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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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