Not truly solo, obviously. Single parenting is a whole other beast, and I fully understand / appreciate that! (No breaks, financial stress of one income, no ‘other’ to diffuse conflicts, no built-in mechanism for adult connection –> true single parenting is really tough!)
But, temporary-solo can have challenges too. I’m doing some calendar triage and there appears to be a lot of somewhat-solo parenting in my future due to call + conferences. The next weekend when we are both home and neither on call together is a MONTH away. Now, let me note that I am extremely lucky in that even when Josh is on call, I can generally count on getting my AM runs in (even super long ones, like today’s 17 miler). I really really appreciate this.
The rest of the day is pretty much a wild card, though. He might make it home for dinner; he might not. He might be able to take a kid to a sports event; he might not. We also can’t generally go to far-flung family events because Miami Beach is ~45 minutes from the hospital and that is too far in the event of an emergency.
Sometimes I hire a babysitter if one kid has something I really don’t want to drag the others to (example: sports tryout or a bday party where other kids are not invited). But honestly, I don’t have to resort to this all that often. We somehow just make it work.
One big thing that has changed is that I feel more comfortable saying YES to things even when it will just be me + the kids. This is not because I’ve learned the secrets to parenting or have become more laid back (nice idea but nope); it’s because the kids are 5+ and therefore easier to manage! Depending on the event I can often mostly keep my eyes on G and let the others have a bit of freedom. Example: Art Night at school, which I would have dreaded a few years back:
(A was there too; I just don’t have a good pic without her 5th grade BFFs in it!)
I bought immersive Van Gogh tickets and just as I was about to hit purchase, Josh told me he was covering an extra call shift (colleague is on 4-week paternity leave . . . and I do think it’s great we now offer this benefit but also where was it 5+9 years ago? I didn’t even get any paid maternity leave in 2014 or 2017 at the same institution. But whatevs, I am truly glad they offer it now).
Anyway, my instinct was to just find a later date, but you know – MAY! It’s mayhem, you know? So I just booked it for me + the kids. Hopefully I will not live to regret this choice.
DITL Highlights from Yesterday . . .
(Sharing my time tracking!)
4:30: Up after ~7 hrs sleep. Read, HS, planned.
5:30: Run (5 mi) + Strength (20 min full body)
6:50: Shower / eat / get kids out door (joint effort w/ Josh)
7:40: Leave for school! Listen to requested TS Essentials mix on the way . . .
8:30: Arrive at work. Pts (Fridays = only half of a clinical day). Notes. Send pt result notes (through our EPIC EMR). Very little downtime but I somehow snuck in 2 Duolingo lessons while waiting for resident to finish in a room.
12:15: Pick up lunch from caf. Eat, read email, blog comments, some blogs via feedly
1:30: Write post, some home admin, some pt-related admin (calls, sign notes, etc), work email cleanout
4:10: Plan out next week (preview both work + home stuff) + order groceries for delivery — even though I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s I decided to splurge on delivery on occasion when Josh has call.
5:00: Drive home while listening to New Music Friday (NPR; Friday afternoon ritual)
5:30: Home. Eat dinner quickly (leftover pasta / meatballs / broccoli)
6:00: Take kids to Art Night!
7:45: Leave Art Night –> take kids to Menchie’s (with friends that are BFFs with A + G — and who are also moving out of the country a the end of the school year, so sad!!!)
8:45: Home + kid bed routine
SCREEN TIME MINUTES according to phone: 90. Not even sure how I ended up at that # but phone says gmail, messages, Safari, duolingo, WhatsApp, and sheets as top contributors.