It drives me crazy is when a parent that is happily married and their spouse goes away for work or leisure and the person at home claims to be single parenting. Like single parents are no joke. I cannot imagine not having my husband to confide in every day. That being said, it is a thing when one parent is left at home without the other, to parent alone. I’m not trying to take away from that because I do that, several times a year. It’s no easy task but there are a few things I do to make my time parenting without my husband easier. A quick preface, I have three kids, 5, 3 and 2. At this point we only have half day kindergarten to break up our day. We are also in the (hopefully) ending stages of potty-training my 3 year old. So with that: How I survive when my husband travels.
Get out of the house. I shoot for leaving the house once a day. Whether we need to grocery shop, walk around the block or go to a park or library; we always get up, get dressed and leave the house. That doesn’t always happen and that’s ok some days people are sick or you just really need to get stuff done around the house. Leaving the house will break up your day and make it seem to go faster.
Along the same line is get ready for your day. You don’t need a full face of makeup but you will feel better if you take care of yourself. So go a little out of your way to get dressed and at least brush your hair before you throw it up out of your way.
Use screen time to your advantage. For instance we don’t turn on the t.v. on in our house until 4 P.M. That’s our rule, so if the kids are begging to watch t.v. all I have to say is sorry but we don’t watch t.v until 4, we will have to find something else to do. It leaves me with the chance after 3 P.M. to say “Hey, if you guys cleaned up the living room you could watch t.v. early.” I won’t turn the t.v. on until the living room is clean but the quicker you clean the more t.v you can watch. Then I get to make dinner without all their distractions. My kids have been obsessed with the kid’s YouTube app lately and instead of just handing over the tablet for them to use, I always make them earn it. Ready for school early? Here have the tablet for 10 minutes. If I need to listen during a Dr’s. app. or something important then they can have it but I try to only use t.v when necessary.
Work the schedule before your home alone so the kids know what to expect. I tend to get lax on our schedule every so often, but when I know my husband is going out of town I get very strict before so when he is gone the kids act better and know what to expect.
Prepare for the worst. My kids always get some weird sickness when my husband travels. Diarrhea, pink eye, hand foot and mouth, if my husband is gone my kids will get it. I always hope nothing will happen but I always plan and have the first aid and minor sickness meds on hand. Not to mention also my roof has leaked, kitchen sink pipes have broken and countless other minor house emergencies have happened. The trick to this is not letting them ruin your whole day/week by just realizing they can and will happen.
Find time for yourself. One of the most difficult things when my husband is traveling is I a lack of adult conversation. I usually try to find time to spend with friends so I can have a conversation with an adult. I really start getting down on myself and try to let social media fill that void and it does not work. I end up sitting on my phone all night after the kids are sleeping when I should be cleaning the house, working out and spending time on me. So I like to set things up so it’s easier for me to work out, like changing into my work out clothes before I put the kids to bed or not going to relax in my bed right after the kids are sleeping.
Do you have any tips that help when you’re trying to survive home alone with kids and feel like there is no end in sight? I would love to hear what I could add to my list to help me next time.