Peter was out of town for work 5 days last week and another night this week, so I had to hold down the homestead on my own (well, almost) for a while. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad, and I actually got more than usual done during that time. Being on my own forced me to buckle down. Here’s what I learned in my week as a single mom.
1) Don’t think about your chores; just do them. When you think about them, you realize how unappealing it is to empty all the trash cans in the house and gather up the recycling. When you don’t have someone else
nagging reminding you to do something (or helping you out) it’s easy to put it off. That’s why you just have to do it – no room for reflection.
2) Showering before getting Corban up makes mornings go much more smoothly.
3) Normal rush hour traffic is abominable! I am used to leaving slightly after peak commuting times, but when Peter was gone I had to shift my schedule up by a half hour or an hour so I could be home in time for our nanny to get to her night classes. That 30 minutes or so makes a huge difference in travel times. (And yes, I know I live in Milwaukee, which has relatively light traffic compared to many large cities, and I am thankful for that. But I’m not used to my morning drive being more than 20 minutes!)
4) It’s nice to get into work a little earlier. I’m not sure if it’s worth the trade-off of a longer commute — there has to be a happy medium somewhere — but starting the day early makes me feel more productive.
5) Life without TV is much more peaceful. I am not a TV person, but Peter is one who always has it on in the background. I actually didn’t even think about TV while he was gone, but I did notice how much calmer the house seemed with the silence.
6) Packing lunch the night before is the way to go. I always intend to do this, but never was consistent until last week when I knew my mornings would have to be extra efficient. It is definitely worth the extra 10 minutes (max) after dinner.
7) The mail is overrated. Um, yeah, I forgot to get the mail all week. It’s one of those things that Peter always does and I just don’t think about. Oops.
8) It’s a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning when there isn’t someone snoozing peacefully next to you. I get up and shower before Peter does, and always have a hard time dragging myself out of bed while he is snugly cuddled in. When a vacant pillow is your bedmate, it’s easier to just roll out without looking back.
9) Real single moms have it way harder than I do. A lot of the reason it wasn’t too rough for me taking care of Corban, the house and general life affairs by myself is because Corban’s nanny was taking care of him 9 hours a day and helping with housework during that time too. Those are the challenging hours of the day. Peter also was home in time for the weekend, so I don’t think I even really got a taste of what it’s like to raise a child on your own. Real single moms have it way harder because they don’t get a break.
It was actually really good for me to be forced to tighten up my routine and add a little more discipline into my weekday evenings and mornings. Hopefully I’ll have the willpower to continue some of these things even when I can afford to be a little lazy. What are your tips for living and taking care of kids solo?