Solo parenting is hard. Motherhood is hard, but it’s exhausting when you can’t tag off after an 8 hour day for a 15-minute “pee break.”
This isn’t a story of how my life is worse than yours, or how my life isn’t as bad as yours. This is my story and my experience. I write this for me, and for all the other solo parents looking for companionship. If this doesn’t resinate with you that’s okay. Your story is still valid, true and worth sharing. I would love to hear it, or you can check out something else on the blog.
Solo Parenting because it’s not single parenting.
I get it. I have a husband who occasionally comes home from his crazy job, and earns a reasonable paycheck. He’s somewhat involved in the parenting of our children, but he’s also not. I’m not a single parent despite the feeling on the bad days, but I do solo parent. I spend many days, evenings and nights trapped at home doing this parenting thing without a break.
I know there are no breaks in parenting. You don’t just get to put them to bed and forget about them until morning. Parenting is 24/7, but that’s why parenting is better with your other half, family or a village. Because nobody wants to work 24/7. Somedays we just want to shower without worry, pee without company, or just eat a meal hot.
Solo Parenting is hard because it’s 9:30 pm and I’m finally not being touched for the first time since… actually, I’m not even sure.
Solo Parenting is hard because we need milk and there’s no other option but to take all the kids to the store. Even if its click and collect, it’s still bundling, and car seats.
Solo Parenting is hard because there is no time alone. When my husband comes home it is family time and getting those few hours together before he leaves again. There’s no time for evening getaways, spa days, or trips to the grocery store alone. Those are luxuries afforded to other family dynamics.
Solo Parenting is hard because when your partner does come home, the excitement and change throws off the whole routine. Everything you’ve tried to do to is undone, and parenting styles clash as you attempt to co-parent with a pep talk.
Solo Parenting is hard because nobody really gets it. I have a husband, the kids have a dad, but Dad is never really home. There aren’t weekends together, family dinners together, or even daily routines. It’s just me trying to give some normality to the chaos while wishing I could catch a break.
I’m lucky, I only solo parent for a couple days at a time. But some of you solo parent for weeks or months at a time while your loved one is out. We have partners but their life takes them elsewhere and it’s hard to parent without them.
Surviving Solo Parenting
Surviving the solo parenting gig is difficult but it can be done. I always feel like this is the part of the post where I should give you something more than my companionship in misery. However, truthfully, I’m terrible at surviving solo parenting.
I lose my shit all the time. I cry every night, and the looming potential to never get a weekend off destroys everything in my being.
Here are a few things you could try.
- Find Friends: whether they be mom friends or just adult friends make friends and call them. #ineedtotakemyownadvice
- Do Things and Go Places: If you’re always waiting for a helping hand, you’ll never get anything done. Leaving the house with 2 under 2 is freaking scary, but it’s possible and it just makes you stronger.
- Be an A-Okay Mom: Nobody needs a perfectly curated Instagram feed just a great mom who keeps them alive.
Do you solo parent? All the time? Sometime? Sporadically? How do you survive?