Parenting Weekend

A Solo Parenting Weekend

November 11, 2019

Josh worked essentially all weekend (he was on call and had a complicated case). I didn’t arrange any childcare, so it was all me.

It ended up being . . . okay.

I’m still in a bit of a mood spiral, but probably if I wasn’t, I would even say it was good. It definitely looked good on paper. In practice I was kind of lonely.

Two things I did RIGHT were a) to avoid thinking about the work stress that I couldn’t really do much about (upcoming presentation + lots of smaller things) and b) get up early to exercise. I did another 8 mile long run on Sunday (5:55 AM – 7:10 AM) and the weather was 67F and it was glorious. I will give Josh major props for getting up with the kids without complaint on Sunday despite working from essentially 7 AM – 9 PM on Saturday.

Actually I guess I will also give myself credit for c) which was planning things out on paper and hitting the right balance of activity. I think I (appropriately) tired the kids out, but there was still down time (ie screen time) which we all sorely needed. I may have even taken a floor nap Saturday during several episodes of Pinkalicious . . .

what Saturday looked like on paper
at one point, inspired by finding a hand-me-down pink leotard, A dressed G up for ‘dance class’. It was the cutest thing ever.
science museum fun
beautiful and best of all — NOT HOT!
living her best life at Chuck E Cheese (bday party of our close friends’ 6 year old)
I managed to make dinner (during G’s nap) and Josh joined us
NOTHING elaborate – penne, chicken sausage, jarred sauce, grated parm, broccoli. 2/3 kids liked it. Annabel flatly refused and made herself pita bread with olive oil, broccoli, and an orange.

The kids also did piano (Sunday) and we took a lovely hour-long nature walk (also Sunday). Our weather has turned into South Florida gorgeousness, which lasts about 4 months. I am determined to get outside and enjoy it.

WORKOUTS last week:


T – Rain run! This wasn’t supposed to be tempo but ended up faster than my tempo run somehow (still not very fast). 4.78 miles, 9:19/mi average.

W – REST bc we went to a concert Tuesday night and I was completely exhausted

R – 4.33 with 3 at tempo, splits 9:11, 9:25, 9:15 for the tempo miles (I was hoping for mid-8s). I was tired and it was hotter, so maybe next time will be better.

F – NOTHING b/c it was a somewhat lame week

S – Beachbody 21DF Extreme Dirty 30 – OMG HARD. Used 5-10 lb weights. Could not do the bonus at all.

S – 8 mile run, 9:39/mi average. Felt good. My endurance is either improving or it’s just an effect of the weather. Either way — enjoyable.


M – chicken, roasted potatoes, asparagus (no recipe, just whatever and I will let the kids cover theirs in ketchup so that hopefully they’ll eat it)

T – leftovers

W – salmon / rice / avocado bowl with green beans (surprisingly popular option lately)

R – black bean soup + sweet potato chips

F – leftovers (though I have to go to a work event)

S – kids eat at home (another work event OMG)

S – probably all out together at The Field b/c Josh is going to a guitar session there!


  • Reply Erica November 11, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Very impressive, keeping your sanity alone with the kids all weekend!

    I have a question, maybe for BOBW, about how you handle afternoons with a napper. My toddler naps until about 3:30; by the time he has a new diaper and a snack and is ready to leave the house it’s at least 4 – often closer to 4:30. That still gives us 1.5-2 hours we can be out before dinner / bath / bed, and over the summer we typically went to the playground or did other outdoor activities. But now it’s pitch dark at 4:45, so at best we can spend half an hour playing. Other destinations (museums, etc) typically close at 5, and this isn’t a good time for running errands since the grocery store is mobbed with harried commuters. I’ve found that very often we end up just … staying home. Which is fine for about an hour, but around 5 my kid starts bouncing off the walls, and by then it’s already dark.

    So… what do you do? Enforce an earlier nap wakeup and brisk departure to an activity? Meander out for a sunset walk at 4:30? Stay inside and practice meditation while your kid unravels every roll of toilet paper in the house?

    • Reply Sarah November 12, 2019 at 6:21 am

      Erica, I have the exact same dilemma with twin toddlers! Especially on Sundays- why does everything close at 4 pm??? For us, we HAVE to get out of the house. It’s a great time slot for a playdate, and we even went to a McDonald’s with a playspace last weekend that was a big success (and cheap!) I would love to hear any and all suggestions that others have. Winter is long and dark in New England.

    • Reply MBC November 12, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Another vote of empathy! If nap ends at 3:30 and it gets dark at 4:30 – yikes! And of course now we have to put on jacket, hat, mittens, boots, which takes about 18 minutes (plus an extra potty break) and voila! Nothing.

      Only thing I have is our library is open late 2 nights a week (7pm Tu/Th) so I think we will go there tonight.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 13, 2019 at 5:23 am

      I would vote for:
      – earlier nap and jumping out of the house (can bring snack)
      – looking for the few places that are open later (we have one kids museum that is open until 6 on Sundays! they are a great 4:30 destination since it’s close & we’re members)
      – planning playdate dinners for Sunday night – we used to do a lot of this. yes you’re in the house but having a social event makes it more fun and cures the ‘going crazy in the house’ feeling
      – if it’s 4:30 so only 1.5 hours or so until dinner and none of the above sound good- we use this as screen time and sometimes that’s really welcomed. (or big kids if they already had screen time during nap work on something else but G gets to watch a couple of Pinkalicious).
      – making sure the morning is very active so being lazy post nap isn’t a big deal 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 13, 2019 at 5:23 am

      PS I’m using this on the show 🙂

  • Reply Omdg November 11, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Maybe your weekend didn’t feel great, but on paper at least it looks pretty great. I can relate. :-). Am also in a bit of a mood spiral. I can’t wait to have this job search be over so I can move on with my life.

  • Reply Amanda November 11, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    I often solo parent on the weekends and I appreciate your perspective + admire your discipline to exercise early so often!

  • Reply Andrea November 11, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Question – how do you deal with meal refusal? Do You have a certain approach depending on age? I am so inconsistent with how i approach it – my daughter is 3.5 and I feel depending on my mood / patience if she doesn’t want what we’re having I either let her just leave the table without eating anything and give her a snack later (usually fruit w cheese or yogurt); make her a quick request (cheese quesadilla is most popular) or I’ll negotiate – eg one bite of x and you can have y. I’m all over the place!!

    • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly November 12, 2019 at 10:51 am

      FWIW, our policy is that if you don’t like dinner you can have a peanut butter sandwich. If you choose to skip both dinner and the sandwich, you do not get a snack later.

  • Reply Suzanne D'Cruz November 11, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    I have read alot of meal planning blaogs, books etc…..but the only meal plans that have finally made a difference to me are the ones you share!!!

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