As a military spouse, solo parenting is just part of the gig. Training, deployments, schools. There are so many reasons our spouses are away for extended periods of time.
That said, the biggest challenge I face in solo parenting is something I never expected to not like.
Weekends are the worst when you are solo parenting
When I was working full time, I lived for the weekends. Even when I was solo parenting. It meant a break from work and time to spend with my son. It meant not leaving the house or having any obligations.
The thing is, now that I am not working, weekends usually mean the same thing. No obligations and not leaving the house. But when you are home all the time that isn’t necessarily something to look forward to. Weekdays go by so quickly for me usually because I have something to go and do with my son almost every day. Between play groups and our running group, we get out and see other people all the time during the week.
On the weekends there aren’t many play group type activities because the assumption is that most people are doing things with their families. And that’s when solo parenting starts to really suck.
Weekends are only two days but can feel like an eternity when you are on your own with a grumpy toddler and no adult interaction.
So what can you do to make weekends suck less when you are solo parenting?
Three ways to make solo parenting over the weekend suck less:
- Plan ahead. Is there something fun you and your kid(s) have been wanting to do? Save it for the weekend! This might mean a trip to Target with Starbucks in hand. It could also be a trip to the library or the park you really like but don’t go to as often because it’s a lot farther away
- Be proactive. Be the one to make plans with your friends. I think we sometimes hesitate to do this because we know how nice it is to spend time as a family. But it never hurts to ask if your best mom friend wants to join you for coffee
- Schedule time for self care. When I am solo parenting over the weekend, I like to set aside some time on Saturday night to do my nails, put on a face mask, and read or watch some of my guilty pleasure TV shows. It is something small, doesn’t cost much (or really any if you already have the nail polish and face mask) and it makes a huge difference in my mental state. Your version of self care might not look like mine, but taking time to do something you enjoy can make solo parenting on the weekend a little more bearable!
Pretty simple right? But the littlest things can really make a giant difference! Solo parenting any time is hard enough because everything is on your plate. In a lot of situations you may not even be able to talk to your spouse to vent. Add in the isolation that often comes with weekends alone and it can be overwhelming. Hopefully these three tips will help you bust through the weekend solo parenting struggle with (most of) your sanity intact!
Do you struggle with weekends while solo parenting? What do you do to make the weekends suck less?
Be sure to pin these tips for later or share with a friend who is solo parenting and might need some encouragement!