In the past couple of weeks I had a glimpse into the world of single parenting. Trev’s work gave us some very short notice and off he went overseas, with the plan that he would be there for a least a month.
So it was just me and the girls.
I was a bit nervous, not so much about the parenting side of things, but just being without him. We are a pretty solid team.
After a couple of weeks, Trev’s work asked him to come back, so he arrived on Sunday morning after an awful red eye flight. We were very excited to have him back.
I know two weeks is a pretty short time, but it coincided with my parents in law being on holidays in Queensland, my sister being on holidays in Europe, and my parents live in Queensland anyway, so my usual support networks were not available.
Here are a few observations of my couple of weeks going it alone.
– Friends are the best. I’m looking at you Rebecca Brown, Ella McConnell, Jodi Wiley, Rebecca May, Dave Ware, Cynthia Nolan-Myers, Cassandra Hodges and Amy Smyth. You kept me company and helped me out in different ways and I appreciate you all.
– Freezer meals are a winner. When I found out Trev was going away, I had a big cook up and froze small portions of soup, bolognese and curry. After an exhausting day, the knowledge that a cooked meal was ready to go was quite a relief.
– Weekends are crap. When you are on your own with the kids, every day just blends into one.
– Try to keep tidy. Otherwise it becomes so overwhelming it makes you really stressed. (for me anyway)
– If your kid doesn’t want to eat, don’t force it. No point having a long drawn out argument over it. Just make it clear that if they don’t eat it, there is NOTHING else.
– If the thought of dragging the kids to the supermarket is too much, order from an online grocery service. I used Aussie Farmers Direct and got a box of fruit and veggies delivered – it was great quality and excellent value. I’ll do it again for sure. (this is NOT sponsored by Aussie Farmers Direct – just happy to give them a shout out because I was really happy with the service, product and value)
– Make an effort to go out and do stuff. Sometimes I felt like it was just easier to stay home, but then I found it made me lazier and was a bit of a vicious cycle. So even though getting the kids organised and in the car takes time, it is worth it.
Trev might be jetting off again any day, but that’s OK. I know I can manage. The experience really made me appreciate how tough single parents do it, as well as military families and people whose spouses spend time away for jobs like working on oil rigs, in mines, or overseas. Hats off to you! You do an amazing job.
In the meantime I will chase my little climber around. She stood up unaided for the first time today! Walking is imminent.
Are you a single parent? Does your partner work away? What are your strategies? I’d love to hear your stories.