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There is no doubt about it, marriage and parenting are hard. Throw in a traveling spouse and it just got harder. These tips and tricks are what I use to conquer solo parenting when husband travels.
My family has been living in the “solo parenting when husband travel” world for 5 years. In the beginning, I had NO IDEA what was happening. But as life went on and as I learned new tricks and tips to make it easier, that is what I want to pass on to you!
3 Truths and a Lie
There are some truths about solo parenting. The following I think are the truths that speak most of the solo parenting or even single parenting.
- It is tiring!
- It is lonely!
- It is scary!
There is no doubt about it but at the end of the day exhaustion has set in. Then after the kids are all tucked in the loneliness shows up and reminds me I have no one to watch This is Us with. And I have to keep all the fear at bay. The thoughts of “what if something happens to me while my husband is gone?”
Then the lie:
It is so easy!
This is a hardcore hell no it’s not! There is nothing easy about being a single married parent. Everything is riding you. Raising the kids, doctor visits, haircuts, school, meal planning. The list doesn’t end and it is exhausting.
About 5 years ago my husband started traveling. It has been a long journey over these 5 years. Our marriage has gone through so much, and so has our parenting.
Empower the solo parent
About a year ago my son and I had a moment, not a good moment. He lost his temper, he threw the TV remote, it broke. I screamed and yelled. We cried.
I told my husband about it later and he didn’t think I handled it well at all. This meant I felt unsupported in a moment where I needed his support. You see the things that happened with my son and I NEVER happen when Dad is home.
So my husband and I had a long conversation and about how I discipline while he is gone. Everything is different now that I have been empowered to handle disciplining the way I feel fit.
Keep it simple!
In the beginning, I used to plan these elaborate meals. But my kids at the time were young and they didn’t care. They just wanted the mashed potatoes. Now, I keep it easy and simple and some weeks I serve the same thing 2 days in a row! Simple means a store-bought rotisserie chicken, grilled cheese and breakfast for dinner. And let’s not forget tacos! Everyone loves tacos!
Have a plan!
Failure to plan, plan to fail. This quote went through my brain for probably the first 2 years my husband traveled. I learned quickly that we needed to have a plan. Especially on days when the kids were with me ALL. DAY. LONG.
I would schedule meals, naps, and our outings. Now that the kids are older, I just have to schedule meals and their after-school activities. I work when the kids are at school. But we live by this plan!
This is something I didn’t implement right away when my husband traveled. Now I do it all the time. I learned that I needed to take care of myself.
For me, that meant eating a healthy diet, exercising and reading my Bible daily, and praying. Some days I do really well in this area, some days I don’t do well at all.
What is something that you need to do to help you feel good? Maybe you might like journaling or coloring in an adult coloring book. Maybe you might like to paint your nails?
One thing I wish I did more was taking care of me more and I wish I would get a sitter every now and then so I could go have a glass of wine with a friend.
Sleep for me is something I need to have in order for me to give everyone the love they need. If you are a stay at home mom, working mom or work from home mom, please make sure you are getting enough sleep! If you need to take a nap, take a nap!
There were many times I would use the time my kids were at preschool for me to take a little nap so I could have the energy I needed for the long day ahead. When my husband is traveling, I make sure I get a little extra sleep at least one of the nights he is gone.
This by far is my most favorite thing we have done. We go in and out of phases as to where we are getting help. One point we had a cleaning service, currently, we have a tutor so no cleaning service. But where ever you need help, get it!
Maybe you need help with meal planning, there are a dozen meal planning services online. My favorite is a $5 dollar meal plan. It’s cheap and the meals are easy. I have used their service and I would recommend it!
I have used their sister product too, Freeze Easy. I love having meals in the freezer so that on busy afternoons I can come home and know that I have a freezer meal ready to make or already cooking in the crockpot.
Solo Parenting when husband travels
This is my last tip for you. When your husband comes home, try and reconnect with him with a hug and kiss. You both had a long week. He is tired from work and managing his job, and you are tired from work and managing your home.
There is no doubt that solo parenting when husband travels is hard. Learning how to conquer the hard and learning to thrive while he is away, that is the hardest part of the whole thing.
Some of these tips are easy, and some are hard. I would love to hear from you and which one you liked best. Be sure and join the 5 Day Connection Challenge for you and your traveling husband below!
Stephanie Joseph has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 4 years. Before starting her blog she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.