Home Parenting Tips How Not to Suck at Single Parenting When Your Husband is Away

How Not to Suck at Single Parenting When Your Husband is Away

by Ivy B

So, you’re husband is about to go on a business trip, you say?  I bet you’re wondering how you’re going to survive!  In my opinion, the worst part of single parenting when you’re not a single parent is not having this routine.  I mean, you don’t realize just how much work your kids are until you’re completely alone with them.  The days are longer and your patience is going to be tested.

My husband had to travel a LOT during our daughter’s first year.  My first year as a mom was such a huge struggle between handling a high-needs baby, being a stay at home mom unexpectedly, and then my husband’s frequent traveling.  Since then, I’ve gone on to be a pro doing the single parenting thing, even with two kids.  By pro, I only mean temporarily.  I don’t know what it’s like to be without my husband for more than about a week.  Two at most.  If I had to pull this single parent stuff off longer than that, these tips might not actually cut it.

Tips for single parenting (or solo parenting) success when your husband is away on travel
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Strategies for Successful Single Parenting while Hubby is on Travel

[tweetthis]Successful solo parenting (even temporary) takes strategy + wine[/tweetthis]

Cook easy meals

If you must cook, keep it simple.  Grilled cheese night, anyone?  Beanie Weenies and tater tots?  Your kids might love you for this., too  If you’re a health nut who prefers rounded meals, remind yourself of this: “everything in moderation.”

Order dinner in or go out

When hubby is away on travel, make your mom life easier and order delivery or go out to dinner

Pizza is sounding excellent.  Or how about a quick trip to Moe’s?  If your kids are like mine, they do some crazy happy dance (and get a little loud) when they know we’re going out to dinner.  The best part about dining out is that, not only did I not cook, I also don’t have to clean!  If you get lucky and have a waitress who has kids, she’s going to treat you really well… probably because she has pity on you, but you’ll enjoy this.

Prepare before he leaves

If you know you’re going to be eating out a lot, there’s a chance you won’t have much food in the house.  If you’re planning to take my advice on eating out, you’re probably not going to have much in the way of leftovers for lunch.  Think ahead and hit the store a few days before he leaves and buy anything you may want to eat during the day.  Make sure you don’t have to hit the store with all the kids while he’s gone.

Stay on top of your family schedule, brush up on time management for parents, and check out my tips to help you beat the school morning rush.

Stay busy!

The days seem longer without your counter-part and you’ll quickly be reminded of how much he pitches in.  The best thing to do is get out of the house as much as possible and keep everyone busy.  The reward is that your kids aren’t home to destroy the house.  And, that means less nightly clean-up.  (Do you see a theme here? It’s lazy mom time.)

Put the kids to bed early

You’ve been busy (or you should have been if you took my advice).  Since you don’t have help, it’s totally cool to give yourself some downtime to unwind before bed.  Get the kids to bed early.  While you’re putting the younger one(s) to bed, have the older, more independent child(ren) start getting ready.  Still reading bedtime stories? Read to them at the same time if you can.

Have wine.

After you put the kids to bed, you’re very likely going to need some assistance winding down.  Cue: wine.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I never have figured out how to uncork a wine bottle myself.  Now is not the time to be caught without an open bottle.  Don’t bother him to open the wine before you’re ready for it.  Snag an automatic bottle opener!

I got this [easyazon_link identifier=”B002YENQ4M” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”ivsvabasaan0a-20″ cart=”y” localize=”y”]Ozeri Electric Wine Opener[/easyazon_link] recently and man has it changed my life.  It’s the first time in my life I’ve never had to ask for help opening a bottle of wine (aside from the screw top bottles).  And, it actually looks pretty cool in the kitchen.

Ozeri Wine Opener - don't get stuck without your wine after the kids are in bed

Remind Yourself It’s Temporary

Your mantra needs to be “I can do this, it’s only temporary.”  When things get tough or you get tired, repeat your mantra as you take a moment to breathe.

You’re doing great mama!  Before you know it, your husband’s trip will be over and you’re going to feel so much stronger and more capable.  With enough practice, you’re going to be a pro at temporary single parenting!  But, if you do too good a job, the Mister will wonder why you need him all the time.  I guess my final tip would be to stay home on the day of his return and make sure the kids destroy the house.  While you’re at it, mess up your hair and feign exhaustion.  But seriously, give yourself a bit ol’ pat on the back!

What other tips would you suggest for a mama about to experience single parenting while her husband is on travel?


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Ashley | Spit Up and Sit Ups March 29, 2017 - 2:45 pm

My husband travels maybe once a quarter for a week. It’s definitely tough as a working mom to do it all, but I reward myself with wine or ice cream (or both) when I complete the week alone! My tips would be to remain calm, plan ahead (especially meals!!!), and make sure you carve out time daily either during nap time or bed time to focus on something for you.

Jill Robbins March 29, 2017 - 10:20 pm

I have a similar wine opener. I love it! My husband is getting ready to go out of town and I’m kind of dreading it.

Katelyn L Fagan March 29, 2017 - 10:35 pm

Ha. Great advice! My husband only recently has started taking trips without the rest of us. For almost all of our marriage there have been few nights apart, most of which were hospital stays by either he or I. I think because I homeschool, I have an advantage that I am used to it, as well as his crazy student schedule keeping him gone 13 hour days anyway. :/ I like being married and having him around though.

Maria March 29, 2017 - 11:30 pm

Um thank you and your kind soul to share this ! The hubby leaves in May for work trip..ugh! Three kids at 8, 2 and 1..i hope i survive! Bookmarking this for reminder especilly the mantra! ??

geometry dash October 11, 2019 - 4:17 am

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