Why I love to solo parent…sometimes.

Why I love to solo parent…sometimes.

This past weekend, Super Dad took off on a long weekend in Louisiana for a bachelor party leaving me to solo parent the boys for four nights.  I’ll admit, my initial reaction to the idea of being on my own for 12 meals, 4 daycare drop offs and pick ups, 4 bedtimes and countless tantrums was a little overwhelming.  I reassured myself that I could invite my Mom to come stay with us and it would just like any other day of having one adult per child.  As plans came together for Adam’s trip, I never did extend the invitation for another set of hands and I think it’s because deep down, I knew that I could handle it on my own and the closer we got to the weekend, the more inclined I was to spread my wings as a solo parent.

The weekend came and went in a flash and as it turns out, it was a welcomed change of pace.

I enjoyed running my own show.  Super Dad and I are on the same page about all of the big things – bedtime routines, disciplinary tactics etc. but when it comes to going about our day, we operate a little differently.  Adam is a task-oriented, productive, punctual person that feels at his best when he has checked off a long list of ‘to-do’s’ on a Saturday.  I, on the other hand, will poke away at tidying here and there throughout the day, usually take on one or two new recipes but a Saturday well spent to me is in the sandbox or on the swings at the park with the boys.  On the weekends that we are home as a family, Super Dad and I compliment each other well and our time ends up being a combination of work and play but it was refreshing to spend my time with the boys doing puzzles, playing hide-and-go seek and running around outside without feeling the need to balance our day with house work or yard work.

We invited whoever to come whenever for however long they could!  Adam and I are both socialites.  We are true believers in ‘the more the merrier’ and are often inviting friends or family to join us for whatever we have on the go.  A ‘Mom and tot’ playdate however is not exactly high of Super Dad’s social calendar.  I took this opportunity to invite people over throughout the weekend and we loved our time hosting and playing a la toddler.

I stepped up my housewife game.  If you know me, this won’t come as a surprise to you but I’ll go ahead and set the stage here in saying that I am not the tidy one in our family.  In fact, I have endearingly nicknamed my husband ‘Danny Tanner’ because he is forever working to keep our house clean and organized.  I, on the other hand, earned the nickname ‘trailer’ as a child because I leave a trail of things I have done or touched throughout the day and I’m afraid to say the nickname has followed me into my married life.  It’s not that I don’t value having a clean house but it’s not priority one for me.  Being on my own this weekend was like a challenge to keep things in order like Danny would and I found myself dealing with what we call ‘trouble spots’ that had been sitting there for months.  Danny and his young protégér were back to it when he got home but I’m hoping to keep my game face on for a while longer.

I took some time for myself.  This might have been my favourite part of solo parenting.  At the end of the day, after the boys were in bed and the house was in order, I got to sit back and truly enjoy some alone time.  Being a spouse and a parent can be emotionally draining because there is almost a constant need to engage physically or emotionally with someone else.  As two working parents, Adam and I use this time in the evenings to catch up on one another’s day and get through any banking or admin things that we’re working through.  It’s valuable time for our marriage but for a weekend, it felt really decadent to have that time to myself…and if you’re wondering, I made the most of it by eating my weight in ice cream and watching Girl Boss or re-runs of Heartland!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  When Adam left on Thursday morning, I wasn’t sure how often I would hear from him – if at all – over the weekend but we ended up talking more than we normally do.  It was fun to send him pictures and videos of what the boys were up to and to hear snippets of what New Orleans was like.  Super Dad even found ‘Little Blue Truck’ which Clyde didn’t actually think was all that impressive but Adam and I are considering it a parenting win!  Clyde went to bed on Sunday night so excited to wake up and come upstairs for a snuggle with Dad… I think it’s safe to say we were all ready for him to come home.

You may have noticed that I used the term ‘solo parent’ to describe my time alone with the boys this weekend.  While I enjoyed the experience for all of the reasons above, it crossed my mind a few times that it was a small insight into the world of a single parent and ladies and gents, my hat is off to you.  I was exhausted by the end of the day and so looking forward to Adam’s return on Monday.  There is no doubt that it takes a village!

One last thing that kept me going through the weekend was that my turn is coming in just a few weeks.  A friend and I are driving to Toronto for two nights shopping and the hotel life.  Is anyone else planning to visit the One of a Kind Show?!  Hopefully Super Dad enjoys solo parenting as much as I did!

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