Two years since we started this lifestyle and the questions are still asked…
How do you manage parenting two girls all by yourself?
Don’t you miss your husband?
Don’t they miss their father?
Of course we miss daddy and of course days can get really difficult single parenting but thankfully we have ways to survive through.
I thought that would be nice to share my tips with you today and maybe there are women like me out there that need a little bit of help.
Embrace your life
Try and be as positive as you can. Look for the benefits in the situation and make the most of it. Become a positive affirmation junkie! If you have a positive attitude than your kids will copy you. And if they are happy life is a lot easier.
Routine & stability is the key
Creating a stable environment for little people is a high priority. To this it helps a lot that we have my parents next door and lots and lots of friends around. If kids know what to expect helps them to know how to behave and respond. My eldest knows that from Monday to Friday she goes to school, that on Saturday she has ballet and Sunday is the day to relax…sometimes staying with grandparents or seeing friends. And this is just a glimpse of our routine. We have a time to get up and have breakfast, school run, lunch, nap-time,afternoon activities and studying, dinner time, bath time, bedtime etc. All this is the framework to our days and everything else in between is flexible. Daddy can come and go but all the aspects of our lives stay the same.
Stability & Routine = Reduced anxiety & fear for little kids
When daddy goes off to catch his plane I make a point NOT to make a fuss, especially for the kids. I actually learned this from my eldest. She hates goodbyes and down plays and acts like the day her daddy goes back to work is a day like every other day. I know it is very hard for her especially and I always try to stop myself from crying. For us the separation can be long from 2 to 3-4 months so it is hard to down play-it …but we try and it gets easier..especially because my girls chat to their father a lot via FaceTime.
I am not the most organised person and you will know it straight away if you step into my home. I always fall behind time with cleaning, washing up, putting the clothes away etc. but when it come to the rest…I can be really good. I always have a well stock fridge and freezer(thanks to my dad)and plus my baking cupboard is always filled. If I get too wrapped up in everyday and playing with the girls I always find something to give them to it and if they fancy a bit of baking (kids always do) I have everything at hand.
Keep daddy in the loop
My girls love the camera! And I always take lots and lots of pictures with the girls so I can put them here on the blog where daddy can see them as well. However I do use my phone too for fast, easy, instant keep in the loop with what is happening at home. And let me tell you daddy loves it and the girls are smiling even more when they know it is a message for daddy.
Although daddy doesn’t send us any videos he does chat with us via FaceTime almost every night. My eldest and my husband even play with each other via FaceTime or they read stories.
My youngest grabs the iPad sometimes very early morning and she calls daddy all by herself! And she is only two!
Technology is great as it helps us to stay in touch no matter where we are!
When daddy is home with us…he is all ours! Well…first the girls! Every single moment we spend together as a family of four is well appreciated. They have his undivided attention and he has theirs. When he is home he is just here. He doesn’t have to run to work or do anything else. The quote…”distance makes the heart grow fonder” is something that resonates with us. When daddy is home mummy is usually baking more cakes, we visit places, go on holidays and altogether have lots of fun!
As I said above I am thankful to have my parents just next door so when I need to go away from my girls to a dentist appointment etc. there is someone to look after them. And of course we do have quite a lot of friends around too and extended family. After living so many years without nobody else to count on besides my husband it is reassuring to know there is always someone to call if the need arises.
Take some time away from the 24/7 parenting
Although is the most wonderful thing in the whole world being a parent 24/7 can be exhausting. If you have to do it all by yourself most of the time than it’s millions time harder. So if you can put your support network to work and go shopping by yourself, to have your nails done or even out for a drink with your best friend. Sometimes even an hour away from parenting can make a very BIG difference to the way you look at things.
Talk talk and talk again
Talk about everything and anything with your husband. And encourage him to tell you about his day to day life when away. It helps a lot to be able to talk to each other with no boundaries no matter where you are. Although you are far from each other and can fulfil the physical part of the relationship it doesn’t mean that you can’t have the rest.
Don’t argue about trivial things. It is hard for both of you. I know…believe me I know it is hard not to get angry and ratty every now and then…but arguing will not help. Talk calm about everything..take a DEEP BREATH and COUNT TO 10. It might not always work but it does.
Adult time = Mommy & Daddy time
Make sure that while your husband is at home you get some Mommy and Daddy time only. My girls are both in bed by 9 – 10 pm the latest so we always have our evenings for us and we can even scoot away for a night out if we want. My girls favourite babysitter is just next door remember?
We don’t do it as often as we should though…but it is still nice to cuddle and watch a movie together.
LOVE YOUR OWN COMPANY
If you are like me you always put your own needs and wishes on the last place. Always looking after the other and never after yourself …well now is time to change that! Use the nap-times to rest too or to do what makes you happy. Read a book, have a soak in the bath tub anything your hearts wishes.
Do the same about the time after your kids go to sleep. When daddy is not home my youngest is in bed by 8 and eldest by 9! Sometimes I am too knackered to do anything at all so I just sit and watch a movie and leave the washing up for the morning, Sometimes I speak to my husband via FaceTime but most of the time I do what I enjoy the most blogging and learning more about photography.
When my husband is at home we function as a unit we split duties just by looking at each other.
But that doesn’t mean that I can’t just make the most of the time alone – growing as a person, BETTER myself as a human being.
I hope that if you are in the same situation as me my tips above will help to make your life easier.