I spent the last three weeks getting a taste of what it would be like to be a single parent. My husband had to go on a three-week business trip - something that rarely happens in our relationship. Three weeks seemed like a long time. I know, for you single moms and super moms out there, three weeks is child’s play. Although I was raised by a single parent, we were surrounded by family members who could pitch in instantly. Today many families are miles away from the nearest relative. We rely on the good will of friends and a sitter when we can afford it. As a mother who works full-time, the thought of getting two young kids ready and out the door every morning, working a full day, picking them up, feeding and getting them ready for bed (neither sleeps through the night) and then doing it all again everyday for three weeks, seemed daunting.
- enlist the assistance of friends and family
- create a schedule and stick to it as much as possible
- get a good night’s sleep, you need your energy
- arrange play dates, preferably at your house
- try to cook for at least 3 days and pack lunches in advance
- order guilt-free meals for deliverykeep secret weapons (new toy, favorite snack) handy in case of an emergency tantrum
- make a “to do” list and focus on the important things, everything else can wait
- If you need to pick up a few things at the supermarket, enlist a friend or sitter to watch the kids; nothing can send a parent over the hedge faster than a child in the supermarket.
- So what if your little prince pours an entire bottle of baby oil on the floor, or the baby throws up on you on your way out the door? The unexpected happens, just take a deep breath and go with the flow.
At the end of the three weeks, and lots of help from friends and family I survived. I have to admit that I am no super mommy but I at least both kids are alive and well. I hope not to repeat this experience anytime soon but now I know that if I had to do it, we would all survive, just like the millions of hand working single moms out there.
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