April 2012 Moms

Single Parenting

I know that some of you might be single parenting full or part time for one reason or another, and honestly, I have a TON of respect for you. By single parenting, I mean routinely being alone with the baby for several hours.

2 nights a week, I have to all of the evening duties (cook, eat with DS, clean, DS's bedtime ritual, clean pump parts, get the next day's bottles ready, get my stuff for the next day ready and finish the school work I couldn't get done before leaving in order to get DS before daycare closes - all of the basics) by myself. Those nights are incredibly stressful for me. I'm gone for a minimum of 11 hours a day, get up at 4:30 and therefore need to be in bed around 8:30 to make up for the 3 nursing sessions in the MOTN. I get home around 5/5:30 and have 3 hours to get everything done, with almost one whole hour being the bedtime ritual!

DH has an opportunity to aquire a 4th job, which would have him work every single evening. The evening duties would fall on me every.single.night. DH would still work all day/6 days a week, so it's not like he could pick up extra responsibilities during the day. I told him he's being selfish and that I need my sanity more than he needs the extra cash. (I realize in reality that he's not being selfish because he is giving up his own time to work more.) I know that a few of you work opposite shifts as your SO and make it work, some with multiple kids.

How on earth do you do it?

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Micah Leonard
Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Re: Single Parenting

  • Up until June, I was the single parent because DH worked nights. He'd get to see DD for an hour or two in the mornings at best. On weekends bedtime was horrible because DH would take over for me to give me a break but he had no idea what the routine was so it would almost always end in tears.

    It is hard, although at some point you can get into a routine, but it does take a while to get into that routine. One thing that helped was having DH agree to take sole responsibility of DD sometimes (usually Saturday mornings) so I could rest and not be "Mom" for a little while.

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  • image SteelCity44:

    DH has an opportunity to aquire a 4th job

     

    WOW, that's crazy.....how does that even happen......I feel for you.

    DH and I are on opposite schedules right now, so I have the whole evening routine with the girls myself too, but only 4 nights a week.  Not sure this is even possible.......but what I do is get everything prepped and ready for the week over the weekend.

    I spend about 2 hrs meal prepping for the week ( I usually get 3 to 4 meals ready for the week ahead).  I also pull out the girls clothes for each day of the week, (my clothes included too) and place them on a open shelf in the closet.  I also have their jammies placed out each morning in the living in preperation for the  night time bath. 

    I guess the BIG thing I have going for me, is that I get about 1/2 hr of time before I get the girls from DC to go home and start warming up dinner, put dishes away, put any clean clothes away, let the dog out, go thru the mail, make my lunch for the next day and the big one for me......vaccume.  All those little things can really add up on the "to do" list while taking car of LO's, so I'm thankful I have the tiny bit of time to SQUEEZE it all in.

    Good luck!  And god bless for a 4th job, that is just crazy.......I could not even imagine.

    Jenny
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  • If you don't need the income, I'd request he not take the job. It isn't worth your sanity or him missing out on spending time with your little guy.

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  • image kistjenn@yahoo.com:
    image SteelCity44:

    DH has an opportunity to aquire a 4th job

     

    WOW, that's crazy.....how does that even happen......I feel for you.

    DH and I are on opposite schedules right now, so I have the whole evening routine with the girls myself too, but only 4 nights a week.  Not sure this is even possible.......but what I do is get everything prepped and ready for the week over the weekend.

    I spend about 2 hrs meal prepping for the week ( I usually get 3 to 4 meals ready for the week ahead).  I also pull out the girls clothes for each day of the week, (my clothes included too) and place them on a open shelf in the closet.  I also have their jammies placed out each morning in the living in preperation for the  night time bath. 

    I guess the BIG thing I have going for me, is that I get about 1/2 hr of time before I get the girls from DC to go home and start warming up dinner, put dishes away, put any clean clothes away, let the dog out, go thru the mail, make my lunch for the next day and the big one for me......vaccume.  All those little things can really add up on the "to do" list while taking car of LO's, so I'm thankful I have the tiny bit of time to SQUEEZE it all in.

    Good luck!  And god bless for a 4th job, that is just crazy.......I could not even imagine.

    Yeah. You should see our tax return. And even after that many jobs, we're still living paycheck to paycheck. That's a good idea about getting clothes for the week out. I've been getting my clothes out for the next day, since DH is still asleep when I get ready, but I could just as easily pick everything out for the week. Dinners are my challenge, because how do you prepare everything so far in advance? I just got a new crockpot for Christmas, which has opened my world up to prepared dinners and leftovers, but leftovers only last so long.

    I also just put the PNP in our kitchen so LO could play while I cook/clean. I feel terrible, but I give him snacks while he's in there if he isn't content just playing with his toys. I am lucky that DH gets Micah ready for school every day, so I don't have to pick out his outfit or pack his bag. And I can usually make several of his snacks at one time, which saves me a lot of time. I would love to run home first to get work done, but I'm terrified of losing track of time and forgetting to get him! I already have an alarm set on my phone for the days that I have to get him from daycare so that I don't stay at work too long on those days! I'm terrible!

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    Micah Leonard
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • image SteelCity44:
    [ Dinners are my challenge, because how do you prepare everything so far in advance? I just got a new crockpot for Christmas, which has opened my world up to prepared dinners and leftovers, but leftovers only last so long.

    I don't usually prepare things in advance--I make twice the amount we need so  Ionly have to cook every other day--but there are a lot of things you can do ahead of time, especially if you do a lot of casserole and stir fry.

    Vegetables can be chopped  and put in separate containers; meat can be cooked or at least cut ahead of time. Lots of casseroles can be made up and then thrown in the oven to cook for an hour.

    For crock pot stews and stuff, you can make leftovers and freeze them in smaller portions so you can defrost just enough for that night. We did that when DS was born. I had several days' worth of chili frozen into several containers. Then I could defrost and just whip up some cornbread.

    It takes planning and may not always work depending on what style of cooking you're used to, but it is doable.

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  • image KatFCo:
    image SteelCity44:
    [ Dinners are my challenge, because how do you prepare everything so far in advance? I just got a new crockpot for Christmas, which has opened my world up to prepared dinners and leftovers, but leftovers only last so long.

    I don't usually prepare things in advance--I make twice the amount we need so  Ionly have to cook every other day--but there are a lot of things you can do ahead of time, especially if you do a lot of casserole and stir fry.

    Vegetables can be chopped  and put in separate containers; meat can be cooked or at least cut ahead of time. Lots of casseroles can be made up and then thrown in the oven to cook for an hour.

    For crock pot stews and stuff, you can make leftovers and freeze them in smaller portions so you can defrost just enough for that night. We did that when DS was born. I had several days' worth of chili frozen into several containers. Then I could defrost and just whip up some cornbread.

    It takes planning and may not always work depending on what style of cooking you're used to, but it is doable.

    Yes....this.  I do ALL these things.  An ex: of what we had last night for dinner that I prepared on Saturday was this......I pre baked chicken breast and made a box of stove top stuffing.  I put the stuffing in a casserole dish with the baked chicken on top covered it with tin foil, baked it at 350 for 1/2hr.......opened a can of green beans, and that was dinner.

    Another thing like PP said was when I make chili or soups or taco meat.....I mass make them and divide out into smaller dinner sizes for freezer meals.  Sucks doing it in the process....but I love myself for doing it afterBig Smile

    Jenny
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  • I feel all of your pain but it does get better or you just get used to it so it feels like it is better.
    In your shoes I would rather make the now when lo is young so I was able to work less when he is older so I didn't miss activities like soccer games etc.
    Both dh and I are single parents and it sucks. We work opposite shifts and only have one car. I work 75 with a little over an hour commute on train each way and dh works 31130. So he drives me to the train at 530 and is up for the day taking care of lo and drops him off at 2 at daycare. I pick up, get home at 6, feed and play but rarely make a real meal for myself just not enough time or energy. We go to bed at 8 but have to get up at 1230 to get dh at train so not back to bed til 115 and alarm goes off at 415. Its a long day for both of us. He only works e other sat days so I get help on weekends and we cook full meals both days. Work provides our lunches so we only really eat on the weekends. It sucks. We spend hrs on sat and sunday cleaning but its only a phase.
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  • image kistjenn@yahoo.com:
    image KatFCo:
    image SteelCity44:
    [ Dinners are my challenge, because how do you prepare everything so far in advance? I just got a new crockpot for Christmas, which has opened my world up to prepared dinners and leftovers, but leftovers only last so long.

    I don't usually prepare things in advance--I make twice the amount we need so  Ionly have to cook every other day--but there are a lot of things you can do ahead of time, especially if you do a lot of casserole and stir fry.

    Vegetables can be chopped  and put in separate containers; meat can be cooked or at least cut ahead of time. Lots of casseroles can be made up and then thrown in the oven to cook for an hour.

    For crock pot stews and stuff, you can make leftovers and freeze them in smaller portions so you can defrost just enough for that night. We did that when DS was born. I had several days' worth of chili frozen into several containers. Then I could defrost and just whip up some cornbread.

    It takes planning and may not always work depending on what style of cooking you're used to, but it is doable.

    Yes....this.  I do ALL these things.  An ex: of what we had last night for dinner that I prepared on Saturday was this......I pre baked chicken breast and made a box of stove top stuffing.  I put the stuffing in a casserole dish with the baked chicken on top covered it with tin foil, baked it at 350 for 1/2hr.......opened a can of green beans, and that was dinner.

    Another thing like PP said was when I make chili or soups or taco meat.....I mass make them and divide out into smaller dinner sizes for freezer meals.  Sucks doing it in the process....but I love myself for doing it afterBig Smile

    I'm never sure how long leftovers can last in the fridge. If I cook meat on Sunday and put it in the fridge, it's still good on Friday?

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    Micah Leonard
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • The USDA recommends 3-4 days for safe leftovers, althought I've had leftovers for 5 days.
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  • image KatFCo:
    The USDA recommends 3-4 days for safe leftovers, althought I've had leftovers for 5 days.

    That's what I thought, which is what makes it more challenging. I just need to use freezer meals more often. We don't have much freezer space, but I'm sure I can figure something out! The old "go to" was a frozen meat (chicken breat, pork chop, hamburger), a noodle or rice pack and a frozen veggie. But even that sometimes is too much work while watching LO!

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    Micah Leonard
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • I know I rarely post, but I had to add to this because I just became a single parent for a year.  DH just deployed overseas. I'll be honest and say that I just try to make it through the day and make sure to spend some quality time with LO.  When I get home, I throw something easy together for dinner.  I try to do healthy cause LO eats too.  I love veggies I can pop in the microwave.  Then I play with LO and do our bedtime routine.  After he's in bed, I wash bottles, prep them for the next day, and prep our things for the next day.  If I'm lucky I get 30 mins of me time then it's in bed at 900 cause I have to get up at 530 for work.  Let's just say being a single parent is just about getting through the day.  I've learned that it's perfectly ok for clothes to stay in the basket and dishes to stay in the sink for a day or two.
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  • I am just now after 5 months of being alone at night getting used to it and comfortable with being a "single parent". DH works till 9:00pm and gets home around 9:30. I do the cleaning, bedtime routine, and prep for the next day by myself. If I am alone for dinner, which I usually am I do a salad, soup, lean cuisine, cereal, eggs and toast, or pop a casserole in that my DH can eat when he gets home. I am also alone in the morning because DH leaves before DD is awake. 

    I would say the hardest part is that I feel resentment towards DH. Why do I have to do EVERYTHING? When he is with DD all he does is play and that bothers me too. Why are you making ME the bad guy? It's hard and I would say if you don't need him to take that job financially tell him not to! 

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