I can see the finish line. It’s just within my reach. Dave’s been gone for almost two weeks and solo parenting is no joke. Here’s how we’ve made it through and my top tips for flying solo.
- Never cook dinner. Ever. It’s not worth it. Dave wasn’t gone 6 hours before I’d been through Chick-fil-a and McDonalds for different kids. We didn’t keep up that pace, but it got us over the hump.
- Say yes to help. My friend Carolyn offered to bring over dinner one night. Yes. My friend Ashley wanted Christian for the afternoon. Yes. Thank you to my people for loving on us!
- Don’t let kids have sleepovers in my room. It seems cute and fun but I’ve learned for myself I need uninterrupted hours without my kids. As much as I love snuggling them, I’ve learned to get those squeezes in during the daylight hours.
- Schedule play dates for the kids. I always think it will mean more work, but I have 10 hands to help clean up the mess after the joy of friends. Definitely worth it every single time.
- Schedule play dates for myself. Two birthday dinners, a worship ministry meeting, dinner with a friend and book club. Just enough out of the house time for me.
- Don’t panic and over plan every minute. Sometimes I freak out and try to do too much, forgetting the inevitable hyper-schedule hangover. This time we thankfully found our groove with free space and some planned fun in the mix.
- FaceTime TV date with Dave. We dated long distance for 18 months. FaceTime would have been a game changer. This time we watched a TV show “together”.
- Break out some new family games to play. We played a lot of Skip-bo, Uno, and Farkle this week (sidenote, that name is the WORST! We’ve dubbed it “sparkle”. Join our bandwagon). Even the little two have learned how to play lots of games this week.
- Loosen up TV rules but don’t go deep into the pit of laziness* (*TM Chris Vaughn). I tried to balance play time, work time, and TV time a little this week. Buying me some solo-mama brain time.
- Most importantly, don’t let go of time with the Lord in an attempt to find more sleep, rest, entertainment. Flying solo I’m without my better half, and I cannot wing it on my own strength even on those days. Time with the Lord to process and prepare for my day has been a non-negotiable. It’s not always easy to choose this, but I have to realize it can only help me. Not the magic genie, I did my quiet time now my day will go better. It’s the acknowledgment of my weakness and the need to cry out for his strength and filling each day.
Big time props for you solo-mama’s out there. You are rock solid amazing. I’m grateful for this season of life where Dave does not travel frequently for work. For many of my friends, this is their norm. Lord, let me see them and love them well!