I will by no means ever complain about having to take on extra parental responsibilities when my husband goes out with friends or goes out of town 1) because those things happen so infrequently, 2) because even when my husband isn’t available, I have family nearby, and 3) because there are many, many single working mothers in my life who rock it hard without any help.
So, the purpose of this post is not to complain that my husband had to go out of town for three days for a work conference. This is about how I made my days those days as a solo working parent a little easier.
My husband and I were away for a friend’s wedding the weekend after Thanksgiving, and when we returned, he had to leave for a conference in Fort Myers. He would be gone Monday-Wednesday, which is not the end of the world. Until I realized that in my son’s 19 months of life, I had never been in the house alone with the baby. Ever. And until I realized that in my 26 years of life, I had never slept in a house without another adult. Seriously? I immediately felt like a 10-year-old child with this realization. But that’s another story altogether.
Nevertheless, it’s true. It was either my parents or my brother or my roommate in college or my husband. I’ve never lived alone and I’ve certainly never parented alone. And for damn sure, I’ve never parented on a work week alone before. Starting on a Monday. After a week off. God help me.
So, maybe you’re a veteran and your husband or significant other already works overnight. Or maybe you’re a single mother and you rock solo parenting harder than I ever could. Maybe your other half is in the military or travels quite a bit for work. Or maybe you’re like me, and you’re used to a 2-parent household. Whatever your situation, here are some things that worked for me this week:
- On Sunday, I planned ahead. Grocery shopped, finished laundry, stayed up late to finish grading my students’ papers, made sure I had whatever I would need to get me through the week.
- I had my husband drop my son off Monday before he left for the conference. One less thing on mah plate.
- I arranged for my brother’s girlfriend to watch the baby at my house so that I wouldn’t have to do drop off and pick up 20 minutes in the opposite direction of my job for those three days.
- I kept up with my workout regime. Health and sanity=better mommying.
- On Tuesday, I went out to eat. Since I’ve been working out and getting healthy, I don’t eat out a lot. Taco Tuesday was a nice treat, my son got to see his grandmother, and I didn’t have to cook OR do dishes solo. Winning!
- Oh yeah, and Bubble Guppies. Seriously. I wouldn’t be able to shower or prepare dinner without a toddler climbing the walls and pulling the dog’s tail if it weren’t for that very strange underwater show. The kid sits on the couch, eyes glued to the television, and I don’t feel a bit of guilt.
What tips do you have for making your working momma day go more smoothly, whether working dads are in the picture or not?