Top Three-Ideas When You’re Solo

First of all…Happy Veterans Day and THANK YOU to everyone who has served or is serving!!  We are so thankful for your service!
I am by no means an expert on this topic!!  I’ve had a couple people ask me questions the last few months, so I thought I’d share what works for me.  Tab travels pretty much every weekend during football season and periodically for work.  He’s been doing this since I was pregnant with Ebby Lee…so I’ve learned a few things over the years.  Today my Top Three is all about surviving when your hubby is out of town.  Can I get an “Amen”, ladies??  hahaha!

Baby Ebby Lee in an officiating hat!  hahaha!

First of all, single moms I give you so much props!!  I wish I could hug each and every one of you and let you know you’re doing a GREAT job!!  When Tab is out of town…I am TIRED!  When he gets back sometimes I just need to walk around the grocery store ALONE to recoup!

Here are a couple things that help me when he’s out of town…
#1 Plan Plan Plan

I have several friends whose husbands are firefighters, managers, or coaches and they have crazy hours too.  I’m constantly asking my friends who else is flying solo for the weekend.  We plan things to help us stay busy.  My kiddos are WAY better behaved if we’re doing things rather than staying in all weekend.  

Here are a few ideas-meet somewhere for dinner…the mall, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s wherever and let the kiddos play and eat, go see a movie (this one is tricky for me because Bowen needs a babysitter, but the big kids love it), meet at the park, or play at someone’s house.  Plan things so you and your kiddos have an outing or two!

#2 Give Yourself Some Grace

In this picture, I’m 99% sure Ebby Lee was getting ready to push Nixon down!!  Ladies…it’s HARD!  Be easy on yourself!  Order pizza for dinner.  Forget about the laundry that needs to be done.  Make everyone play in their room for a few minutes.  Put the kiddos to bed a little early.  Do what you need to do!  Seriously….parenting solo is tough!  Give yourself some grace!!

#3 ENJOY it!

It’s a TOUGH job, but in the grand scheme of life…it’s so short.  Have fun and enjoy it!  Figure out some things you all enjoy and do it!!  My kiddos love watching movies in my bed.  Usually on Friday nights, we all snuggle up in my bed and watch a movie.  I know when they’re out of this house I will forever remember those sweet little moments.  We play games.  We go for walks.  I try my best to have fun!  I find that we all enjoy our “Daddy’s away” moments a whole lot more when we’re doing just that!

I have no crazy brilliant advice, but these are some things that work for me.  If you have any other ideas, PLEASE share by leaving a comment.  Maybe we can all get a new idea or two from each other!!  Thank you!!

Leave a Comment


  1. 11.11.14
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    You do such a great job when you're solo! I'm constantly impressed by you!!

    • 11.11.14
      Erika Slaughter said:

      You're so sweet!!! Thanks girl!

  2. 11.11.14
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    I'm ready for Chris to head out of town so we can play with y'all on a weekend! 🙂

    • 11.11.14
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I agree!!! Lets but Chris a ticket to somewhere!! Haha!

    • 11.11.14
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Buy not but??

  3. 11.11.14
    Mary said:

    My husband is an ER resident, so he works crazy crazy hours and a lot of the time I feel like a solo parent to our son! The number one thing I have learned is to enjoy the time, not wait for my husband to be home. I make plans for me and my son, and if my husband can make it, that's great! But I know that if I try to plan around my husband's schedule and save all the activities for when he is home, I will spend a lot of time at home and resentful!

    • 11.11.14
      Erika Slaughter said:

      So true!! Much better to enjoy those fun outings with your son! Great reminder!!

  4. 11.11.14
    Anonymous said:

    You're SUCH a fun amazing mama with a beautiful family! Seems you've got it figured out-love your ideas!!

  5. 11.11.14
    Unknown said:

    Being a single mom, I live by a lot of your tips. However, it is not uncommon for me to lie in the fetal position in my room at times. However, I know I will miss these times when she leaves home.

  6. 11.11.14
    Jersey Love said:

    My husband travels for week long chunks at a time once in a while for training. He works for the dept. of defense so there is always something new to learn! When I am solo, I kind of enjoy it for a day or so, but mind you I don't have kids yet… From what I read, you look like you've got it all together! Good job mama!

  7. 11.11.14
    Jessica said:

    A few years ago, my husband worked on a drilling rig. He was gone 4 days, then home 4 days. It worked pretty well for us BUT we only had one kid at the time. I look back now and wouldn't trade that one-on-one time with my oldest for anything. So you are so right to say "Enjoy it!" Yes, it's not easy, and yes, you are tired…oh so tired…but it can make some great memories! I also kinda loved the alone time after I put him to bed. I would take a super long bath and read….or watch my trashy reality shows without having to worry about being judged 😉

  8. 11.11.14
    Laci said:

    I totally understand! Our man of the house works crazy hours for Coca Cola. But I do notice that as my kids get older it is fun to get out with them. I used to hate going places alone with them. Now, it's just what we do and we love it. It's tough, but I agree it's special time just us and they always love anything we do outside the house. I know my kids and I have a special bond because of all the alone moments we have together. I will miss this I'm sure of it.

  9. 11.11.14
    Megan Ball said:

    I'm always so impressed by how it seems you're able to go with the flow and have so much fun! My husband was on shift for 48 hrs last weekend (he's a firefighter) and I was about to lose my mind! And I only have 1… I planned activities so we would stay busy, but I was TIRED by the time Sunday morning rolled around.

  10. 11.11.14
    The Rimke Chronicles said:

    Love this! My husbands on a 13 day trip and thankfully my grandma stays with us! I would also say, trusting in Christ for strength, and his plan for our lives (things I struggle with). Oh and I have a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old, at nights this week that we don't have baths or something else, we are working on a giant welcome home daddy sign. I drew the letters and am having the boys work on coloring it together. Hopefully it will help fill up that 6-7/8pm time period when daddy would usually be home and I want a break.

  11. 11.11.14
    Sarah said:

    I agree, I don't know how single parents do it. I commend you for doing this on a lot of weekends! My husband went out of town for a week and I was alone and for some reason all my friends were busy, I was going crazy, but you're totally right, try to enjoy it while you can…at least I'll keep telling myself that.

  12. 11.11.14
    Erika Slaughter said:

    Love all these reminders!!

  13. 11.11.14
    Meagan @ The Clanahan Fam said:

    Attitude is definitely everything. I don't want my kids to think that I dread the time I get to spend with them alone. My husband travels offshore somewhat regularly and there are definitely challenging weeks. But the good thing is we can plan ahead for most of them – which means I hit up the grocery before he leaves to stock up on everything and handle most of my little errands that I can. That way, I'm not the cranky mom dragging the kids to the store to get all the basics. Then I usually try to do one big meal that I can freeze in smaller portions the rest of the week so we are at least eating decent food – but there's definitely a pizza night or breakfast for dinner night thrown in there 🙂 I think preparation and planning is definitely key!

  14. 11.11.14
    Jenn said:

    Thank you! I always forget to give myself grace but with a husband who travels, no family nearby, I'm on the job solo 95% of the time. By far the hardest thing I've ever done!

  15. 11.11.14
    Olivia at Joyfully Prudent said:

    Girl you KNOW how much I love this post! Ryan is officially GONE…like 5 out of 7 days/nights a week with reffing. These tips are great! Pizza and a movie are life savers for me, especially right now with baby. I have definitely had to work on your #2 tip…I always feel so bad when I pop a show or movie on, but sometimes it's the only way to survive! It's also good to hear other moms who have husbands gone as I often pity myself 🙂 lol

  16. 11.12.14
    Leigh said:

    My husband works nights and weekends and it is so hard! Thank you for the tips because sometimes I feel like I am drowning. It's nice to have small reminders that I'm not alone and I need to just enjoy my kids. I have two boys, a 3 year old and an almost 5 month old. It's gets crazy in my house sometimes. And loud. My house is loud.

  17. 11.12.14
    Laura said:

    Love this! Thank you!

  18. 11.12.14
    Aubs said:

    My hubby is in the Navy and for right now we are in the midst of a tough tour where he is only home periodically for very short periods. 2 of the biggest things I would say, you said! (great minds think alike huh?) GRACE!! I constantly remind girlfriends to give themselves grace! It really is exhausting to do it all solo and expecting too much of yourself will lead to unnecessary disappointment and frustration!

    And PLAN! When I don't plan it leads to stress which ain't nobody got time for! Sundays are my planning day….I plan my menu, my boys lessons for the week (we homeschool), look at what we have going on each day and start a list for each day that I can add to thru the week as things come up. Plan, plan, plan! But then be sure to remember that whole grace thing….plans aren't permanent and its okay to change it up when needed!;)

    Also? Coffee. Deep breathing. Wine. And laughter! I've found laughter (even when maybe slightly inappropriate) to be the best medicine on the tough days!=)