Easy Ways to CONQUER Your Single Parent Days

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Do you find your home difficult to manage when your husband’s away? Putting these five tips into practice will help you navigate those single parent days.

Every day, I look forward to 6pm. By 4pm I am counting down the minutes until that glorious hour. That’s the time my husband comes home after 10.5 long hours away. Adorable, right?

**collective, “Awwwwww!”**

Before you pass me the “wife of the year” award, I will confess that it’s not entirely because I love and miss him that I’m excited for his return. Part of the reason, I’m so thrilled is because I no longer have to be a parent/caregiver alone.

Someone else is here to share the load of parenting and caregiving. I have backup. It’s someone to hold the baby and play with the kids while I finish the dishes. It’s another person to answer my MIL’s questions.

Then there are the days when my husband has to work overtime or travel for business. There are times when he has to take a trip without me. The days when work of caregiving and parenting lay entirely on my shoulders.

So, just how do you manage when your husband’s away?

Stick to the Roots of Your Routine

The roots of your routine are the tasks you have to do every day to make your home run smoothly and keep chaos at bay. For my family we stick to our mealtimes, nap times, and bedtimes, and I do one load of laundry per day. Our bedtime routine NEVER changes.

By sticking to these routines my kids and MIL still feel secure, there is less anxiety over our missing member, and we don’t have the chaos of rebuilding our routines when my husband returns.

Related Post: Take My To-Do List and Let It Be

Putting these five tips into practice will help you navigate the days when you have to manage life on your own. | Parenting | Marriage | Caregiving | Routines
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Stay Active

My husband had to work a lot of overtime at the beginning of the year. I decided to make the most of it and scheduled extra activities for us. Every day we went on a new adventure. Some days it was exploring the woods behind our house. We visited several city parks and playscapes and met up with friends on playdates.

This accomplished several things:

  • It kept boredom from setting in. When young kids and aging parents are bored they start shadowing you. I knew that my nerves would be on edge as it was, so I made sure they rarely experienced boredom. Self-preservation really.
  • Getting four people ready for and in bed is quite the chore especially when you’re doing it alone. Their increased activity made bedtime much less stressful.
  • It made my husband being away an adventure rather than something to be dreaded.

Related Post: Why Caring for Aging Parents is Easier With Kids

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Keep Extra Plans Simple

My husband recently took my oldest son to Florida for the wedding of a dear friend. I was rather excited because, with on less kid I was going to get a ton of things crossed of my yearly bucket list.


What actually happened was my daughter didn’t know what to do with herself without her big brother to play with. My MIL also recognized the changes and became increasingly needy. My youngest son was his typical 11-month-old-must-be-constantly-held self.

I got nothing extra done and I became continuously frustrated by my lack of productivity.

When your husband is away, give yourself a little grace and don’t plan to do your “extras”.

Related Post: The Secret to Greater Productivity

Call In Your Village

The first time my husband left for a business trip, I felt like I had something to prove. There are so many single parents out there who rock! Surely I could handle one child for just a few days, right?

I lasted one day. It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle it, it was the realization that I didn’t have to.

The reality is, you have nothing to prove. Why tackle these single parent/caregiver times alone if you don’t have to? I’m not saying you have to hire a nanny, just ask for reinforcements.

  • Instead of taking your kids to the park alone, ask a friend to join you for a playdate.
  • Don’t try to navigate that zoo or museum with just you, call Grandma to join you.
  • If things get too stressful, hire that sitter so you can take a few hours to recharge.

Take Care of You

I know this is easier said than done, but look after your own peace of mind when your husband is away. I understand that it’s hard to look after yourself when things are “normal”. It’s especially important though when you don’t have that backup to take off some of the pressure of parenting/caregiving.

Take a few minutes after everyone is in bed to take a bath. Turn on a movie for everyone else while you take some time to read or just enjoy the relative quiet. Hire those sitters and meet up with some friends or just go to the store by yourself.

As with everything, give yourself some grace and try not to stress. Recognize that there are going to be moments that will make you want to pull your hair out but they will pass. Just a little extra preparation on your part will make your single parent/caregiver days run smoothly and help you manage when your husband is away.

Did you like this post? What are some things you do to make life easier when you are parenting and caregiving by yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

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Putting these five tips into practice will help you navigate the days when you have to manage life on your own. | Parenting | Marriage | Caregiving | Routines

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Putting these five tips into practice will help you navigate the days when you have to manage life on your own. | Parenting | Marriage | Caregiving | Routines


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