job on the planet
- Hugs, kisses and patience (and sometimes chocolate) cure most things that ail
- Many times the tantrums come because your child wants your attention
- Wine and microwave popcorn after your child is asleep keeps you sane
- Disney Junior and endless Disney movies allows you to clean the house and cook a meal
- Killing time at the toy store is both awesome and awful (leaving even if you buy a new toy is traumatizing!)
- Building forts out of pillows and tickling makes a child endlessly happy
- PlayMobil sets have a million tiny pieces that you are certain to lose in the first hour
- The daily building of the train tracks certifies you as a Train Engineer
- It’s ok if you resort to pizza or McDonald’s for dinner after a long day—the four food groups are in there somewhere.
- Bee stings are scarier for Mom than child (allergic reaction possibilities!!)
- It is possible to lose your child in a shop because you turn your head for one second to answer your phone
- Making your child afraid of bees because you are makes you realize the influence you have on your child’s behavior in life
- Both bedtime and wake up time are the best times of the entire day. (Good morning hugs and endless chatter and complete silence and relaxation).
Until next time!! Tschuss!!!!!