I’m on the heels of my longest stint of solo parenting—whew! While I love my children dearly, they are a lot of physical work, especially at their current ages (7 months and newly 4). It was a long weekend (no pun intended) of messes and big feelings, but also lots of outside time, quality time and fun. I will say that this time gave me more confidence as a parent, especially a newish parent of two, but I am also super grateful to have my co-parent back. (And, can we give a shout out to single parents and co-parents that are solo parenting for long stretches of time—the real unsung heroes!)
I wanted to reflect on how I came out the weekend relatively unscathed and have this as a reminder to my future self on the next solo-parenting adventure:
- Lower expectations. This goes without saying, right?! I still need the reminder. Things will take longer, go undone, and new challenges will come up, so give yourself some grace.
- Ease up on the rules a little. Sure, it wasn’t going to be animal house, but I don’t need to worry about an extra episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or an afternoon ice cream.
- Eat off of paper plates. Not economical or environmentally friendly, but seriously cuts down on clean-up time. I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this until the last day.
- Put myself to bed early. At the end of the day, I just needed to lay down to decompress. That meant some of the dishes might not be done or the house not picked up, but see #1.
- Get out of the house, but no big plans. We opted to stay really local, but did get out everyday. This isn’t a time to jam pack the calendar or do something new, but hitting up some local playgrounds or going for walks is a great way to break up the days.
For all my parents out there solo-parenting full-time or part-time, we got this!