I don’t mean flying in the literal sense, I mean when your other half is away for more than just a day or two.
At the time of writing I’ve been the sole parent in charge of three little people for four days owing to the fact Misery Guts is running 150 miles across the Sahara Desert. And let’s just say it’s been interesting.
So far, the youngest running into the path of oncoming traffic in the car park at Sainsbury’s is the worst thing that’s happened (she’s fine) and the middle one stealing juice in a café, opening it and drinking it without me noticing the least worst. Oh, and the younger two drinking bubble bath straight out of the bottle when my back was (momentarily) turned is also worth a mention.
Either way, all three are parenting fails that wouldn’t have happened with two pairs of eyes instead of one, and the truth is I could do with some moral support.
So, I asked some fellow parenting bloggers – many of whom have significant others who regularly work away – for their survival tips, which range from ditching the housework (yay!) to focusing on the positives, like full control of the TV remote.
10 survival tips when flying solo with your kids
1. Plan ahead. “Make an itinerary with lots of options for things to do indoors and outdoors and make plans for play dates,” says Lisa at The Family Ticket. “Being around other parents in the same situation helps and the kids are easier to deal with when they’re with other kids that aren’t their siblings.”
2. Get as organised as possible. “Do all the food shopping and get all uniforms ready etcetera – it makes the time so much easier you are on your own as it’s not so much of a rush to get everything done,” says Lianne at Anklebiters Adventures.
3. Be kind to yourself. “Do not expect yourself to be able to do the work of two parents,” says Rebecca at Becca Blogs It Out. “Prioritise and do what needs to be done. Feeding kids – important. Housework – not so much.”
4. Have a treat night. “My husband works away most weeks, sometimes for long periods at a time,” says Beth at Twinderelmo. “I like to have a treat night where we all indulge and watch a film or something. It really makes you all feel happy and not think about how lonely you are.”
5. Plan playdates. “When your kid(s) have friends over, they’re more likely to leave you alone to be able to do a bit of housework (or just enjoy a cuppa tea),” says Chantelle at All Things Christmas. “After school playdates are perfect for time to cook dinner!”
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#MySundaySnapshot this week which should really be called see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil With Misery Guts away it's day 3 flying solo & unsurprisingly there have been *one or two* mum fails: the youngest running into oncoming traffic in Sainsbury's car park the worst & the middle one helping himself to a bottle of juice in a cafe, opening it & drinking it without me noticing the least worst ♀️ Still, they're clean & fed which is the main thing, right?! ♀️ #mumfail #mumwin @rachelswirl
6. Invite a friend over. “My husband works away a lot and it’s really hard. I always try and organise for one of my friends to come over one of the evenings he’s away to keep me company,” says Liz at ParenTeach. “We get a take out or have a drink. Even though it’s the last thing I can be bothered because I’m so tired, it gives me a break and is a bit of adult company for me.”
7. Invite the grannies over. “I invite the grannies over to stay at our house so I can have more hands to assist me with my three children,” says Veronica at My Parenting Journey. “My firstborn was a tornado and he was always messy and everywhere. If the parents are not available, I play with my children first before I do my chores. I make sure that the activities that I pick are energy-draining ones.”
8. Get the kids a calendar. “My husband is in the military and away a lot,” says Lynsey at Mum, That’s Me! “We have a calendar which the children use to count down the days, putting a sticker on each day.”
9. Focus on the positives. “My partner works away every week – those days and nights mean my choice of food, control of the remote, less washing and full access to the car,” says Susan at Edinburgh Mummy. “I find my boys are better behaved then go mental when he gets back.”
10. Ensure you get some time back. “Remember to remind your other half to do bedtime solo when they get back so you get a break,” says Vicky at The Mummy Bubble.
And not just bedtime – I’ll be expecting Misery Guts to do more than just the evening routine solo when he gets back! Have you been flying solo with kids recently? Do you have any top tips? I’d love to know what they are!