Those were the words of wisdoms I received.
So I did what I always do: embraced the challenge. I saw it as a chance to flex my parenting muscles. I wanted to come out the other end of the week glowing with my strong, capable, and flexible skills I had developed. I couldn't wait to rub my husband's nose in it: look what I can do! Run victory laps at my success.
Let me tell you: I got a good case of shut down! Things got ugly and desperate. I never foresaw how Vincent would react to having Dad gone. How I would have to battle his 4 year old coping skills. There was yelling and tears from both of us. And then I had to deal with Isla, the baby who sleeps in spurts made worse by coughing spells. Vincent even woke up in the middle of the night two days in a row. It was a tantrum to get him back to bed as he ran around the pitch black house screaming and crying.
There were many phone calls to Jonathan asking him to talk to my erratic child as I couldn't muster the patience to calm him down and all my threats landed on deaf ears.
Talk about a huge ego shutdown! By Friday I was singing just knowing that evening I wouldn't have to go it alone. That I wouldn't have to fail one more night. That maybe I'd actually get more than 4 hours of sleep.
I wish I could say that Jonathan's homecoming made everything better, that our weekend ended up being beautiful and put all the wrongs right again. Instead, I woke up Saturday with a fever, sore throat, bodyaches, upset stomach, and sneezing my head off. This was supposed to be my crowning moment where I reaped my reward for single parenting for the week (although horribly) by heading out for a little me time. I deserved that. I needed that! Instead I lounged around all day only nursing Isla.
I wish I could say that was the end of the story.
Saturday night as I go to put dishes into the drying rack I had washed, a big fat drop of water landed on my arm. I thought at first I had just gotten myself wet washing dishes. I wish. Instead, there was a steady drip of water coming from our ceiling! And as I looked down at the kitchen rug, I realized it was soaked.
At 9 at night my husband climbed into our insulation filled attic to determine the source of the problem. Vincent was still awake. I was still awake.
We finally figured out an ventilation pipe was leaking. There are far too many boring details to that story to go into it, but...
This week was not easy. I didn't grow parenting wings. We survived. I realized how much I rely on my husband.
I realized that even when you think it's bad, you haven't had it rain on you in your kitchen.