My husband was out of town on business this past week. This results, obviously, in me being on duty from sunrise to way past sunset. Single parenting by a happily married woman.
The morning starts with trying to simultaneously nurse the baby and help my five-year-old get dressed in her school uniform followed by breakfast, school drop-off and then running errands or doing things around the house with the baby until school pick-up time. After school activities, we dash home for dinner before jumping into the bedtime routine, which pretty much makes up the afternoon and evening. After the kindergartner is in bed it’s the baby’s turn. She gets ready for bed, nurses and hangs out for a bit before heading to bed herself. After the baby is in bed, lunch and snacks get packed for the next day, the kitchen is cleaned and the house is tidied. Once all of that is done I get a bit of time to myself before it’s time to get in bed because who knows how early the baby is going to wake up in the morning.
So I try to make things easier on myself. I let normal expectations slide. Normally I love to cook for my family. When I’m getting double teamed by the children that love of cooking is pushed aside as I kick into pure survival mode. Breakfast tacos, Alphabet soup and salad, banana nut pancakes, grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches. Quick and easy dinners it is. I shower at night and sleep with wet hair all so that I have more time in the morning. Sometimes breakfast is eaten in the car on the way to school. Heck, I even let my five-year-old crawl into bed with me in the middle of the night a few times. While this is not normally the case, why use up precious sleep time and energy to scoot her back to her own bed when there is room in mine? When my husband gets home it’s back to normal around here, but until then making survival easy on myself is the name of the game.
What routines or expectations do you let slide while you parent on your own for long periods of time?