Here’s the thing: solo parenting sucks. It sucks 10 times more when you’re 26 weeks pregnant with twins and you’re feeling (and looking) 8 years pregnant.
I have always been in awe of single parents, and parents whose spouses are deployed, or work away from home for extended periods of time. When I have to solo parent for 10 days though, I want to give them medals (after I scrape myself off the floor at the end of the day).
In no particular order, here is how our days play out when it’s just the boys and I (and the twins in utero who keep me up at night already).
1. We eat breakfast for dinner more often than I’ll tell my husband.
2. The boys tear up paper into itty bitty pieces and I don’t even care anymore (despite my cleanliness OCD-ness). It keeps them occupied for more than 1o minutes, why fight it?
3. They get daily baths only because water play occupies them for even longer than paper tearing.
4. The iPad gets pulled out a lot.
5. I’ve become very good at building castles with blocks.
6. I spend inordinate amounts of time putting them to bed because unlike their father, I can’t just sing songs for 5 minutes, turn the lights off and walk out. I have to sing for 10 minutes, give them water, lie down with each of them for equal amounts of time, negotiate with the toddler to take away whatever toy he’s brought to bed that’s keeping him (and his brother) awake even though his eyes are half shut, and if I walk out when either of them are still awake, someone cries, screams and comes out of the room a million times. Which delays them falling asleep for an additional 37 minutes. It’s just easier to lie down with them and take a nap.
7. I sleep less because a) I wake up in the middle of the night at least three times, thinking one of the kids are up (they’re not), b) the babies kick the heck out of me, and c) I’ve already taken a nap putting the boys to bed, so I go to bed really late, and still have to wake up at 6.00 am because I’ve apparently birthed morning people (except it appears the twins are night owls, so I can look forward to a few years of NO SLEEP).
8. I find myself trying to persuade the 4.5 year old to take a nap in the afternoon just so I can get a break. It doesn’t work.
9. I binge watch House of Cards after the boys (finally) go to sleep, because I have no adults to talk to.
10. I eat ice cream while I binge watch House of Cards, because Lord knows I need it.
11. I take pictures of the boys throughout the day and send them to my husband, telling him how much he is missing, to induce guilt even though I know he has to travel for work, and not because he just wants to stay in a hotel room by himself ,and sleep through the night. I am such a wonderful wife, I know.
12. Every morning when I wake up, I tell myself, “Only <insert number> days until he gets home!”, take a deep breath and drink a big cup of coffee.
Parents who solo it, I want to give you a big fat hug, and feed you hot meals, because this shit is hard.
How do you manage solo parenting?