This week was a first: my husband was across the pond and I had a daddy obsessed toddler to deal with. My first instinct was to call my parents in India for a trip but I decided to wear my big girl pants and bravely go where I have not gone before: be a solo parent for a week! I wanted to share my tips and realizations as this experiment draws to a successful end.
To prepare for this daunting undertaking, I started preparing by reading blogs to find some hacks. While I am no expert, one tip that were hugely helpful was to prepare in advance- I stocked up on groceries, prepared a few meals for the week, and sorted out laundry. Our toddler is a terrible sleeper so I knew I will be tired, so anything that can simplify the week.
The other tip I loved was to wake up a bit earlier so I could take a shower and have my coffee before her day starts. Getting a good start helped me tackle the day.
I planned a few play dates and it was a wonderful distraction for both of us. We also did a grocery run everyday around the time dad comes home, just to get her mind off it. And the tv nanny time gave me a few minutes so I could eat dinner, do the dishes, and clean up the toy war zone!
A realization that helped tackle the tough days was to accept that things won’t go smoothly and that’s ok. On the second day, my toddler woke up at midnight and suddenly missed daddy, so we had a night of screaming from 12-3am. We were both tired the next day, and then the Chromecast refused to cast nursery rhymes making it feel like a never ending day. Accepting that such tough days will happen helped me be calm and patient.
I also planned a few treats for me, like a threading appointment or a quiet breakfast after the nursery drop off. That’s my takeaway from my osteopath: you need to slow down and breathe to let your body catch up!
It was still challenging week: my toddler was unsettled and looking for daddy. She talked about him all day, and seeing him on FaceTime wasn’t enough. She also got more clingy with me- followed me everywhere and would break into tears every time I stepped away for a second. It was stressful especially when you are doing small tasks like draw up her bath, or heat dinner. I felt terrible telling her off because I know she is just confused, but the crying does get exhausting.
I learnt a lot over the week- the first big one was I realized how incredibly amazing solo parents are- it’s not an easy job, and they deserve so much credit. Even when you are tired and cranky, you don’t have anyone to pick up the slack. Hats off to you!
I have a new found appreciation for my husband- I realized my husband does more than I give him credit for. He does the bath and bed time routine, but I realized most mornings he gets our daughter ready which gives me a bit of quiet to shower and have breakfast.
As I ready for my husband’s return tomorrow, I feel a mix of relief and sense of achievement- I didn’t think I could, but I did it! This week was an eye opener for me and a real confidence booster. At the end of each day, we went to bed with a feeling of accomplishment and for a few minutes, like a supermom. I am excited to get the family unit back together, to get some me time, and a tall glass of wine 🙂 !