This past week, my husband was out of town. During our short time apart, I grew an immense appreciation for all of the moms out there who do the solo parenting thing. If there is such a thing as superheroes, you are it.
Those of you that have known my husband and I for some time know that we are two peas in a pod. From grocery shopping, Target runs, and to working out, we do nearly everything together. Sure we have had the occasional weekend solo parenting while one of us was away, but when the news came that my husband would be off on a work trip for a full week, I was a little nervous. How would I handle the bedtime routine? Would I have enough energy to make it through the day? Was the house going to fall into shambles? I am a serial over planner and over thinker, clearly.
Much to my surprise, the week turned out incredibly well. Brody and I had a picnic in the driveway, hung out with friends we hadn’t seen in a while, and learned that I am more capable than I thought I was. With the week now behind us, here are a few lessons I learned along the way.
Help is more essential than ever.
As a go-getter, asking for help is not one of my strong suits. It sits down near “putting away the laundry” on the list of things I am not very good at. But this week, I knew I was going to need a few breathers. Since we are blessed to have family nearby, they came to my rescue. An afternoon at grandma’s house, an evening with his aunt, and a morning with the babysitter—these little breaks made all of the difference. Ask your friends and family for help. Wander around the grocery store solo for an hour. Go treat yourself to a massage (I totally did). If you are not taking care of yourself, it is really difficult to take care of others.
Some nights, cooking dinner is too much work.
By the end of the day, just thinking about cooking dinner wore me out. On these evenings, takeout was our lifeline. One of my favorite nights with Brody was the night we went to ZoësKitchen in Chandler to grab dinner and brought it home to have a picnic together in our driveway. I love that their menu is made-from-scratch and healthy--it is better than what I cook most nights. Their Facebook Page always has my mouth watering. The new Zoës Kitchen kids meals are also a fun way to introduce your little ones to new flavor palates. Ever since our trip to Italy, Brody has been a big fan of shrimp. The shrimp skewer was an easy choice. We tossed down a blanket, set down the table top from Brody’s 1st birthday party, and had a dinner date—just the two of us. I hope Brody still has date nights with mom like this when he is 18. And a little confession: I may or may not have also ordered one of their giant zesty lemon cookies to indulge on post baby bedtime.
Adventures make everything better.
To make sure the days went by quickly, I filled our calendar with activities that would take us out of the house. From a morning at the pumpkin patch to a movie date on a cloudy afternoon—Brody and I had a lot of fun together. It was a great reminder that even during our normal weeks at home, getting out of the house makes for sweet memories (and extra long naps).
Facetime is a lifesaver.
Technology has come a long way since my years of long distance dating back in college. Our nightly Facetime chats with dad were always the highlight of our day. Brody would be his silly self and would blow dad a kiss every night. When Brody was younger, seeing one of us on Facetime when we were out of town would oftenmake him cry, but as he has gotten older, he has become obsessed with talking to people on Facetime.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
Having our family spread apart for a week reminded me of how grateful I am for I am for my husband, a happy & healthy toddler, and our family nearby. I find myself getting stuck in the routines and day-to-day life of motherhood so often that sometimes it takes stepping away from the norm to realize the blessings in front of me. And to the mommas who have partners off fighting for our country and for the mommas who are solo parenting—I am amazed by your strength!
PS: Want to win Zoës Kitchen $50 Gift Card? They're giving away 15 through October 18th! You can enter below by following me on Instagram and following Zoës Kitchen. Winners will be notified October 24th.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.