what i learnt from 1 week of solo parenting
Where do I start? Solo parenting is seriously tough. I tip my hat to all the solo parents out there who do this on the regular. You would think that solo parenting would be twice as hard as parenting with a partner, but at times it can feel triple/quadruple as hard!
Where do I start?
So why was I solo parenting in the first place? My husband made a very special trip to Israel for his Dad's 70th birthday last week. As we had just got back from 3 weeks in Australia, a few months earlier, it wasn't really feasible for us all to all go together (vacation time, spending money etc). With my encouragement, Av booked his flights leaving Monday morning and coming back Sunday morning, so all in all - a very short trip. I have to say my husband was an absolute legend when it came to preparation before the trip. He cooked a huge pot of spaghetti bolognese and an Indian curry. He made sure the fridge was fully stocked and I had tons of coffee ready to go!
I got this
We dropped him off at the airport, had our regular Monday routine and later I picked up Lily from daycare. It was such a smooth evening, we got home, had dinner (again having the pre-cooked meals helps), Lily played, had a bath, did the bedtime routine and was in bed 1 hour before her regular bedtime. In my head, I'm thinking, "I've got this, this solo parenting business isn't so bad". HE HE HE.. oh so naive. The following night was one of those nights when it was just meltdown after meltdown. That was my first low point when I thought, I'm really looking forward to Sunday.
I really enjoyed having so much one-on-one time with Lily and I felt like our bond got even closer. She's started doing this new thing when she see's that I'm laughing and does this over exaggerated laugh while staring right at my face. We literally just stare at each other doing our crazy laughs over the silliest little things. Oh so sweet. Lily's also really gotten into the Moana soundtrack lately, so it's been so lovely hearing her sing the words to the songs while I was getting stuff ready in the kitchen.
There were definitely a few moments where I was pushed to my limit. But what do you do when you don't have another parent to rely on and say "tag team.. it's my turn off"? There was one instance when I locked myself in the bathroom for a couple of minutes, just to reset, take some breaths and remember what kind of mama I want to be. Toddlers are going to be toddlers, it's inevitable so I just kept rolling with the punches.
- Wine is your best friend.
- You're going to be really tired. Like in bed, watching Netflix drinking wine at 9 pm tired.
- You're not going to get it all done. It's just not possible. So don't beat yourself up for not working out from home or getting to those emails, because that's just crazy!
- Let them play! At some point I had to tell Lily, you need to go play by yourself now as mama needs to cook dinner. She took it pretty well and was happy just listening to music and playing with all her toys. Otherwise, I was never going to get anything done!
- It's lonely work. It sucks not having a partner-in-crime there for every moment, whether it be the good/bad/high/lows. As much as Lily's turning into a big girl, it's still not the same as having an adult conversation.
- Stir-crazy madness. Because I didn't have any exercise classes or events to attend during the week, it felt like I was commuting back and forth between home & work, work & home. I was so happy when the weekend rolled around and we could enjoy the sunshine. It's a balance between getting home early enough in the evening to make dinner vs. feeling like we were doing something other than working, sleeping, eating.
Fingers crossed I won't need to solo parent again anytime soon as I plan on joining along on any vacay next time. For all the parents out there - have you solo parented before? If so - what were your hacks to make the experience as easy as possible!?
Photography: Kirstyn Konig