Solo parenting is lonelier than I expected

Jennifer Pinarski could use a little help with her new solo parenting challenge.

1SoloParenting-January2013-iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children.

My first week of solo parenting included the following: two missed days of school, refusals to get out of pyjamas, problems trying to fall asleep, crying in front of the school principal, swearing, yelling and a temper tantrum that saw a container of sugar hurled across the house.

And those were just my antics.

To say that the stress of solo parenting is overwhelming is an understatement. (Single parents deserve the highest respect — high five to you moms and dads). While the fact that my husband travels for work isn’t anything new, his previous job saw him away from home for only two weeks at a time, at the most. This next big life change means that, until June, my husband will be working and living away from home, while the kids and I stay here until our house is sold and our son finishes grade two. I know the time will go by quickly, but the thought of six months of bedtime battles and school morning rushes makes me anxious.

Read more: Sleep solutions for all ages >

While I’ve discovered a few perks to solo parenting — for example, I can wear facial masks and my teeth whitening mouth guard in bed while crocheting without being ridiculed — I have to admit that unlike fellow Today’s Parent blogger Susan Goldberg, I don’t dig parenting on my own. I feel as though I’m not able to give either child the attention they crave and deserve, never mind eke out some alone time for myself. Meal planning and prep seems more complicated, despite one less mouth to feed. And although I’m the first to admit that being a stay-at-home mom married to a work-from-home dad wasn’t easy, I was lucky to have adult companionship. Being a solo parent is lonelier than I expected.

So to those awesome solo and single parents out there: how do you do it? I’d love your tips! Tweet me @jenpinarski.

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