Solo-Parenting is Hard

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we will get to solo-parenting in a moment. first, i want to thank you for taking the time to comment on my last post. i’m glad it resonated because there really are brighter days ahead. i am doing much better and much lighter (after a round of antibiotics for an ear infection, eye infection and lost voice)!

now on to this post…

solo-parenting is hard. i coined this term for whenever my husband travels and i’m left to parent solo.

when i would have conversations with people and say my husband was gone, some said it must be hard to be a ‘single parent’ when ravery travels. that terminology felt weird and inaccurate.

solo-parenting is different than single-parenting. i get the perks of still having the emotional support of my partner, the dual income and knowing that he will eventually return. so, shout out to the true single parents out there. you are a superstar. at various points in my childhood, i was raised by both a single mom and single dad – it’s hard work.

also another shoutout to those solo-parenting because their spouse is in the military and overseas. i truly cannot imagine. sending love.

so, with admitting that single parenting and military families totally have it harder…solo-parenting is still hard.

as i’ve talked about before, my husband travels a lot to keynote various conferences and events (and he’s damn good at it, i might add). usually he’s gone for 1-2 nights and it’s no big deal. it’s sort of nice, i put atlas to bed then pour myself wine, light a candle and read until my heart is content. but this time….he’s been gone 10 days. that’s 1/3 of a month.

of course this is when i have my bad reaction to new medicine, atlas has a horrible cold, cough and pink eye. then i get pink eye and then an ear infection. thank goodness we moved back to colorado because our families have been essential to our survival while he’s been gone.

thankfully he got home last night at midnight and is totally the ‘parenting lead’ for the next few days!

however, while he’s gone this means…

  • i change all the diapers
  • i do all the baths
  • i feed her constantly
  • i wash all the bottles
  • when she cries, i soothe her
  • when she’s whining, i’m the only one to hear it
  • when she’s sick, it’s me figuring out what to do
  • when she wakes up at night from a coughing fit, i always get her
  • i clean up all the toys
  • i do all the laundry
  • i get all the tantrums
  • i get all the hugs

i know it’s not easy on him either and it’s totally the ‘grass is always greener’ thought. when i hear that he gets SO much alone time and to sleep in a gloriously quiet hotel room, i get a little envious. at the same point, he wishes he could be sleeping in our bed and singing songs with our daughter (hence, the grass is greener).

i’m not sure how many of you have experienced a frequently traveling spouse. here’s the kicker – there is always a day or two when they get back that takes some adjusting to. it’s almost like you both have to get back into your groove.

as happy and relieved as you are to have your spouse back home, it takes a bit of time to fold him/her back into the routine. for instance, atlas and i have an established bedtime routine now. since he’s been gone, of course he won’t know this yet. it’s hard not to get all micromanage-y or bossy when i’ve implemented a ‘graham crackers after the meal rule,’ and forgot to tell him.

this is a solidarity post for those other parents out there who have to go at it alone, day or night, because it gets hard and tiring.

thank goodness for facetime and thank goodness he is back now!

other people out there who do #soloparenting more often than not? how do you handle this time on your own?


  1. Jennifer Haston

    November 15, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I feel your pain! I mean, not exactly
    because my situation is usually that
    we tag-team pretty much every day.

    To that end, Jeremy did a three day “Daddy Weekend” a month ago and I still remember it being hard.

    I think the hardest part is
    knowing you don’t have relief.

    We have close friends in town and
    some family but can’t always
    depend on them (jobs and
    schedule) to help.

    But Jeremy returned the favor
    a few weeks ago and it was
    really a good time (for me) He confessed that it was very hard
    for him too, And we know how important it is. We have
    instituted a new thing where we each get one “night off” a week.

    We are also trying to be
    sure to do one date night a month.

    It’s hard and we both feel
    the difference when we don’t.

    We also make it a point to
    spend 30 minutes at least a
    day – no phones, no netflix-
    connecting and talking.

  2. Audrey

    November 15, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Those pictures of Atlas and you guys give me ALLLL the heart-eyes! The one of her sitting in the cupboard makes her look SO grown up!!
    My bff has two little ones and is married to a firefighter. He does a 24 on-48 off rotation so she’s solo-parenting for 24 hours two or three times a week. In addition to that, she works outside the home three days a week. I know it’s a lot for her to manage right now, especially with the ages the kids are at! You guys are superstars!

  3. Sheila Cameron

    November 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    You’re absolutely right, Chelsea. It is hard. My husband travelled a lot until our babies were aged 5 and 3, and we had no extended family anywhere near us. I’m really not sure how I got through that time–it’s all a blur now–but I do recall it being just like how you described. Doing it all. Grass is greener. And the adjustment period. I saw other moms who appeared to be handling it so much better than me. I heard all the “cherish it” wisdom but it’s really hard to do when you’re in the thick of it. Now my kids are 15 and 13. And I admit, there are definitely moments when I long to go back and do their childhood over with the new information and perspective that I have now. Having kids is the best decision and the hardest work. You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you can’t go around it. You have to go through it. Glad you have your partner back–definitely worth the adjustment period to have help again!!

  4. Sara | Mrs. Imperfect

    November 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Honestly, since my husband works long hours sometimes I am concerned what the future with children is going to look like. I want to be a stay-at-home mom but I also want to have time to pursue my own interests as well. Hoping that things will get more under control at his work so that can happen.

  5. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    November 16, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    You deserve lots of glasses of wine for solo parenting. Travis doesn’t travel anymore but he does work long hours so I feel like I do lots of solo parenting during the week. Side note: I love watching Atlas grow up!!!

  6. Elyse @ Just Murrayed

    November 20, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I’m definitely trying to mentally prepare myself for solo parenting one week a month when my husband is basically working nonstop. I’m so happy though that you have a village to surround yourself with, because I’m sure the mental and physical aspect of solo parenting would be insane then! Also, thank goodness for technology and that you and Atlas can connect with ravery when he’s away!