Lately Aaron’s job has meant a little more traveling and a few more late nights at the office which means I’m solo-parenting a bit more. Look at this guy! He’s SuperDad! It seems like he has 8 arms so when he is gone I definitely feel it. Now I know I don’t have it nearly as bad as some and I have no clue how you single parents do it. My hats off to you! So while I am by no means an expert, here are a few tips I’ve picked up that really help me when I’m doing this parenting thing by myself:
Ask for Help: Because we don’t have family nearby I’ve had to ask friends for help. At first I felt embarrassed to ask friends or that I was imposing on their time. I should be able to do this by myself after all, right? Well, what I’ve found is that my friends were more than happy to help! I’m lucky to have a few moms in my apartment building that I have grown close with that have come over to watch the girls while I shower or step out for a few minutes for errands. A girlfriend offered to take Edie to school in the morning on her way to work. I’ve even had a friend send over a delicious pizza dinner while Aaron was away and both the girls were sick. It seriously made my day!
Order In/Meal Prep: Speaking of pizza dinner, I try to budget for ordering out the nights Aaron is gone. I get Mexican take-out or a rotisserie chicken with a few sides and those usually get us through a few days with the leftovers. Everyone is happy and I get to keep a little of my sanity. Sometimes if I am really on top of things and feeling ambitious (which isn’t that often) I cook a whole bunch of chicken and roasted veggies and portion those out for a few days. I also add some Annie’s mac & cheese to the menu because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love that mac & cheese.
Go to the Gym: Okay, I know. I hate the gym too. But when you don’t have a regular babysitter, that 2-hour window at the gym daycare can be a lifesaver! Go for a swim, walk on the treadmill, take a yoga class, or just hang out in the locker room and shower by yourself. This has turned my crappy day around more than a few times.
Keep it Simple: Lastly, I try to be easy on myself. I don’t plan a trip all the way uptown to the Natural History Museum or all day outings roaming aimlessly around the city. I stay close to home and keep expectations low. I have to be flexible about what the kids and I need that day. Staying busy with playdates and music class is helpful. But I also know that sometimes getting out to the playground and throwing our “schedule” out the window, even though it’s during nap time or close to dinner, helps us all relax, smile, and have a good time.
Our neighborhood is easily one of my favorite places in all of New York. I’m not sure that would be the case if I was single and 21, but for a family, Park Slope really is the best place to live and raise a family. There are tons of great kid-friendly restaurants, an abundance of awesome playgrounds, we get to call Prospect Park our backyard, and there is always a stoop sale/block party/street fair going on every summer weekend.
This Sunday was the Fabulous Fifth Avenue Street Fair. We ate our fair share of delicious treats, danced to some Beatles songs, stopped at the playground, and endured more than a few epic meltdowns (I swear the heat brings out the best and the worst in my girls).
Here are a few pictures I took on the trusty old iPhone, which reminds me I really need to get my other camera working…
Grilled corn is pretty much the best
Luke’s lobster roll for the win!
Lilah is walking!! And they look like an awesome girl gang in this picture
Oh those tiny little feet. Some nights Edie still crawls into my bed and, I’m not going to lie, I will really miss this one day. I’m thinking of stopping by this neat exhibit at the Botanical Gardens this weekend and then meeting up with an old friend in Williamsburg.
Here are a few things that caught my eye this week on the web:
Edie is a flower girl in a good friend’s wedding this fall and I think I’m going to pull the trigger on this dress.
School is almost over. Temperatures have been in the 80’s a few days a week. Some playgrounds even turned the sprinklers on! Just like that, spring is on it’s way out and summer is almost here. We moved to Brooklyn last year in July so seeing the city the way it was when I first arrived brings back a lot of memories. Luckily, I feel a lot more confident getting two kids around have I already have a long list of fun activities I want to check off.
Summer to us is…
time at the beach // Mr. Softee ice creams // sundresses // saltwater sandals // sidewalk chalk // bubbles // the smell of sunscreen, lots of sunscreen // wearing this hat everyday // fireworks on the 4th // BBQ everything // staying at the playground until 8pm // iced coffee // overalls // rooftop picnics // babies in rompers // eatings macaroons in Central Park// taking the ferry // the splash pad at Pier 6 // maybe even a new haircut?
Everyday I pack Edith’s lunch for school. To be honest, in the beginning of the year, I thought this was going to be a huge pain in the butt. But now that the year is almost over I can look back and say I actually enjoyed it. I tried to be fancy with bento supplies but Edie didn’t like my flower shaped cheese or star shaped ham. Great, less work for me! To make it simple, I just pack leftovers from her dinner the night before and add one or two things I have on hand in the fridge. She mostly eats all of her lunch everyday (dinner, on the other hand, is another story). I thought it would be fun to share last week’s meals because I’m always looking for new food ideas for my toddler!
From Top left: blueberries, glazed carrots, pita w/ edamame hummus, avocado, roasted chicken
From top left: penne pasta, grapes, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon, kiwi, sweet peas
From top left: raw carrots, mango, sunflower butter & jelly sandwich, golden raspberries
From top left: cheese quesadilla, raspberries, rice, black beans, raw carrots
From top left: salami, strawberries, mixed veggies, spinach tortellini with marinara