I have decided to take a brief hiatus from my “speech and language development” posts to write about something that I have been thinking about again and again in recent weeks. What is this new topic you may ask? The holidays? A two-year-old’s birthday party? The disheartening end to the football season? (OK, that last one may be a joke…but not really).
Although these topics may lead to somewhat amusing posts, I can’t shake this idea from my mind. That thought is…how do single parents do it?!
After a very anxiety-provoking flight a few years back, I have all but sworn-off air travel. For my poor husband, this means that my chances of accompanying him on international flights are slim. I truly am very OK with this, and I have little issue (aside from money…sigh) with him taking a big trip a year. He was gone for ten days when I was pregnant and battling morning/afternoon/evening sickness, but the only one who really suffered was the dog. When our daughter was six or seven months old he again left for well over a week, but at that time she was stationary, couldn’t talk, and was a completely easy baby in every sense. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. No big deal. Piece of cake! Being a single parent wasn’t super fun, but it was certainly no big deal.
Well, the hubs left for Italy in Mid-November, this time leaving me with a smart, talkative, sassy, INDEPENDENT nearly two-year-old. She has decided in recent months that it is completely OK to strip naked when she is supposed to be going to bed, simply because she can. Hubby hadn’t so much as reached the airport when I informed him that our daughter had stripped and peed in her bed, which she was very proud to tell me about when I snuck in to check on her. Fantastic way to start the ten days…
My mini-me and I had a lot of fun when we were sans Daddy, and we certainly got into a routine. However, I found that I slept less, ate worse, didn’t exercise (I also blame the weather for that), and, again, the dog suffered. How do single parents do it?!?!
A few questions entered my mind more than once when I was a pseudo-single parent. I’m interested to hear if any other moms from two-parent households have wondered the same things!
1. When do you shower/get ready? Granted, I realize that you can plan ahead and wake up before your child, or maybe you are a person who likes to shower in the evening. However, what happens when your kiddo wakes up before your alarm but you have to look presentable for work? I praise all single parents who (often) look more put-together than myself. I have no excuse other than laziness. I don’t know how you do it.
2. How do you cook? I found it hard to prepare meals when it was just me, as J always wanted to be playing somewhere else in the house right when it was time for me to take a few minutes to make dinner. As a result, we certainly had scrambled eggs a few times.
3. When do you go to sleep? I have work that I have to do at home nearly every night, as I am not a person who can let myself get behind and would be if I didn’t work from home. However, by the time J was in bed, I had cleaned up the kitchen and rest of the house, and had done my work for the night, I just wanted some “me” time to sit and watch TV. However, this meant that I regularly went to bed even later than usual (which is far later than my husband).
4. What do you do if you are sick? This fortunately did not happen while I was a temporary single-parent, but I can’t imagine what I would have done if I was sicker than a dog with a toddler. I shudder at the thought.
5. HOW DO YOU DO IT?!?!?! This speaks for itself. I give mad props to all the single moms and dads out there. While it is likely awesome to not have to share your kiddo’s kisses and snuggles with anyone else, it is definitely the hardest job in the world. You are all amazing!