As I type this, I’m mentally preparing myself for my longest stretch of solo-momming to date. I am extremely fortunate to have a husband who works mostly from home, and shares daily parenting duties with me, but there are times where he has to be gone overnight. Like sometimes he has to drive allll the way to Nebraska and hop around from city to city so it makes no sense to fly. Most of his overnight trips are just that, over one night. Occasionally though, he heads off to a conference to somewhere awesome like Arizona or California and it’s a flight and more than just one night. So here we are – getting ready for his 5 day/4 night trip to San Diego.
I definitely consider myself reasonably capable of solo-momming. Err, I should say – I am capable for a few days/nights. I have NO clue how some people are single parents – they are angels and I cannot commend them enough because it is TOUGH. When I know we’ve got a stretch coming up I usually try to plan out each night so there aren’t too many surprises. Sidenote: there are always surprises so “planning” is just a process I go through to psych myself up.
Plan meals out – pre-make if you can
This is a big one for me. If you’ve been paying attention, I love to cook. I enjoy pouring over cookbooks and online recipes and mostly, creating my own. I could watch the Food Network all hours of the day (sorry Case). I could spend hours in the kitchen, obsessing over a meal plan or dicing vegetables… I’m weird I know. BUT when I’m on my own with Dane, ain’t nobody got time for that! Which is why I love to cook up a big pot of soup or something I can happily eat for the majority of dinners during that time. Bonus points if it’s something D likes too. I usually make sure my pantry and fridge are stocked with all of his favorites, making mealtime mostly easy.
Map out your week
Dane is in daycare 4 days a week, and typically I drop him off in the morning and Casey picks him up. When I’m on my own, I have to make sure my work schedule won’t conflict with drop off/pick up times. I usually look at my calendar to double (and triple) check for any overlaps where I might need to make adjustments.
It also makes sense to figure out when to schedule workouts and showers. I know this sounds ridiculous but seriously if your hair is over a foot long like mine, a shower is a major time commitment! Make a plan and stick to it as best you can. 🙂
Take advantage of one-on-one time
A while back I was pretty down in the dumps and wrote this blog post about the varying feelings that happen when your child finds more comfort with one parent (and the parent is not you). Part of me dreads solo-ing it because honestly there are nights I just don’t cut it for Dane – he needs his dad. This thought haunts me: What if that happens when Casey is 2,500 miles away? Welp, I just have to pray and give Dane all reassurance that I can. I LOVE our alone time. It’s the perfect opportunity to hold him close, tell him I love him 1 million times and show him that our relationship is the most important thing in the world to me.
The last time Casey was out of town for multiple nights in a row – my sweet mom-in-law offered to come help out one night. She is ALWAYS so thoughtful and goes above and beyond whenever we need her. Initially when she offered, I didn’t want to cause her any inconvenience, so I thought about saying no. But then I took a step back and said – wouldn’t a dinner out with my sister be nice to be able to do? It had been a long week, and so I happily accepted her offer and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and allow others to help, and know that they wouldn’t make that offer if they weren’t happy to do it.
Just to clarify, I am absolutely planning on spending a few nights of our time laying around and snuggling, but – so as to not get too fed up with each other… 😉 I’m making plans to spend time with family. This particular work trip happens to land partially over a weekend, which is really hard on us – we live for weekends! We’re making a road trip to my parents’ house to watch football, eat yummy food and get a change of scenery. The best part? For my parents, Dane time is golden – they LOVE when he’s at their house and everybody’s hearts swell a little bit. Plus I get to relax a while, knowing he’s being completely spoiled and loved to the max.
I realize there are some of you reading this who regularly take on the full responsibility of running a household, maintaining sanity and keeping both yourself and your child (children) alive. To you I say – I am in awe of you and you are amazing. What are your best tips and tricks to keep everything running smoothly?
Either way, wish me luck!