Alright, truth be told, I am not a single mom. I did, however, get a little taste of what it might be like to be one when my husband recently was gone for a long weekend. Boy, oh boy, all you single mammas out there… I salute you! Being a parent is hard work (I think we all know that here) but a single parent? You, my friend, must have super powers.
I love my children beyond measure and I enjoy spending time with them. Despite those facts, I was a little panicked about my husband leaving me alone for: 3 nights of bedtime routines; 1 morning of getting them both ready and out the door on a work day (“YES you WILL use the potty before we leave the house!”); 2 visits to family members’ houses; 1 morning of getting ready for, and going to, church (they went into the childcare room during the service so I could avoid any embarrassment caused by my children’s potential outbursts), 1 errand (I cheated and did as much as I could before my husband left), 7 meals together, 1 trip to the farm, 1 bath (1 out of 3 isn’t bad, right?), and about 100 “Keep calm and mother on” moments….but hey! who’s counting?
I learned some valuable lessons about myself, my kids, and motherhood in general along the way:
- Single moms make Wonder Woman look like Minnie Mouse.
- Children know when you are outnumbered. THEY KNOW!
- It is difficult not having your partner there to jump in when you’ve reached your boiling point and need to call for back up.
- For every child a mother has, she should also grow an extra set of arms. Two are just NOT ENOUGH!
- Having the opportunity to spend some extended quality alone time with my girls was just plain awesome. I didn’t even have to share any of the attention with their daddy.
- You cannot possibly control everything so in order to stay sane you have to roll with the punches as best you can, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
- Remember to pick and choose your battles. When your 3-year-old takes the initiative and gets herself dressed, who really cares if it doesn’t match!?? She did it BY HERSELF! Just smile and say, “Great job!” while taking a picture to laugh at with your friends and co-workers later.
- I was in awe of how my 3-year-old appreciated some of the “little things.” After her 1-year-old sister went to sleep on our last daddy-free night, we watched a movie, ate popcorn, laughed at all the funny parts, and cuddled. She thought it was the most exciting thing ever and when I was putting her to sleep she sweetly said, “Thank you for the popcorn mama! You’re my best mommy ever!” (Yes, my heart melted).
But above all else…
I realized I want to spend more mommy and daughter time with my girls. It is so easy to get caught up with schedules and the craziness of the week that I we don’t have the opportunity to spend as much one-on-one time together as I would like. So that is going to change. This weekend I am taking to Caroline to her first movie in the theater and out to lunch. And you know what? There is nothing else I would rather do!