Ask Janice/ Happiness

Solo Parenting Survival Tips

As I mentioned yesterday in my Motivation Monday post, my summer long solo parenting stint has officially started, which means I have to be pretty organised in order to manage to have the energy to keep up my training. Every day I have two drop-offs to do before work, and two pickups to do after work, along with preparing dinners, bringing kids to soccer games and practices, etc… This could really be a recipe for over-eating, fast food and skipping workouts without careful planning.

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So in anticipation of the week the girls and I worked together to put into action our solo parenting survival plan:

  1. Meal Planning:
    The girls helped me to create a week long meal plan and came to the grocery store with me to help me pick out the food that we needed. Before heading out to the store we discussed what foods we needed, healthy snack options etc. They were excited about being involved in the decision process and very well behaved at the store!
  2. Wardrobe Planning:
    Also known as disaster planning. My daughters are typical girls, when I send them upstairs after breakfast to get dressed they tend to have a hard time picking out their clothes, get distracted playing with toys and create a HUGE mess. We then end up in screaming matches and door slamming. Working together as a team, instead of fighting each other will make our summer go more smoothly, so I did all of the laundry, folded it and put it away, then asked the girls to go through their drawers with me to pick out 5 outfits for the week. We then brought their clothes to the living room so that we can all get dressed together in the mornings while having a dance party. While this will help us all get out of the house faster, create less mess and laundry, my fingers are crossed that I’m not setting them up for a career in exotic dancing…
  3. Prepare for the day the night before:
    Anytime my attention is not FULLY on my girls, something silly happens. They either find a way to hurt themselves, each other, or create a mess. If none of those three things happen, then they will fight for my attention. Because the two most disastrous times of my day with them is breakfast and dinner I try to make things go smoothly by preparing our food for the next day after the girls go to bed. I even go so far as programming the coffee maker – who can resist the smell of fresh brewed coffee waiting for you first thing in the morning? I also prepare my lunch and pack my gym bag for the next day.

All-in-all, yesterday went very smoothly. We got up, ate breakfast together, had a great dance party while getting dressed together, got to daycare and work on time (!), had a great dinner together, and had fun together cheering Miss Brooke on at her soccer game. Bedtime was a bit of a challenge/balancing act, but it went better than most nights because being prepared for the day meant the girls had each managed to secure some good quality attention from me.

Here’s hoping that the rest of the summer goes as smoothly!

Question/Sharing: How do you adapt your routine when you have to solo parent? What are your solo parenting survival tips?

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  • Emma
    July 17, 2012 at 8:06 am

    You are so welcome to bring the girls here sometime – maybe a Friday night? Or on a weekend? I’ll feed you and you could even get out for a run. 🙂

    My kids would be thrilled to have some other girls to play with!

  • Michelle
    July 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Fortunately, I never have to solo parent since I have a special needs child. well, not never but very very rarely and not more than a few hours and during that short stint of time I don’t even leave the house. Sad but true. My son is in a wheelchair and if he falls asleep he’s like 75 pounds of dead weight that I can’t handle alone

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