Solo Parenting Week 1

My husband is currently out of town and he’s been away for a week now and I am glad we survived. Apart from crashing in bed as early as the kids on most nights, everything’s well.

The fact is solo parenting needs practice and the truth is, I haven’t been getting much practice since we got here, which really isn’t something that I should complain about.

Because of a less hectic work schedule, my husband gets to spend more time with the kids. He gets to help out with the chores while I get to slack off. And as the day for him to travel grew nearer, I panicked.

Before he left, I sat down with kids and had a talk with them, on how they could help while the Dad was not around. My 4 year old gleefully offered to cook for us.  How I wish he could.

Getting the boys ready for school and disciplining them have to be the main challenges when the Dad is not around. I have to admit that how each day turns out very much depends on how well my 4 year old cooperates.

On a good day, he would wake up in the morning change his school uniform, brush his teeth and get ready for school on his own. On a bad day, I would have to nag, bribe and threaten before he would get out of bed.

Then there were the daily squabblings which required constant mediating and can be totally energy sapping. And the soccer games in the evening 3 days out of the week. Dinner has to be prepared ahead of time because hunger usually means grouchiness for the 4 year old.

The first week passed quite uneventfully.  I realised I needed to conserve my energy as the week progressed. So I skipped my morning runs and we had fewer after school playdates. During the weekend, we went bowling dates, movie dates and birthday parties. Time flies when everyone was having fun.

Then at a Chinese restaurant, while waiting for our food, my elder boy took out his book for read while the little one quietly work on a sketch of a toy he brought along. It was all so peaceful and the waitresses look at me, visibly impressed. I felt like the perfect parent with perfect children. And I wonder whether we have been too hard on the boys.

So over the weekend, as a reward to myself and the kids, we went on a shopping spree at Target. I bought each of them a new toy – a Lego set each. My little man was so anxious to get it fixed that he stayed up past bedtime to work on it.

And the next morning he was up as early as 6.30 am to continue what he couldn’t finish the night before. He was finally done an hour later but my the clock on my phone showed the same time, 6.30 am.

Apparently it was Daylight Saving and we were just moved forward an hour which effectively meant that we were up since 5.30 am on a Sunday morning.

All thanks to the new toy and thus another week of toiling began.



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