Sean went to Montana this week to go fishing with his aunt. (Long story.) He left Sunday and came home Friday night. That meant I was a single parent for a week. Here is what I learned this last week, when I wasn’t at BlogHer.
1. Bedtime sucks
Let’s be upfront with that one. Bedtime sucks anyway, but when you’re down a man, count on the suckitude increasing dramatically. It will be like a pointless video game. One runs out, you chase that one, as your about to put that one back in their room, another runs out. Forgetting to stretch prior to bedtime means pulled muscles the next day.
2. Tiring the Kids out Doesn’t Work
There are more of them than you. You can take them to the beach or an amusement park (only if you’ve already lost your mind), hiking, whatever. They won’t be anywhere as tired as you are dealing with them and chasing them around. Worse, they might fall asleep in the car at four or later and get a power nap in before bedtime. My advice, stay home.
3. Don’t Forget there’s not another adult coming home
I almost got stuck in our tortoise’s burrow. Now is not the time to do things that might leave your children orphans, if only for a week. Nor is it the time to test if they know how to dial 9-1-1, but you might want to give them a refresher course, just in case.
4. Try to include them in the other parent’s trip
Sean texted us a few pictures when he had cell reception. They saw bison, a rainbow, and a short video of Old Faithful. Also, Samantha got a tick behind her ear, so it was just like if we went into the wilderness with Sean.
5. Enlist Some help
This is what mother’s or mother-in-laws are for. Call them ,whine, plea, whatever it takes to get them over to “help” you out. Then find some errands you need to do. Just you. Alone. For at least two hours. Then run.
6. Plan your meals
If you’re not the primary cook in the house, think about what you’re going to feed these kids. McDonald’s every meal is not going to work (a couple times, okay, but not the main plan.) Maybe try Trader Joe’s or a similar type store for some healthier frozen food. Or, again, the mothers. They cook.
7. Plan Your
If your spouse takes off for a few days, only fair you get to also. When the kids are screaming and someone wet their bed during the bedtime fiasco, plan. Decide where your going, your happy place, if you will, then go to your bedroom, close the door, cover your ears to stop the voices, and go to your happy place. And imagine your spouse where you are right now. Guarantee to bring a smile to your face.
I was more than happy to see Sean Friday and I’m glad I don’t have to do the single parenting thing very often. My hat off to those who do.