A Few Thoughts on Solo Parenting

First let me be clear, I am not for a second pretending or equating that what I’ve been through for the last 5 days is anything like what full-time single parents go through.  I have a partner who is a very involved parent, and even while I’ve been actively parenting on my own for 5 straight days, I do know that he is just a phone call away.

But, what I do have to say is, holey man is it exhausting being a solo parent to a toddler while attempting to work fulltime all while being sick!!  This 5 days is the longest either one of us have been away from home since Little MPB was born – we’ve both done the odd night here and there, but never 5 straight days.  And, I’ll admit, even though there have been some tough moments, I’m glad I was the one who has been at home with Little MPB – I’m so not ready to be away from him for that long!

Anyways, I’ve made it 5 days and both Little MPB and I are still living and the house is still standing.  So I say that’s a win!

The most amazing/hard/exhausting part of being a solo parent is that from the time I wake up in the morning to the time he goes to bed at night, I am on.  There are no exceptions, not even bathroom breaks as those are a group effort!  I have to admit, I’m a little bit proud of the last 5 days – I managed to keep the kid fed, I did every single daycare drop off and pick up, purchase Mr. MPB’s birthday present (as an aside, I think I did amazing this year) and I even made our weekly swimming class.  But, while I may be proud, I still cannot fathom how others manage to do this day in and day out, especially without a supportive partner around to help manage the chaos!

Anyways, here are my initial reflections on my 5 days of solo parenting:

  1. My solo parenting adventure was definitely not timed all that well.  First, we had our first real snow storm of the year which lasted 4 whole days! And it was rather cold and windy so our ability to play outside was limited. But in the few minutes we’d spend outside, I will admit it was kind of fun to see Little MPB playing in the snow, even if it meant I had to freeze my butt off to watch him.  And, his new favourite things to say are “snoooow” and “it’s cold!!” – both of which are pretty darn cute.
  2. I’m sure parenting is hard for any parent when they are sick.  And I’ve been sick basically all of October and Little MPB has had a nagging cold for a few weeks.  I finally broke down and took us both to our family doctor.  Little MPB is fine, just a cold, which is what I expected to hear.  I’m definitely sick, which is also not a surprise.  Thankfully it hasn’t settled into my lungs, but I do have a sinus infection.  So, I’m on antibiotics again, and some sort of nasty nasal spray.
  3. Little MPB ended up with the worst case of diaper rash I’ve ever seen.  He screamed when I changed him and I discovered he knew how to say “owie” between sobs.  It was horrible!  I think he’s on the way to improvement but my gosh, I have to admit I nearly cried with him when he was so upset.  It truly broke my heart.
  4. Cooking with a toddler helping is hard work!  Mr. MPB usually cooks while Little MPB and I play, so I’m not used to juggling toddler and cooking at the same time.  And, to make it even harder, I’m not the best cook to begin with and I absolutely suck at multitasking without burning dinner.  But it’s important to us that Little MPB eats home cooked meals most of the time so I made a solid effort.  But I have to tell the truth – before Mr. MPB left, he prepared us a crockpot roast which got us few a through days.  And breakfasts were easy as Mr. MPB prepared a bunch of quick breakfast meals before he left, so I really just took pre-made things out of the fridge.  Which I still found stressful! There may have been a hotdog and KD meal for Little MPB.  And a KD (out of the pot) and wine meal for me.  But honestly, it was fantastic.
  5. Our house is not as clean as I would like.  But you win some and you lose some and this week I lost the clean house battle.  There are truly toys everywhere.
  6. Thank god for daycare!  Without daycare I don’t know how I would have survived this week, especially since I needed to work.  Little MPB went and played with his friends at daycare, and I spent time focused on work.  And, one afternoon I did sneak in a much needed afternoon nap.
  7. We try really hard not to turn on the TV for Little MPB.  (Don’t get me wrong, he does watch TV from time to time, and loves all things Paw Patrol, but we try to limit his exposure to 1 or 2 show per week).  I made it a personal goal not to let him watch more Paw Patrol then normal well Mr. MPB was away.  I failed.  Miserably.

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24 Comments on “A Few Thoughts on Solo Parenting

  1. Oh no, poor guy saying owie!! That would break my heart, too 😯 Glad you made it through to the other side, though! I also have so much empathy for single parents. The bathroom breaks being a group effort is all too true…..

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    • So much empathy for single parents!!
      And, nearly all of Little MPB’s words melt my heart in a good way, but owie was just horrible. I hope to never hear that again, but realize it’s bound to happen since he is a toddler after all.

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  2. 😂😂😂😂😂😂

    Every point you make resonates with me!

    I solo parent weekly now for 2-4 nights at a time, and I pretty much am used to it because the kids are older and they can entertain each other. But good God by bedtime, I am just done!

    The age Little MPB is at is the hardest for solo parenting, in my opinion. I used to solo parent two separate weeks each fiscal year when my kids were that age and it did me in. We laugh now about the texts I would send Brian, in absolute tears, during those weeks. I never get sick, but I did twice during those weeks he was gone.

    I can tell you without witnessing it that YOU DID GREAT!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2-4 nights a weekly? Oh man, that’s got to be hard on your entire family. And even though your kids are older, I’m sure it’s still a lot of work to do everything by yourself. You are one amazing mom and wife, for keeping everything running!!
      And you make a good point about how hard it seemed in the moment, and now looking back it has humor to it. I suspect I’ll feel the same way as Little MPB continues to get a little bit older. 🙂

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      • Don’t get me wrong… We laugh at how miserable I was. No one to it was easier than i thought it was at the time. It was awful!

        No work travel this week… We’re all excited!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t it crazy how much we can juggle when we have no other choice? Good job keeping things running the past few days. I hope you find time for some more well-earned naps.

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  4. I have a friend who was adamant about video time with her first child, but as he got older and her other two sons came into the picture, video time became longer. She has found a good balance, but some days, there are just too many things to do and too many loud voices at one time. I think I might bookmark this post for later reminders. 🙂

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    • We actually have a weird rule with TV. TV time = snuggle time. We sit with Little MPB, all snuggled in, and we watch together. So, we don’t actually turn on the TV to let us go cook or do laundry or get something done. It’s actually rather nice because the active toddler who has learned to hit and throw things while running everywhere, sits nicely and snuggles. And, it also forces us, the adults, to sit back and just be. 🙂
      Also, everyone I know with multiple kids does the same thing as you friend. TV becomes a lot more common with 2nd and 3rd babies. 🙂

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  5. I have no idea how single parents do it, either! I’m glad you guys survived the almost week alone!
    C has been fighting a horrible diaper rash as well, thanks to her teething that’s lasted over a month now. (Her last central incisor FINALLY broke through this morning, so hopefully she has a break for a bit!) It had been getting better, but yesterday evening while I was putting together a lasagna she got very upset and started clinging to me. After I finished, I changed her, and she had a poopy diaper, and her poor entire diaper area was fire engine red! She was screaming in pain while I was cleaning her up. B said he didn’t know she had pooped, and honestly I hadn’t smelled anything either, just saw she had a puffy wet diaper. Poor thing was so miserable though, we felt horrible for her. It’s looking a bit better today, hopefully it goes away for both of these kids soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, I’m sorry C has the same thing going on! We remembered the trick a pediatrician in a really humid state told us – blow dry their bums with every diaper change. It seriously works wonderfully and Little MPB is almost fully healed already! 🙂 Also, you have way more cream options in the USA then we have here, so make sure you have a good one. 🙂

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      • She doesn’t like the sound of the hair dryer, so I use her new diaper to fan her bum until she’s all dry. Auaphor just came out with a new “fast healing” rash cream that I picked up yesterday to try out. Someone suggested coconut oil as well. It’s looking better, but because of her sensitive skin her rashes hold on FOREVER!!!
        Oh and I forgot to say before…sorry you’ve both been sick! Hope you’re both feeling better soon!

        Liked by 1 person

      • We can’t get aquaphor here. 😦
        Because we used to blow dry his bum as a baby, he seems totally okay with it now. And we make it a bit of game and give him blasts of the dryer to his face – which makes him giggle.
        Oh, and thanks to the antibiotics, I feel 10X better already! Thankfully. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow that sucks! Maybe I’ll have to send you a package with some in it lol. I keep regular Aquaphor on her ALL the time because of her sensitive skin! We can never move to Canada now lol 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh man! Solo parenting IS hard but it sounds like you made it through so HOORAY! I just survived solo parenting for 4 out of 5 weeks and I can commiserate completely – my son had his first ear infection AND HFM during those 4 weeks I was solo parenting. I’m just grateful that my solo parenting career is over for now 🙂

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  7. You go momma! I can’t even imagine solo parenting! I get annoyed if my husband calls after 5:30….I should be better about that. Oh my gosh! Cooking with a toddler is impossible! We literally have crockpot meals most nights or I have to prep/cook dinner during naptime because it’s so hard to do anything when Luke is awake. I hope your sickness goes away soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I think the annoyance at arriving home late calls is pretty normal for me too. 🙂
      Also, thanks for sharing that you also struggle to cook with a toddler in tow. I have no idea how Mr. MPB can do it, but I literally burn everything when I attempt to cook and parent at the same time!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I solo parent random times as hubs is a shiftworker. This week he leaves the house at 530am and returns 730pm, and our son is often in bed by then. It is exhausting but we are used to shift life. I applaud single parents who don’t coparent, no idea how they do it!!

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  9. Haha sounds like you did well! The sickness thing when you are solo parenting is such a drag and my least fav aspect. Everything else I can kind of get in a rhythm and it’s not too bad. The big kid, ie Daddy, in my house doesn’t do much of the housekeeping cooking type stuff and he also creates a lot of mess so I actually prefer it now he doesn’t live here. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You guys are so good…we have the tv in all the time here although right now, A is stuck watching Hallmark Christmas movies. 😀. J just left about an hour ago for a 5 day hunting trip and I’m completely dreading 5 days with 2 littles. I’m just praying they don’t end up with the virus that it turns out on me of my dc kids had this week. Parents thought the fever was due to teething and then she broke out in a rash and they took her in to find out it’s a virus.

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