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Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Jaimi}

Tips for parenting alone whether you are a military family going through deployment , TAD, or field ops, your spouyse travels for work, or you are an expat family living in a foreign country, these tips for parenting alone will help you thrive and grow stronger during your time solo parenting.

I just experienced parenting alone for 6 ½ months. It was not my first time being the solo parent at home with my husband away, but it was the first with 4 kids. Parenting alone is a great way to get burned out and frustrated with being a stay-at-home mom…if you ignore these tips for making parenting alone a smoother experience for you and the kids.

My husband is in the military so he travels frequently for work. Even as a kid, I witnessed my mom parenting alone a lot since my dad was a business man. When you are solo parenting there will be sacrifices-for you and the kids.

You can do it. I have done it for days, weeks, months and even a year at one time. My husband’s job in the military has a lot of perks, and many downsides just like any job out there. What his job does provide is the opportunity, no the blessing, to be a stay-at-home mom to my children. So parenting alone is something that I see as a skill I need to learn.

I recently asked the moms in our Stay-at-Home Moms Share Together group to share their tips for parenting alone. Many are wives to truck drivers, students, military guys and medical professionals. Every one of these jobs require many hours, erratic schedules and often travel.

We can whine about it (which sometimes helps) or we can take action, grow our skills of parenting alone, and face the days when we are on our own to show our children what Wonder Woman really looks like.

Tips for Parenting Alone

Make a list of everything you accomplish while parenting alone. I started a list in my journal when my husband was on a year-long deployment of all the challenges I overcame on my own from small things like killing black widow spiders (yes, more than one) and bigger things like 2 major surgeries with hospital stays and recovery time while caring for a one year old. I could look at this list on the bad days to remind myself of all that I was doing while parenting alone.

I have my babe all day. Hubby gets home at 7-8 at night if he comes that night and by then our son is asleep. The tip I use is play. If I’m just sitting there I play with my little one, it passes time and we are both happy so it makes me positive I’m doing it right. When little one naps I clean, read, work on my Avon stuff, or do something for myself. When I see things accomplished I get happy and feel positive. But for big picker uppers to stay positive I have a book of [positive thoughts] and when I’m feeling down I read it and it lifts me up! –Cheryl

Make the time away fun for your child with these 7 tips for helping kids cope when a parent has to travel from Mama Smiles.

These Mom Motivation cards helped me when my husband was deployed. I printed them out, cut them apart and taped them around the house-bathroom mirror, kitchen cupboard door, front door-so I would see them in my busy moments throughout the day and remember to stay positive and grateful.

Remembering the great things about my husband that I love, the things that I tend to forget when the laundry piles up or there are dirty socks left on the floor help me stay positive.

A bottle of wine? No, seriously, paper plates, pizza delivery, blanket forts, a long walk after dinner to calm down the kiddos and me. Fresh sheets on the bed for myself because it just feels nice. Finally, late night TV that the husband didn’t enjoy anyways. The next day, pj’s ALL day! -A Truck driver’s Wife (Kara)

Mark each week or even one night of a week-long trip with a special dessert. Ice cream sundae Sunday is one many of my military spouse friends do with their kids, or you could make this fun cake recipe for when dad has to be away that Mama Smiles shared.

Make a countdown chain to count down the days until your spouse comes home.

Paper plates are so helpful. That sink full of dishes at the end of the day is much less when you can just clear the table and toss it. I know many of us do not want to spend the money or waste that much, but if you get into a rough patch, paper plates are a great way to take a load off for a short time.

Get coffee. Whether you buy a Keurig, use instant coffee to get an energy boost, or set aside the funds to drive through Starbucks once a week (or more) to boost your energy when you need it.

When I start to let the solo parenting drag me down, I catch myself and remember that I can encourage my husband just as much as I want him to encourage me. I kept this mindset more during this deployment than I had in the past, but it made a difference. When I felt that I had encouraged him, it ultimately made me feel better too…and he would encourage me too.

Exercise. Fitting in exercise when you are a busy mom is challenging, but when your spouse is not coming home at dinner time, it really does help to fill that time with productive activity. Online workout videos are helpful for this. The kids can join you to get them moving too.

Choose to thrive when you are parenting solo like Amanda from Dirt & Boogers shares. You can grow from the experience and actually enjoy the close connection you will build to your children.

My hubby is a PA student, (like med school), so he has to study all the time and most of the child care falls on me, even on weekends. I have to get out of the house often, make friends with other moms while I am out and nap when the children nap. The house is rarely clean, I just do my darndest to keep the dishes and laundry done. I stick to easy to prepare dinners and my children watch more tv than I care to admit. –Tisha

Have dad send notes while he is away so the kids (and you)receive little pieces of him. –Mama Smiles

The kids and I sent my husband pictures and artwork while he was deployed which helped the kids feel like they were motivating daddy. He even kept it all and brought it home with him, so I plan on creating a little scrapbook to remember the time.

Try toys that allow you to record a message, so that the kids can hear Daddy’s voice to lift their spirits. -Sunny Day Family

Find a daily routine for kids that works with your lifestyle. We have a quiet time after lunch when the kids watch cartoons or movies, play quietly and I do whatever I want in the house: I work on the blog, call my essential oils team to plan, sit with the kids and watch too, or fold the mountain of laundry. It gives me a window where if I do need some time for myself, I can try to fit it in every day. Sometimes me time does not work out, and some days I can fit in me time for myself…it changes by the day.

Have dad take a toy with him and send home pictures of the toy visiting places where dad is traveling. What fun memories for the kids! –Sunny Day Family

[Parenting alone] is very hard, I often tell my friends I’m a financially supported single mom. (Not to take away from single moms out there!) For us routine helps, and I take my time at night after the kids are in bed. And I let them stay up late, which means they sleep in (and so do I). We are on a tight budget after 6 weeks of job loss, so paper plates and extras are out for us, but when we can they do help. Also pre planning menus helps, because when it’s just me and the kids, I often want something quick, easy and completely unhealthy. I also try to make the kids help out when possible, or even just involve them. Sometimes putting the dishes away together is easier, [more fun] even if does take just as long. Laundry – which i hate-I will dump the basket and we sort. I toss the clothes to the kids (4 & 6) it makes it fun, then we all fold together. I help a lot, but then it gets me to get them to put it away right then and there, instead of taking up room on my couch. Oh, and my mom! We talk every day, that helps a lot. –Jamie

I joined a mommy exercise class and it has helped me a lot! I am making friends and my kids make friends. It’s called Stroller Strides, they have it all over the country. It’s great! –Tisha

Finding little ways to stay motivated. Some days it’s 10 minutes of yoga alone so I have to get up before the kids. Or it’s an uninterrupted, not reheated cup of coffee. Something that is just mine so the rest of the day can belong to taking care of them. –Erica

I started diffusing Stress Away in the evening when the kids tend to get grumpy-and I tend to get less patient. It helped me remember to take deep breaths and encouraged a calm mood to help me stay patient until bed time. Essential oils have supported me so I can stay balanced.

Military families will benefit from these resources for going through deployment with children from Arts & Crackers

Eat outside. Make it a picnic, or just serve dinner on an outdoor table to keep the crumbs and mess outside so you have less to clean up inside.

These tips for dealing with a traveling spouse are great to keep in mind for the kids and you, especially if you are an expat. –The Piri Piri Lexicon

Play with kids in a purposeful way. Parenting with purpose is a mindset that can be frustrating when you are the only parent at home. In my experiences, the more present I am during the day, the better behaved my children were all day long. They have a love tank that we have to fill, even when our energy tank is getting low. Playing outside with my kids in the evenings helped me achieve this goal.

There are many products and toys that help when dad is away. –Arts & Crackers

Fit in time to take care of yourself. I made a plan to spend the time after the kids were in bed watching movies with a glass of wine, reading, working on the blog, or reading devotionals. It was my time, and I think it made all the difference for not getting burnt out as a stay-at-home mom parenting alone.

We become stronger with all that we face when we have to parent solo for a time, but it is still sweet when our spouse comes home. -Arts & Crackers


Join our Facebook group Stay-at-Home Moms Share Together to connect with other stay-at-home moms for support.

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.

Does your spouse travel for work? What are your tips for parenting alone?

Tips for parenting alone whether you are a military family going through deployment , TAD, or field ops, your spouyse travels for work, or you are an expat family living in a foreign country, these tips for parenting alone will help you thrive and grow stronger during your time solo parenting.