I’m somewhere in the midst of six-ish weeks of parenting while my partner is out of the country for work. My kids are young, one is in child care and one is in preschool at a different place. I work full time. I have a 70 pound, very active dog. So yeah, there’s a lot of balls in the air when I step into being a solo parent for a long stretch like this.
I’m also somewhere in the midst of being better at asking for help. But, there are certainly times when help is exactly what I need. Now is one of those times. Before she left I reached out to my family, a close group of girlfriends and some neighbors. I talked to my boss about needing a little more flexibility and forgiveness right now.
I got pickup schedules organized. I made weekend plans, some that include sleepovers at Nana and Grandpa’s for the kids. I wish I could say that I made meals ahead of time and put them in the freezer. I didn’t, but I have friends who did for me! My village is super solid.
Before my partner left, I was pretty much in denial that she was even leaving, let alone for this long. Now that she’s away though, the kids and I are in a groove, but we are certainly not in this groove alone. There’s support coming at us from all directions and at all times of day.
Yes, mornings are still hectic. But, the funny thing is, when you parent alone you realize that rules and routines are non-negotiable. They’ve gotta get dressed without my help, they have to bus their plates, they better brush their teeth, I’m not helping with coats or shoes or backpacks. I simply cannot. They are rising to the occasion though, as kids so often do when given the chance. They’re doing it all, with enthusiasm even. It’s awesome! And so helpful.
I couldn’t survive these six-ish weeks without help. Or at least I wouldn’t be this sane. My kids would suffer. My dog would suffer. I would suffer. But we’re not because we have help! I’m a better parent knowing I have family and friends that have my back right now. My friends have told me that I’m also a better friend in asking for their help. And it hasn’t really been that hard.