Last week, my husband was travelling and I was home alone with my 2.5 years old daughter. I was hands-full with my kid, work deadlines and all the routine chores. There are certain rules which I abide by while Mr Husband is away for work. Here are a few tips for all of you who might have to face a similar situation sometime.
Plan ahead –
Sit down with your partner and discuss all your options before hand. Like who will take care of the kids while you and your partner are both away. What will be the hours of the daycare, nanny, babysitter or family and friends. Make sure you keep your budget in mind before taking any decisions. Similarly, do the meal-planning for the week before-hand. Try to include the recipes which require less time and effort. Try including fruits and salad veggies as mid-meal snacks for yourself and kids. Bulk chop the veggies and freeze them to save up the time during the weekdays. Plan to take your kid for a day trip to play-zones, movies, ice-cream treats etc so that you don’t end messing up with your budget.
Maintain a daily planner or a simple to-do list to help you with the double duty of parenting.
The Routine –
Follow a routine for yourself and your kid even in the absence of your partner. The routine might be slightly different from what it used to be because you will have to fill in the shoes of your partner. Try to complete most of the house chores before the kids wake up as this is the most productive time of the day. This includes cooking for all main meals and your me time. Try baby-wearing. It is a blessing during such difficult times. It will help you carry out your routine work while the kiddo is clinging close to you. You can carry your child wherever you head to – parks, malls, grocery stores etc.
Me Time –
Do not skip your work-out sessions. It will help to keep you calm and full of energy throughout the day. You will probably have to do the work-out at home instead of the gym as you can’t leave the kid alone. Plan to meet your mommy friends and arrange play-dates for the kids. It’s a win-win situation for the mothers and the children both. Indulge in reading or rather listening to books on audible. You can listen to books while you cook or travel. Remember, a happy mommy means a happy family.
Quality Time –
Time with your kids is more precious than anything else. And spending quality time means giving them memories to cherish. Involve the older kids in daily house chores including laundry, watering the plants, cooking under supervision etc. Trust your children with all they do and have faith in them over daily chores. You will be surprised to see how wonderfully they do everything. Engage kids in outdoor activities. Take your kids to a nearby park for physical play. You will get to spend some good time with your kids. They also get to experience the natural sceneries this way. Keep them occupied with indoor activities while at home. Indoor activities that can be planned include colouring, reading books, board games, colour sorting, building blocks, play dough etc.
Fill in your own charm –
In the absence of one parent, the child might get a bit cranky and clingy. You need to handle such emotions with lots of patience. Shower your kid with loads of hugs, kisses and cuddles. This helps the child to cope up with the absence of the other parent. Since technology has become so advanced, make sure the child gets to see and talk to the other parent once or twice a day. Surely while your partner is away, you would be under the pressure to fit into thier shoes as demanded by your kids. So instead of trying to be the other parent, you can just be yourself and let your kids see your other side which they didn’t get a chance to see earlier.
Next week I won’t be in town as I have to attend a wedding. I have to do a quick turn around, so won’t be travelling with my kid. Hence, I have shared this list with my husband. I am sure this to-do list will ease his turn to take care of our daughter while the mommy is away.
Are you frequently alone with your children? Do you have any tips to share with fellow Solo Parents? Do let us know in the comments below.