Can’t be that hard, right?! All of you single parents out there are probably laughing out loud right now, because actually, it’s one of the hardest things in the world! Single parents are serious superhuman - our hats are off to all of you amazing single moms and dads!
For all of you parents that are not single parents, there will likely still be times where you may not have the other parent around, and will have to make due by yourself, even if it’s just for a few days. You might not ever stop and think about the difference there can be between the two scenarios, but let’s think about it for a moment. Two parents means that you can get a break once in a while when you haven't gotten any sleep, but if you’re on your own, if you’re exhausted from day after day of all of your efforts, and it just so happens that today you can barely keep your eyes open, and the kids are cranky, you still have to make dinner and feed the kids and do the dishes and clean up after the mess they make and go grocery shopping for breakfast tomorrow and put the kids to sleep and wake up in the middle of the night - all by yourself.
So how do you make it manageable? Well, Maria has done this a few times as her husband must regularly travel for long periods for work. However, the most recent trip was the longest one to date. Where possible, it’s important to plan:
- What are the things that need to get done this week? Is there anything that can be put off until you're not alone with the kids and can get some relief? Work out the logistics beforehand, that way you'll avoid last minute stress.
- If you're a cleaning freak, try and do a thorough cleaning before your partner leaves that way you can just do light cleaning throughout the week.
- Last but not least, food. Try and do a big grocery run right before you're going to be alone, because really, is there anything worst than having a thousand and one things on your shopping list and having to get it done with two kids? This way you have all the basics and might only have to complement with perishables like milk and fruits and veggies a few times during the week.
- Plan the food. What are you going to make for dinner? Are there foods that you can make a lot of and perhaps eat a few times such as lasagna? Leftovers that can be frozen to eat later are super convenient.
We cannot stress enough the importance of planning! It might not be the most fun thing but it is so helpful and it doesn't have to be that bad. Find some pretty paper to write on, make a cup of coffee and sit down and write lists for everything that needs to be done, that way you get an overview of it all and don't need to keep it all in your head. Make a list for the week, perhaps for every day depending on how much that needs to be done. Also, if you can, make a meal plan, which we have found is a huge help.
To clarify, this post might sound like there’s nothing but chores and headaches with the kiddos, but that is the farthest thing from the truth! The little ones are truly the source of our happiness, the way we know they are for you as well! In closing, to those of you who are single parents and do this day in and day out, you are the strongest people we know! And for those of you that do have partners but may have to handle the kids by yourself for some period of time, we hope we’ve provided some tips and insight into making the process go more smoothly.
Cheers to all of you super parents out there, and thank you as always for being a part of this journey with us!