flying solo on a sunday

I don’t know how some of you do everything at home with hubbies away in the forces or for work or the single mummies out there. It’s hard work. I try not to grumble too much when retro daddy goes away for work. And he only goes away for a few days at a time. He’s been home for so long that I really got used to having him here and not going back and forth to the airport all the time. Today he’s off again for a meeting overseas and I was psyching myself up to take everyone to church on my own. I started psyching myself up on Friday when I realised retro daddy wasn’t going to be here.  It’s not that I’m not capable of doing it. I totally can do it but it’s more not having that extra pair of hands that I’m used to. Like when elodie tries to run off or wants to be carried but I already have emerson on me.

It looked like I had my own playgroup going on as I sat there with all 5 this morning but we did it! Elodie tried to run up onto the alter a couple of times, found other people to sit next to and generally tried to run away from me. She is our first runner in the family. And I’m a bit lost because I’ve never had one before. We stayed for the nativity rehearsal but just when I thought it was time to go home and we were done the costumes came out and were being pulled out one by one.  No real progress was being made and finn was twisting my arm into awkward positions so I knew it was time to go! Tillie our new actress then went into hysterics because she thought that meant she wouldn’t be an angel. Elodie was crying to be carried … was wonderful. One of those moments where I look like I have it totally under control.

But as I was telling my nana on the phone this morning – if you have to go somewhere on your own then you might as well make it church. I had an older man come and chat afterwards about the kids and how good they were. One of keira’s little friend’s mum offered to help. 2 teachers started to chat and one offered to walk me to the car as we were leaving and one of the acolytes told me she was a grandma to 15 and offered to show elodie the alter that she was so intent on climbing onto.

And when we got home I made myself a big coffee and we had a few marshmallows. I then pulled out a few craft books for some last minute Christmas sewing. I’m going to pull the sewing machine out onto the dining table and do a few things while everyone is asleep. Why fold laundry and put it away when you could be playing with fabric! Actually what happens is that when I know retro daddy is away, I’m much more efficient in getting things done. Dinner, bath and bed is all done earlier than usual and we just get on with it. A bonus.

And what am I making? Well first up are 2 lap quilts to give away as presents. Nothing too fancy, just charm squares and a chance to work on my free motion. And then I might whip up a few little things (I have no idea what, I’ll read the books first) to go into presents.

 Nothing like the last minute rush of Christmas to get your butt into gear! When I’m not sewing you’ll find me on eBay bidding on the last few sets of Lego Friends that I want for the girls!


  1. WTG Corrie!!!
    Brian works 7 evening shifts (2pm-9.30pm) every four weeks and I am on the ball so much easier on those nights than when he’s home.
    I do make it easy on myself and plan meals that I don’t have to usually battle with the kids to eat though.
    Not sure I’d be game to take 2 on my own to church (or anywhere other than the grandparents houses) let alone 5!

  2. I find that when Dad is away I get the kids into bed so much earlier too! But well done on getting to church and back in one piece. Where do you find the energy Corrie! x

    • Good effort Corrie taking them too church that us definently one thing I know I couldn’t do with my 4 on my own way too daunting for me! However I can sympathies use with husband away mine us gone on and off all year I worked out it has been a total of 4 months this year and with little ones it is hard. Although mine seem to behave a little better with just one parent around. Bed time runs more smoothly and me time is worth it all at end of day. Enjoy your time when the little ones sleep.

  3. You are spot on, the best place to go is church when you know it will be overwhelming. My hubby is week on week off, and after being the wife who cried everynight, well anytime really, PND. I am now an organised mum with a home based business and 3 very happy boys. I love the saying that God never gives us more than he knows we can cope with, I just wish he didn’t trust me so much sometimes. (something like that).

    Thanks for sharing and making us all feel so normal!!!

  4. Corrie, my man is away as well and as I don’t have children at home I am making the most of the time. My sewing machine is on the table and I have almost cleaned and organized the guest room for my father-in-law who will arrive from Tweed Heads on Friday. It is the junk room when we don’t have someone staying so it is a major job to make it comfortable and to find room in other parts of the house for all the things that usually reside in that room.

    Tonight while Homeland is on I am going to make some little gifts using some of the charm squares and my machine, I am looking forward to that.

    I hope you have a relaxing evening.

  5. I was just having this conversation at work this week – Mr G has always been required to travel heaps for work and we don’t have any family in VIC…but it sometimes works that you end up being more efficient flying solo than you are when you have your co-pilot to support you! I guess it comes down to knowing that x has to be done and you know how much energy you have (and how much you can push yourself when the fuel light flickers!) – darn good feeling isn’t when you have kicked goals and everything is flowing like clockwork and you KNOW you have done it yourself…feel proud about yourself, you are “solid” stuff girl! Grrr! xxxx

  6. You did great! Taking kids to church on your own is hard work!! I usually have my husband with me but he is sometimes Acolyte so I am sitting on my own with the kids (unless my mum is there). Our youngest is by far the most difficult of all our boys when it comes to mass and I can’t remember the last time I was able to actually really listen to a homily and concentrate on the whole mass – never mind actually be there for the whole thing without having to take him outside! Enjoy your crafting :-)

  7. I have 4 kids , work full time, hubby away Monday to Friday and my mum is starting chemo tomorrow for breast cancer, we have to drive 320 km return for medical appointments, shopping and sports for the kids, yes it is hard , yes today I am exhausted ,it’s hard work but I think we all have the best jobs in the world …. Being a mum! I love it

    • I hope this is the Leah I think it is!! Thanks for sending that beautiful photo of the kids. I’ll message you soon about Christmas. Give my love to your Mum!

  8. My husband is currently on deployment until march and whilst it’s hectic dealing with the kids (and puppy, don’t get me started!) on my own, everything is much more organised and my house stays much tidier than normal where it’s just me responsible for keeping it that way. Now if only I get my kids to lie in….

  9. Great effort getting all those kids organised on your own! I find it hard enough dating someone who is away every week for work (no kids obviously), but I’ve learnt to just keep busy with my own life. My mum often asks how I’d cope living with him, but I’d probably see him more than I do now!

  10. I’m exactly the same the household runs so much more efficiently
    When my fiancé is on night shift. I like the idea of playing with fabric instead
    Of folding washing that’s one thing I can never seem to get on top of.

  11. When my 2 were little and I was a newly single mum I found Sundays could be hard – family days for others meant it could be a lonely day! I was soooooo lucky to have a big welcoming family and community nearby. It is exhausting doing it all by yourself! I still have a 3 week cutoff where I need them to go to Dads for a night! Just one night of not having to do it all is heaven – even with big people who don’t really require much from me! Well done getting to Mass – ‘it takes a village’ is still true xoxo

  12. luisa hernandez says:

    Supongo que tiene que ser muy duro tener 5 crios de edades tan pequeñas, pero hay que hacer la vista gorda como se suele decir en mi país y poco a poco crecerán.
    Yo creo que eres una super madre, siempre estas haciendo cosas a parte de sacar adelante a tus niños.
    Te felicito por tener una familia tan bonita.
    un beso

  13. Mum of 7, grandmother of 14 and wife of a farmer. So many school concerts etc with the children on my own..I truly sympathise Corrie. But wouldn’t change the joys of a large family for anything..I’m sure you are the same! :)

  14. As a bachelor mum having to do it all – care for my child, earn the bucks, play Santa and mrs Claus etc is exhausting, but my life is a little like mass every day where I have people just offering that little bit of support, it makes a big difference, even just in spirit.

  15. I’m the same, when my husband is away the kids are fed, bathed and in bed earlier and dishes done etc! Not that I would want that every day….(my husband being away). And isn’t it lovely that often people will help out when help is needed. Makes you feel there is good in the world :) Can’t wait to see your sewing!

  16. Yes not sure how you mange with five but my littlest (two yrs old) out of the three is a runner too. Freaks me out when I am by myself. He won’t sit in a pusher either. Hubby is away alot too and I have been gearing myself up all week for him. ie. lots of shopping and dinner preparing (as those tantrums are always bound to hit around dinnertime!). Like you I am also way more efficient with hubby away. Us mums know there is no one else to rely upon except ourselves! Often cook in the day and wash my hair before bed, lunches done the night before etc. Anything to not rush and not stress.

  17. I understand how you do it, because you have to. I have the utmost respect for single parenting in any form. In dealing with runners I have had three not one, three! All of mine at toddler stage would run, the excitement of ‘finding their legs’ plus loads of determination. The interesting thing is my three are three years apart with each child so they haven’t influenced each other in being runners, however chasing is another matter. I love the fact you make the time and energy for creating, that I wish I could productively do more often. Lovely post Corrie, always inspiring as usual.

  18. Mama of 2 boys says:

    Corrie, you’re inspiring, I am quite in awe of you. You are amazing how you handle your five gorgeous littlies. I would love to have the patience and skill to be able to manage it, but I know I don’t have it. Always wanted a large family, but find two to be so full on. My Felix (similar age to Elodie) is a runner… very unnerving. I am yet to put one of those backpacks with a lead on him, but at times i wish I did have something to make him stay by my side. But I agree with you totally about when hubby is away, I always find we finish up earlier, are ready for bed and also even a bit calmer… than when he is here.
    I still think you’re incredible though and these photos are adorable, you did very well to get them all in the shot together :) xo

  19. You did it!! Enjoy your sewing now. Here you have a tutorial I found on the web to make 5 zippered pouches all at once.
    Not bad and they make a nice gift. Good luck!

  20. Good on you Corrie, on your management skills! not only of your gorgeous little ones, but of your time and energy to manage a sewing session when many would just veg out exhausted! And I was straight to Google to look for “Last Minute Patchwork and Quilting”!

  21. I think I could have written your first paragraph!!! I have 4 kids aged 7yo to 18mo and Engineer Dad just recently went overseas for 10 days. I have to say I was so proud of myself! I did the two boy’s therapy too and lined up help when I needed it. But I can’t say I sewed. Oh no. Go you!

  22. I love how you keep it real Corrie!! Little children are so amazing and fun, but they sure can be the biggest challenge! My husband is a police officer, and I am a registered nurse in an Intensive Care Unit, and as such we consider ourselves to be fairly competent in handling many challenging situations… but due to shift working parents x 2 there are so many days where we have to get on and parent on our own while the other works or sleeps off a night duty. It’s such a challenge!!! A bunch of little people is enough to get either him or I into such a stressed state haha! It’s not easy, and it is lovely to hear that your church family is willing to step in and offer some much appreciated extra hands, that’s pretty special!

  23. Christine Cohrs says:

    Corrie you are doing great and kids are kids, thank you for mentioning woman coping with husbands in the forces. My daughter husband is and when her first child Sophie was born she came nearly six weeks early while they moved back from Canberra, when Sophie was 2 1/2 Emily was born and her husband went to East Timor for 81/2 month, Emily was only 2 weeks old and they had not even settled in to their new home. Tahlia was born last year November and my daughters husband left for Afghanistan for 6 month when she was 2 month old. How does she cope, well most of the time she does, but sometimes not and that’s ok too. We helped a lot but are not there when she sat at night a lone in the lounge. Keep it up you are doing great.

  24. I love the grin on Emerson!

  25. liveseygirl says:

    You are soooo brave. My husband works in retail so unless he is on hols I have to take my tp boyl (3 and 10 months) alone every week. My eldest doesn’t like Sunday school so stays with us but is a typical boy and very loud. This year has seen a lot if tears in church but as you say at least everyone is helpful. A friend has even fixee the video link in the small prayer room so I can go in there and spread out and play whilst listening to the service. Thankfully our minister and his wife have little ones so there is always a kiddies hymn with actions etc. Well done you xx

  26. I know what you mean. I have had my husband home all year with me helping out which has been great. I don’t know what I am going to do when he goes back to work in the new year. Of course I will cope but will take a little getting used to.

Leave a Comment


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)