Solo parenting. It’s like single parenting, but…not really. And whether you’re solo parenting for a weekend or a year, it’s all freaking hard.
Since I just wrapped up a year of solo parenting, I want to share several things that helped my world run a little bit more smoothly.
You need a way to make food FAST.
I’ve mentioned a few of these things before, but “they” say you need to hear something at least five times before it sinks in…so here it goes:
I could get a box of mac and cheese on the table in less than 10 minutes with the Microwave Pasta Cooker; my air fryer cooks things so freaking fast and so good that I got rid of our toaster oven and haven’t used my oven in months; and my Cool and Serve Trays are the best for snack-night or build-your-own dinners.
These three things literally made mealtime with three kids manageable.
You need a way to keep caffeine flowing.
Coffee-drinking moms know that one of the most annoying things about drinking said coffee is having to reheat said cup of coffee…or worse, forgetting to turn on the coffee pot at night, and not having it fresh and ready for you in the morning.
Having the Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffee Maker fixed that problem full stop.
Special, huge, gigantic thanks to the Hamilton Beach rep who offered to send this sample coffee maker. It was like Christmas morning when we got it in the mail…and I love it so much we kept the movers from boxing it up, just so that we could use it longer!
Before I had this I’d make half a pot of coffee to last me two days, which means I’d constantly have to reheat coffee (which never tasted as good). But this one brews a whole cup in 90 seconds—and for the record, I’d always heat up a cup for two minutes, so it’s faster and tastes better. Winning.
What I especially love about this one is that I can use my favorite regular coffee (no special cup thingy needed) and make it whatever strength I want. So in the afternoon when I’d need some coffee, I’d reach for my decaf grounds and brew it on “bold.”
You need some grown up time.
Solo parenting during a global pandemic is something I don’t wish upon anyone, because when your lifelines disappear (aka babysitters), and you’re literally with your kids 24/7, you find yourself in desperate need of an adult conversation very quickly.
Enter: the Marco Polo app. If you haven’t discovered this app yet, stop what you’re doing, download it now, and share it with your friends, too.
I was able to talk to grown ups thanks to Marco Polo. It’s like FaceTime, except you can watch, catch up, and send videos on your own time.
You need to treat yo’ self.
When you’re solo parenting, you can’t just pop out for a run or nice leisurely walk around the block. My kids and I would go on walks together or go to the park to play, but it wasn’t me time. And while I should tell you that I found an awesome workout to try to release those endorphins….I’m not. This isn’t that kind of post.
My hardest moments were always right before my period when PMS would turn me into a hormonal mess. My husband—bless his heart—kept track of my cycle (in a non creepy way), and would send me an Whole Foods delivery on the exact day I needed a ray of freaking sunshine.
He once sent me a big ol’ package of individual Kettle Chips, and goodness gracious, it was perfect. And if you’re more of a sweets fan, these Skinny Cow Simply Amazing Salted Caramel Pretzel Minis are actually freaking AMAZING and only 90 calories for one; which honestly was all I needed to get my sweet fix on.
Find something or some way to treat yourself. Before Covid I got pedicures every couple months, I got my hair cut and colored regularly (something unheard of for me before the deployment), or I’d grab a milkshake or a donut when my kids weren’t with me (because sometimes you just need a treat that doesn’t involve listening to them beg for the same thing or asking you for a bite).
You need a good book.
So hear me out on this, because I did an experiment. If I read a book on my phone (or…let’s be honest: if I was scrolling through Instagram), my kids had zero problem interrupting me every 2.7 seconds.
BUT, if I had an actual book in my hands, they’d magically let me read and interrupted me less (like, every 6.3 seconds). Therefor: I really enjoy reading an actual book. You can see all the books I read in 2019 here, and here’s a list of the books I’ve read so far in 2020.
What are your favorite solo-parenting things?
Now it’s your turn—tell me some things that get you through a day/night/week/month/year of solo parenting!