It’s that time of year again. County show and outdoor event season. The only reason I wince when I see the sun starting to shine and the temperature get warmer. When R gets his shorts out I know it’s only a matter of time before he’s off for weeks at a time working away. Of course, I can only be happy that he is working hard and providing enough money for me to stay at home and look after Oliver, but I won’t lie, I do dread the solo parenting bit.
It’s at this time of year my respect for single parents goes through the roof. It’s really bloody hard when this small person relies only on you. Last year was especially hard. Oliver was a bit of a late talker so his understanding was not really there when I explained that Daddy would be home on whichever day. We tried a few things last year to help us cope while Daddy was away.
What I’m Planning to Do This Year
This time will be a little different though; Oliver is older, I can actually drive and he understands so much more as well as being able to express himself better than he has ever been able to. He can tell me he’s sad, or angry or upset or if he just needs a cuddle. That in itself will make a huge difference.
Helping Oliver Cope
One of the things I will be implementing again is using the calendar. I think Oliver really enjoyed crossing off the days. I’m hoping we might have a few days out too, being able to drive means I can technically take Oliver out by myself, but it’s one of the things that I really struggle with, mentally. I’m hoping that he might also see a little bit more of Nana, Grandad and Aunty M.
Another thing that’s different, at least until the summer holidays, is that Oliver will be at preschool. It gives me a chance for a bit of me time and to collect myself and my thoughts. On Thursdays I go to yoga and then for a coffee (actually a decaf tea) with the other ladies from class. I intend to start doing more yoga at home on other days too. It really helps me be calm and refocus my thoughts. I also bought a mindfulness book recently which I’d love to get in to
Now that Oliver is at preschool I have more of a routine with my cleaning schedule. I am much happier with how the house looks now than I was this time last year. We also got a dishwasher in the last year, which helps rather a lot! The other thing will be to be kind to myself and let myself have the occasional off day where we have pasta sauce from a jar instead of everything needing to be cooked from scratch.
I have to remember that above all, Oliver needs quality time and extra cuddles, extra play and extra silliness. Sometimes he just needs a bit of time to wrestle with me or time to cuddle me, or be silly on snapchat with me. He just needs me sometimes.
Do you have any tips on solo parenting when your partner is away? If you have any magical secrets I’d love to hear them!