Survival guide for solo-parenting mamas.

If your other half travels a lot, or works long hours, you’ll know the load that is solo parenting. That feeling of being on the go non-stop. The responsibility of being the only one around to care for the kids. It’s relentless. Particularly if you don’t have help.

You try to explain it to your partner, but sometimes feel like they don’t understand you and everything that you do. But it’s not their fault that they don’t notice you’ve cleaned the house top-to-toe several times by the time they get back, or that they have clean undies exactly when they need them. They’re not in the thick of it. You are.

My point is that doing it alone is hard. I know this all too well. My husband works 12 hour days so isn’t around for the morning or evening routines. He also travels every week. We have two kids aged two and under, so their needs are many (double nappies, UGH). I also work from home. So the struggle, and juggle, is real!

I’m not complaining. But in over a year of doing this now, I’ve learned a few things. Here are my tips for getting through it.

Organisation is key

It pays to be sorted in advance. Particularly if you have multiple children. Have plenty of supplies and groceries, plan meals, and cook in quiet moments. Because if you don’t have any wine left for that much-needed glass when the kids are finally asleep, you’ll be massively kicking yourself. Oh, and online shopping is KING.

Get organised. It just makes life easier. Image via iStock.


Enlist help, if you can

Use childcare or a sitter and don't feel guilty about it. If you’re lucky enough to have family or good friends close by, call on them. Don’t be afraid to ask for a break. If they have kids, chances are they’ll understand just what you’re going through. Swallow that pride, we all need help. The old saying "it takes a village" to raise a child is SO true.

best childcare centres

There is NOTHING wrong with day care or sitters. Image via iStock.

Less is more

Try not to overcommit. The needs of the kids are more than enough for one person to cope with. Being a work at home mum, I am particularly bad at this. I take on WAY too much, and end up very stressed as a result. Take it from someone who knows, the less you have to achieve the better equipped you are to handle all those children-related curveballs that are thrown at you.

Occupy yourself

Notwithstanding the above, it’s important to have something outside of "mum life" to keep you sane. Find your passion, something that keeps your brain busy. Something to do in those nights where the kids actually go to bed on time and your other half is away, and you’re sitting on the couch feeling a bit lost and lonely. Just make sure you have a balanced approach to it.



You need fellow mums to chat to. If not in person, digitally is good too. Join a Facebook mum's group, get on Instagram or one of the parenting websites. Read mummy blogs. It helps to know you’re not alone in everything you’re facing.

Connection with other mums is key. Image via iStock.

Look after yourself

You’re doing it alone, so if you go down...well, let's not go there! Try to take some time out – do some yoga on the living room floor via YouTube, have a bath, go to bed early, and eat well. Walk. Breathe. Rejuvenate. Try to enjoy the little things.

Watch Mamamia Confessions: Things I do after the kids go to bed.