Tomorrow is Mothers Day. Tomorrow is also the first Mothers Day that Glenn will be home for in years. He usually has a fishing tournament every Mothers Day weekend. I knew when I started dating Glenn that he was a tournament fisherman and that would lead to him being gone a lot. What I didn’t know was what it was like to be a single Mom.
I do have to start this post by saying I am very lucky. I am so sympathetic to the fact that some women do it alone full time. I have so much respect for them! It is dang hard and they do it day in and day out! I am also very lucky that when Glenn is home he is very involved in everything. He is not one of those dads who considers watching Blake “babysitting”. He does most of our grocery shopping, almost all of the dishes and much more. That being said I don’t want this to sound like a pity party that my husband is gone more often than some. What I do hope is that this will benefit any other Moms or Dads to realize we can do it solo without losing our minds 🙂
Glenn has a tournament when Blake was 6 weeks old. He was gone for 5 days, I think. I was terrified. I had no idea how to be a mom and now I was alone with a newborn. I won’t lie, there were a few sleepless nights spent in the rocking chair and lots of crying (from both of us), but guess what… I did it. I’ve always been one to benefit from the sink or swim method of learning – I guess you can consider this the parenting version. Now that Blake 2.5 I’d like to think I’ve got this single mom thing down to a science…. most of the time.
Getting out the door:
Weekday mornings are one of the toughest times in my perspective. Trying to get us both dressed, fed and out the door in time is a challenge. To make it easier I try to get up a little early so I can be mostly ready before Blake gets up. I am NOT a morning person, so this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes its only a few minutes early, but as long as I can start getting ready before he is up it seems to help. I should also add that I try to shower at night when Glenn is gone. It is 1 less thing to worry about in the morning. I also don’t wash my hair very often so I don’t have to worry about going to bed with wet hair. I can usually finish getting ready while Blake watches tv and wakes up (he is slow to wake up like I am – we are not ones to hop out of bed and be ready to go). I also just accept that I might be a little late to work on these days. I am fortunate to have a job where its okay to be a little late.
Dinners are always fun, even when Glenn is home. Blake is, of course, STARVING as soon as we walk in the door. I try to plan a few meals that we can make ahead of time and eat for a few days. Things like tacos, tuna salad, spaghetti – things that we can easily get ready quickly when we walk in the door just make everything so much less stressful. I also don’t worry about doing the dishes. I know I know, call the police. I leave the dishes until after bedtime (or even sometimes until the next day).
Make it Special:
I try to do something special or out of the normal – sort of a special Mom & Blake thing. Sometimes its something bigger, like a trip to the zoo – but sometimes it’s just something small, like watching a movie in Mom’s bed and staying up a little late. I think it helps to make it fun for both of us and reminds me not to be so stressed out.
I try my best to keep the bedtime routine as similar as possible. Right now we are in a big mommy phase at bedtime so its pretty easy to keep things the same. I find bedtime so much easier when we stick to our routine.
Pick your Battles:
I think we all pick our battles daily, but I rely on that even more so when Glenn is gone. There are days our teeth don’t get brushes, there are days we go to school without shoes on, but all in all, it really helps to make the time Glenn is gone a little easier.
So there you have it, hopefully, this will help you keep your sanity when you are home as a single parent. Don’t get too stressed out, realize that you don’t need to do it all, just pick the most important things. And know as long as your kids go to be with fully bellies and knowing they are loved that is all that matters!