Kel left for a conference this morning around 11:00 and I’m trying to get into the solo parent mindset. I’ve found I have to approaches to parenting solo:
First there’s wussy woman:
“Woe is me, I’m SO depressed, what on EARTH am I going to do with a 1 & 3 yr old all by myself for the next 80 hours? (yes I have it down to hours) We’re going to have to watch 6 movies a day and eat nothing but popcorn as I walk around in my bathrobe and sulk.”
The opposite side of this coin is super lady
“I got this, I got this hard core! I’m not only going to parent the crap out of my kids but I’ll reorganize ALL the closets and cupboards, teach the kids how to make both noodle necklaces AND potholders. Additionally, if I’m going to be on my own I need to learn how to use the power tools in the garage as well as the lawn mower.”
These two inner selves are so opposite that I’m expecting a multiple personality diagnosis within hours after I post this. Just call me Cybil.
I have many friends who are single moms every day of their lives so I feel like I have no business whining. They do it solo every day, I think I can manage three. These women are astounding and deserve massages, gourmet dinners, free babysitting and mocha truffles. Single Moms, I am in awe.
This afternoon started with me sulking, crying and being wussy woman. I’ll admit it, it was ugly and a tad pathetic. But I pulled out super lady after the kids got us from naps and we swam in the pool, took a bubble bath together, built a fort, ate homemade cookies and played toys.
Mom of the year badge, here I come!
Then I looked at the clock, it was ONLY 3:45. Crap! Now what?
I could turn on the television and let them zone out until bedtime but, no, that’s not what “good moms” do and I am determined to be a good mom and do what’s best for my kids.
However, they were getting whiney and I was developing a massive headache. We could just eat a early dinner, clean up their toys and watch a movie before bed. We don’t normally watch two movies in one day but was it really going to lower their SAT/ACT scores if they watched both Toy Story AND Wall-E in a 24 hour timespan?
Then it hit me, there’s no medal at the end of this. No one is looking through my window keeping score, evaluating my mothering skills. There is only Noelle, Caedmon and I navigating this week together, for better or for worse.
So after a few moments thought I decided that a bit of Toy Story is better than a headachy mom snapping at them for getting into things out of boredom.
So often we feel like every day has to be top notch, beyond par and Facebook post worthy. Food must be homemade and all natural. Activities educational and relational to the max with at least 17 God-led teachable moments.
Here’s the thing: no one, but no one can sustain that pace. There is no prize at the end of that road except maybe an ulcer and nervous breakdown.
Should every day be full of TV and fast food? No, and every day isn’t, but today I am exhausted, headachy and in need of the grace that only God, Woody and Buzz can bring to our home.
So, if you’re in a weird season or week, give yourself a little grace. Recognize that this isn’t your normal rhythm and adjust things accordingly. Don’t use up all your energy in one burst, pace yourself, breathe, grace, breathe, grace. Seriously, breathe in his grace, it’s there for us, you and I.
What’s your secret to simplifying through solo parenting or any schedule shenanigans? Please share, I have 72 hours to go here.