When your firefighter is gone and your home with the kids, things can get really… hairy. Messed up. Out of order. Downright dysfunctional.
And let’s be honest- it’s not easy either. Trying to keep track of your own life, the house, the kids, your own life AND doing it all by yourself. Whether its a 24 hour shift or a three week long stint, this isn’t something that is easy for most people.
Plus you’re thinking ALL the things on shift days. There’s an extra burden of being the only one at home to hold things down while your firefighter works.
What is solo parenting?
Basically it’s the politically correct term for being a parent whose a single parent because their spouse is gone. Your solo because the other half is out doing their job.
Which, if you’re reading this, you know it’s not always the easiest thing to do! Especially if you have a newborn.
But we got you fire fam- here’s some tips for making the solo parenting gig work for you!
Switch it up!
Have dinner for lunch and breakfast for dinner. Seriously have you tried this?
The hot meal is in the middle of the day. Get everyone nice and full, then do something super easy and chill for dinner.
No rushing around and no worrying about last minute food. Bonus- if you order out. Lunch is cheaper than dinner time and you get similar portions!
Cherish that AM time
Wake up before the kids. It’s hard to get alone time and this gives you a chance at a peaceful morning before they wake up! PLUS who actually enjoys being jumped on for the munchkins to wake you up.
Hold them Accountable
Get a chore and cleaning chart together if you are parenting for more than a few days (or if your firefighter works every three days or so) this way you stay organized and the house doesn’t turn to shambles
Order order order
Use grocery delivery. Use amazon prime. Use target pickup. Do whatever you need to make it easy for you to run the household without lugging the kids to the store.
🚒 And automate it! If you can automate it, do it! Put the budget on autopilot and set up reminders on your phone.
Make It Special
Consider bribing the kids with special toys because it works. I’ve got a special bin of toys and a special bag of crafts for when my firefighter is gone.
They love seeing new stuff and I love getting a break. It works so well! We’ve got some fun firefighter crafts, like this firefighter slime! And I’m a big fan of grabbing books (so easy to store for later!) Here’s some super cute firefighter books for toddlers and preschoolers
Rearrange your schedule when you solo-parent- I know this is obvious but really. We try to do it all and keep things normal.
That’s just not the case when your firefighter is gone.
Instead, make accommodations and don’t let yourself get bogged down by commitments you just can’t keep. It’s not fun being overwhelmed and having a calendar with all of your obligations (including the ones to your mental wellness) really make a difference.
it’s not super easy to soloparent BUT it can be done and you will survive.
Have grace on yourself.
This is a two person job and your doing your best to keep the house, kids, and homelife from catching fire, while your firefighter does the same for someone else.