With Just One Child

puddle jumpers Last week, I took just my youngest to the pool while the other two were in school.

Cub just turned 4 and is my easy-going child.

He loves the water and thanks to his puddle jumper, he can go all over the pool without any problems. I love those things so much I’m practically a puddle jumper pusher and should get commission from them.

He can make friends easily or just have a blast swimming around by himself.

We were the only people at the pool for a while and then a few other kids his age showed up: it was a pretty low-key day.

And so I was able to lounge in a chair by the pool, read a book, sip some sweet tea, and relax.

For hours.

Of course, I always kept Cub visible out of the corner of my eye.

No napping poolside or ignoring what was happening in the water.

But it was still so unbelievably easy.

Not the chaos of watching three where I usually have to either sit on the edge of the pool or even be in the water.

No 1-2-3 headcount over and over.

No having to call for each of them the whole time.

Or break up any sort of fight.

Pool time was actually relaxing.

I kept thinking I was being punked or something.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all three of my boys and I’m used to the chaos they can cause.

But every once in a while, a peaceful day is appreciated!

For those of you who have more than one child, do you notice a huge difference in those times when you get that one-on-one time?

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  1. Yep! I totally get and understand this feeling. Now that my oldest two are 6 and 9, sometimes I try to take just them to the pool and leave the 2-yr-old with Grandma… It feels SO easy! Plus, I can really focus on them vs. constantly having to be in the baby pool area with my toddler! (Not to mention, I can actually sit and not do the 1-2-3 head count that you mentioned!) :)
    Kate F. (@katefineske) recently posted..Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Run-and-HydeMy Profile

  2. I only have two but the difference is immense when I only have one with me!! Glad you got some one-on-one time with Cub (and some sort-of-me-time for you!).
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Of Courage and Things I’m Afraid To Tell YouMy Profile

  3. I never went remotely near water with my 3 until recently. As soon as the two oldest (7 and 5) passed their swim tests, then I was okay with just watching the baby/toddler. Everyone kept saying, “don’t be negative, you can do it with all 3…you’ll manage.” Ah, duh! I Know I can DO it. I just don’t want to. I don’t want to just “manage” — it would be nice to actually have some fun and enjoy it. Glad you got the chance.
    Now if I can just get some absolute alone time in the lounger with my tea and book — that would be heaven!
    RoryBore recently posted..Happy Father’s Day – Poetry WorkshopMy Profile

  4. I only have one. But I will say that as she gets older and becomes more adept at swimming, I have much more relaxed visits to the pool, and that is very nice. 
    Tracie recently posted..Things I’m Afraid To Tell YouMy Profile

  5. JDaniel hasn’t wanted to be in the water without me. Yet!
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Muffin Tin Meal- Puffins for Breakfast and Readathon 2012My Profile

    • At least then you know he’s safe- but that has to be tiring for you- the pool wears me out! 

  6. in other situations, yes…at the pool, No.  Bubby has no fear, so he keeps me on my toes the entire time.  That’s alright though, that’s a form of exercise for me, right?

    • Cub is the only one who is relaxing for me at the pool. The other two- definitely not. They have other places where they seem easy when it’s just me and them.

  7. I miss that one-on-one time. And right now, spending one-on-one time with Harper is NOT relaxing (she is a VERY feisty one-year-old). I have got to spend a few moments alone with Hayden (my 5-year-old) since having Harper. It is a completely different dynamic/atmosphere. It is calmer and I can focus better. It’s easier and I am more relaxed. All that also has to do with the fact that parenting Harper is tougher for me (because she is still a toddler and very active). With both kids together it is utter crazy, chaos. I am getting used to it and accepting this new reality. But man – it is challenging!!!
    Melissa recently posted..weekend trip to jacksonville (arkansas).My Profile

    • The toddler stage is SO hard. Able to get around all over the place but not quite understanding what is safe and what is not- it’s EXHAUSTING! 

  8. It is so much easier with just one. No fighting or separating makes for much more relaxing time.
    secret mom thoughts recently posted..How to Remove Duct Tape from a Dog (or How my Dog Tried to Give Himself a Bikini Wax)My Profile

  9. It’s amazing how much easier one kid is than just 2.  When we “lose” one to a friend or family member, the house is so much more peaceful, and our day so much more relaxed.

    Cute pic of Cub!
    Kmama recently posted..Thank You Very Much: 6/18/12My Profile

    • It makes me wonder how I ever thought just having one was hard… but then I realize that it’s just easier in comparison! 

  10. Ever since my husband took the oldest away with him things have been so calm. I almost miss the state of chaos, it seems like things are “too calm” at the moment! ;)
    Barbara recently posted..Happy Half Birthday NoahMy Profile

  11. I would imagine it would be a huge difference. I just have one, but even getting together with my boyfriend and his young daughter makes a big difference. It goes from easy baby watching to non-stop running around. 
    Ness recently posted..A 75th Birthday PartyMy Profile

  12. So glad you had a relaxing day at the pool! You totally deserve it!
    Natalie recently posted..How Was Your Weekend?My Profile

    • It probably won’t happen again until the end of the summer when the older two go back and the youngest doesn’t start preschool til a week later- I’ll take the easy while I can get it!

  13. I’m a complete basket-case at the pool with all 3 kids. It’s so stressful to me. Being with one can be so simple..unless you need the others for some entertainment value…lol
    tracy@sellabitmum recently posted..The Real Cost Of Raising A ChildMy Profile

    • My heart races the entire time I’m there with them. It totally stresses me out. But they love the pool, so we go a lot. And then I go home and practically collapse. 

  14. HUGE difference! Mine (2 & 4) are thick as thieves but constantly fighting/arguing/whining when they are together. If I’m lucky enough to have time alone with just one of them it always goes so smoothly. No matter which one it is, they always act like a perfect angel!
    Unfortunately, after awhile they whine about missing their brother/sister and don’t let up until they’ve been reunited. The fighting starts up again, almost immediately!
    Lacey recently posted..Father’s Day D.I.Y. Picture FrameMy Profile

  15. {Melinda} I totally get it, Shell! A couple of weeks ago, my teenage daughter went to Young Life camp for a week and my husband went to his high school reunion in another state. Four days with just my little man and me. It was really wonderful. Not that I didn’t miss the rest of my family, but, as you said, a breather now and then is so welcome. Prepares us for the rising tide of chaos that is sure to wash over us in no time! 
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..Featured MOMtor: Learning Lessons From TrailblazersMy Profile

  16. I have a husband and a child and it is definitely easier when the husband isn’t there.
    Jewel recently posted..Skiathos On The Home StraitMy Profile

  17. I’m not a momma but I’m an aunt who watches her nieces a lot and it does make a total difference with 1 instead of the normal 2 or so.  In particular, the one is going to be 4 in Nov and the other is 10 and the 10 year old is constantly saying, “I’m bored” whereas the 3 year old LOVES anything and everything!!
    Julie recently posted..Father’s Day 2012My Profile

  18. oh yes.. I have 3 and sometimes even 2 seems really relaxing?…
    Nancy Youree recently posted..Kenya 2012 Part IIMy Profile

    • I’ve seen that, too. Last year, my younger two were home with me all day(or almost all of it) and it was mostly peaceful. As soon as the oldest came home, chaos erupted. I felt bad- b/c it’s not like it was really his fault, it was just the combination of all three. 

  19. So glad you were able to enjoy that time. I have really started trying to make one on one time with my girls. It is not always easy but it brings us much closer and it definitely relaxes me a bit as well. I hope you can find more days like this! xo
    Kristen recently posted..Family Vacation – Memories CapturedMy Profile

    • I do love being able to spend one on one time with them. It’s hard to find somethings, but so nice when I can do it! 

  20. Shhh…you’re spilling some of the secrets some of us moms of only children try to hide. Wait— we don’t try to hide how we can relax by the pool or read a book at the playground—we usually keep our mouths shut in fear that we will be pelted with juice boxes by the other harried moms.

    Enjoy the special time with each one of your kiddos. You all deserve it.
    Kerry Ann @Vinobaby’s Voice recently posted..Pinterest HIT: Crock Pot Mexican Chicken and VeggiesMy Profile

    • LOL 

      I definitely don’t think it’s really all that easy with just one- just that it’s easiER, you know? 

  21. I think, there is definitely a huge difference when you only have one child with you compared to more. I do enjoy the one on one time and do things with just one or the other all the time, especially my older two. I still got little one home, so I have her to myself most days when the other two are in school or like now in camp.
    Susi recently posted..Comment on Instagram Sundays #9 – Father’s Day Edition by RoryBoreMy Profile

  22. It is amazing to have that one on one time with each child. It is so much easier and I definitely feel more at ease!
    Jenny recently posted..totally obsessedMy Profile

    • So much more relaxing! I love all my boys, but it’s nice to get a little bit of break sometimes!

  23. So jealous! I notice a huge difference. It is unbelievably easy and makes me think back and I end up laughing at when I only had Nico and thought life was hard. Glad you got to have some peace. :)
    AnnMarie recently posted..Changes….Lost FollowersMy Profile

    • Oh, I know. I look back and wonder how I thought that was so hard… but we were also new moms with no clue. ;) 

  24. I only have two, and I can’t believe how much easier it is to only have one.  I can’t believe how much time I spend counting my kids when I head out.

    I was told, when Duffy was pregnant, that two kids are four times the work.  I’m guessing a third is another four times that difficulty.  I’m glad you got a day out that included some relaxation.
    John recently posted..Where I realize that not all trips for ice cream are created equallyMy Profile

    • That nonstop headcount is stressful. I wonder how old they’ll have to be before I can stop doing that. Probably when the youngest is 25. 

  25. Even with only two I absolutely notice the difference when I just have one. It’s just so much more relaxed!
    angela recently posted..A Year to RememberMy Profile

    • So much more! If someone had told me before that I would eventually feel that way, I would think they were crazy- b/c having one seemed so hard. 

  26. Definitely easier with 1 instead of 3!  I just wish my youngest was being more enjoyable to be around these days, she’s been a real bear!
    Lee-Ann recently posted..The Rest of the PartyMy Profile

  27. Not only do I love the one on one time, but I love just being with 2 of my kids. Taking the 4yo twins somewhere these days is almost too easy. I do have to be in the pool with all 3 of them (the youngest is 2), but it gets me in the water and makes me let go of a few of my hangups about being in public in a swimsuit. I don’t have a choice!
    Leigh Ann recently posted..Don’t forget to bring a towel!My Profile

    • That’s how I really got over my swimsuit phobia, too- though I don’t always have to be in the water with mine, I know I have to be ready to jump in at any second. 

      Mine are like that, too- even when I can do something with just two, it seems so much easier. 

  28. Yes! And I ONLY have two children. It’s so much easier with just one! It’s sad that I didn’t get that when I had just one child. ;)
    Jessica recently posted..The post my husband asked me to write for Father’s DayMy Profile

    • I didn’t really, either. My oldest was only 17 months old when my second was born and I hadn’t hit that hey this is easy phase yet. 

  29. As you know my kids are older so I don’t have quite the same issues with monitoring them that you do anymore – at the pool or beach or anywhere we go, I have an easier time than a mom with three young kids, no doubt.

    And yet.

    My two teenagers are COMPLETELY different when I have them one on one. The way they talk, interact, reveal, share, behave – it’s like I don’t even recognize them.

    So yes. I think individual time with the kids (no matter how hard it is to arrange or how infrequent) is totally worth it.

    I loved hearing about this day with Cub. You both deserved it. And then some.
    julie gardner recently posted..Today call me sillyMy Profile

    • Whenever we are somewhere like the pool or beach or an amusement park, Hubs and I talk about how many years it will be until doing something like that becomes easier because they are all okay without that constant supervision. It’s amazing how fast it really is going, though. 

  30. I was just talking to someone about this, for as much as I like that they have a built in friend, whenever I am one on one with Gio or jacob, things are SOOOOO MUCH better. Just less yelling and stress and I get to know them individually instead of as a pair.

    I completely understand this xoxoxo
    Kir recently posted..WOE:Gathering Buttercups:Is This Seat Taken?My Profile

    • So very much easier! The yelling and stress levels are way down. I love my boys to pieces(like I know you do, too) but wow, those rare moments with just one are treasured. 

  31. When my twins were under one, my mom would take my oldest for the morning on a Saturday here and there. When she offered she said it would be a break for us. I didn’t believe her since I didn’t think having one less child would be a break but it was. And I pissed off all the moms with just twins when I said having just twins would be so easy. But it was such a nice break, I know what you mean.
    Twingle Mommy recently posted..Father’s Day FunMy Profile

  32. Whenever even one of mine is away or not with us their is a whole different dynamic to everything we do. Definitely more relaxing.
    Happy you got to have that relaxing time at the pool- I am sure your little guy enjoyed it too.
    Heather recently posted..Girls of SummerMy Profile

  33. Yes! They behave better when it is 1-1 too
    Emmy recently posted..Just This and ThatMy Profile

  34. I only have my one but I love taking him to the park that is fenced in.  I can just sit on a bench reading and keeping an eye on him.  The only downside is this park is full of helicopter parents but that’s their deal haha
    stephanie @ babe’s rockin’ mami recently posted..When the Husbands Away…My Profile

  35. hell, whenever I have just two kids it’s bliss….
    Not a Perfect Mom recently posted..Why I Have No Self Esteem….Or Why Hope Should Wear a MuzzleMy Profile

  36. Even when one is napping it is so much easier. I am a little excited to get at least my son in pre-school a morning or two a week.