Whether it be for a business trip, family, church or military obligations, or a week rock climbing with the guys, sometimes our husbands are gone and we find ourselves single parents for an extended period of time. While we always hope this will be short lived, it still helps to have a few tips to get us through the long stretches when we're going on our own. Here are a few things I have learned.
"Pack" the night before.
Especially if you need to be out the door at a particular time, it's helpful to get everyone's clothes laid out the night before. Find all the shirts, pants, socks, and shoes and have them ready in a pile. A lot of stress can be avoided if you don't have to go searching for the one missing shoe when you're already running late!
When the toddler and the baby are crying, take care of the toddler first.
I've been learning this with my two-year-old and three-month-old. When the baby's crying, it always seems so urgent to take care of her NOW. But I have learned that my toddler notices when I choose the baby first. If I give the toddler the attention she needs, she is much more forgiving of the time I spend with the baby. When Dad isn't around, it's much easier if she isn't resentful towards me or the baby.
Get some sleep!
This is that advice that every new mom hears and can't quite seem to follow--at least, in my experience. It's hard to get anything done when you have the kids all day and it's tempting to work during naptime or stay up late into the night to catch up on what couldn't get done during the day. But, it is important to get enough rest to have the energy to keep up with the little ones!
Next week, my husband starts a new job 90 miles away. He will be home only on the weekends. I have a few tricks for the single parenting adventure, but I would love to hear any other tricks you have in your bags!