Reservations About Solo Parenting

There are two days until Matt leaves for a month. I can’t express how much I’m going to miss his company, his presence in the house we share. I can’t express how much I am going to miss having his arms around me while we sleep. Along with those feelings, I’m both equal parts of terrified and relieved.

I’m terrified because of the idea of solo parenting for a solid month. In our parenting journey, Matt has always been here, doing 50% of the work…and, at times, a lot more. I don’t know how single parents of multiple children do it. It seems almost impossible, terrifying even. I know that I will deal, because I’ll have no other choice….but still.

I’m relieved because it’s a great job and we need this opportunity as a family to thrive. Oh, do we ever.

It wouldn’t be too terrible if things on an average day would go smoothly with both of us here. Then I wouldn’t feel so…terrified…of solo parenting. But we lucked out and both of our children are a handful. Nolan is still giving us hell when it comes to pooping on the toilet, and I’m so exhausted of that battle…at five, I thought these days would be over. I know they say not to compare, but we’ve tried everything and he still fights us tooth and nail. I don’t get it. It’s only going to get worse when Matt’s gone, because it always does when Nolan feels emotional for any reason. He is like me, deeply affected by his surroundings and life circumstances. He is anxious because we’ve been anxious. I’m sure his dad going away will create a whole avalanche of emotion and turmoil that will coincide with more toilet drama. I need the emotional strength to deal with all that, and at times…I’m afraid it’s not there.

As for Archer, he’s your average two year old. He’s fast and he throws temper tantrums. Normally, that’s easy to handle…but when both of them are throwing temper tantrums (as often happens when we say it’s time to leave a fun place), it’s all I can do to not sit down and throw my own tantrum, tears and screaming included.

I often feel like I’m failing at this parenting thing, even with Matt by my side, telling me I’m not and taking over when I need a much needed break. The prospect of losing that much needed break is definitely causing anxiety and turmoil within me, which is why I’m actively working to suppress it all. I can’t have Matt worrying when he’s gone, being distracted on his job.

It’s mainly me. Resting on my [frequent] bad pain days will no longer happen. I’ll be doing all of everything. I’m worried I won’t be able to handle, well…any of it. But I have to, somehow. We need this job if we ever want to get ahead. If we want a better life. I don’t want to be the one that stands in the way, like I always seem to do.

One question that I’ve been getting a lot lately is; “how will you do this?” I hate this question because I don’t know the answer. All I can say is; “I don’t know. I’ll be okay,” because I know I will be okay. I will survive…other people I know have faced more difficult situations and struggles and come out of it okay. I feel almost petty, confessing all this…but I needed to stop suppressing and denying my feelings, if not for a short amount of time.


About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
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12 Responses to Reservations About Solo Parenting

  1. I know it’s daunting, but I promise you will get through this challenging time. I’m solo parenting right now and it’s hard but I’m doing it. I don’t have chronic pain so that’s an added thing. But i do have depression, anxiety and ADHD and I’m functioning solo with kiddos. You can do it. I know how strong you are and I have complete faith in you.

  2. tierney says:

    It sucks- sometimes you just need to hear that whatever you’re dealing with sucks. The other thing you need to hear is you can do it. Do your best to plan ahead and you’ll be fine. Seek out easy dinners. If a friend offers to come over ask if they don’t mind throwing in that load of laundry into the wash. On my bad pain days, my friends are my backbone. Use their support, their there to offer it. You’ll do fine- I promise!

    • Jess says:

      Thank you Tierney! That’s a good idea too. I’m definitely going to have to plan ahead, maybe see if a couple of those close to me can help with meals…or do frozen ones lol

  3. Verlene says:

    You can do hard things! It’ll be difficult at times, and from somewhere, somehow you will draw the strength and stamina. Just keep your eye on the prize, on the end game when you can say, “I DID IT! I did yet another hard thing!” You go, girl, I know you got this. 🙂

  4. Paul Davis says:

    Need a taser? Those things are great for obedience training. My sister-in-law is in a fairly similar situation. My brother is usually gone from the time the kids wake up to the time they go to bed, with a few exceptions. He tries to be there more, but his job simply won’t allow him to. My nephew is that handful child. Be patient and loving. Taser them when required. As for potty training, the more you fight him the more he will fight you. The more you don’t care, the more he will. We didn’t push Desmond to use the toilet. Suddenly one day he broke in on one of us doing it and wanted to learn. He’s been slow at it, but the will is (sometimes) there.

    • Jess says:

      Yes I do! Do you have one? Lol. It sucks when our jobs call us away from our families, but it’s a neccessary evil…we need money to live.

  5. You are wise to share it here, and I thank you for doing that. It will be a challenge. But you might find out how resilient you are and there might be a chance to get the kids to help you, too. It’s certainly easy for me to say that, I realize.

    • Jess says:

      Very true, on all accounts. It will be a challenge, and an opportunity to discover how resilient I am. I can definitely encourage them to help more too, Nolan already knows he’s “the man of the house” when daddy is gone, he’s decided he will be in charge of making pancakes lol.

  6. Gerry says:

    My wife is going away for about a week in August. I’ll be alone with our two girls, 5 and 1. I’ve been worried about it since I knew about the trip, months ago. One week. Not as much as you’ll be dealing with, but I know we’ll both do fine. By the way, the fact that we worry is a sign that we are not failing as parents. It means we care and at the end of the day, that’s the main thing because none of us are perfect.

    • Jess says:

      That’s true, the worrying shows we care! Best of luck on your week! Try not to take my horror stories too seriously, my boys are a breed of trouble and chaos lol

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