There is a new phrase going about the mummy scene at the moment: ‘flying solo’, which means, in parenting terms, looking after the kids on your own – it seems to be most frequently used when a parent is left flying solo at the weekend or on the odd day or week. I have had this idea in the back of my mind now for some time since I started the blog…it’s to reach out to all those parents. Whether you are doing it for a day, a week or a month I think I can help.
When I first started to do this flying solo malarky; with the exception of my mum, I knew no-one else who had experienced it. I felt extremely out on a limb; I couldn’t find any relevant communities in the real world or online. I admit that at the beginning, being with my new mummy friends and their partners made me feel even more of an outsider, especially when they asked (and genuinely kindly) “is G away again? When is he back?” As for my other friends they hadn’t had children yet. I did look at my options: there was a single parents club in my local town, which I really wanted to go to but which would have been hugely inappropriate to attend – because I am married; and a military wives group, which would have been even more so – because my husband is not defending his country/risking his life abroad. One evening I found myself googling “lonely wife” – I have no idea what I wanted it to come up with – this blog I suppose. Anyway that was a bit of a mistake which caused my history to be immediately deleted! (I can just picture my husband recoiling with horror now).
But this is REALLY NOT a sob story, it’s a brief introduction to the series and incidentally, lasted a very short period of time. I soon got used to it. After all, G had been working away on and off since we dated, so I knew what I was signing up for. Every freelance job he takes is a family decision and we are lucky enough to manage a good balance of him being home and away, about 6 months of the year each way. I absolutely love our lifestyle now. I am also more confident at spending time with anyone – I don’t even think about it and haven’t until I started writing this. I recently spent a whole day with my friends and their partners just relaxing in their garden and it was one of the loveliest days I have had this year. As well…I am pretty sure I have enough tips now under my belt to keep my own head up when things get tough. I have had plenty of mornings wondering how on earth I am going to get through the day with my sanity intact.
So this is why I have decided to create the flying solo series! For all you parents who fall into that little gap with me. If it helps just one of you then my job here is done. My advice ranges from: what to eat when you are truly knackered; how to survive the day when you have had no sleep all night; what to watch on Netflix and how to have a great weekend. And the advice is for anyone who has to fly solo for an afternoon, a day, a few days, a week, or three months. That first week when your partner returns to work after paternity leave, or the day he suddenly announces he’s been called into work and is taking your car. Any longer than three months? Well, I have a vague idea but you’d really have to ask the military wives – and chances are if you are flying solo for this length of time, you are one.
These hints don’t always work, because sometimes the shit hits the fan. That’s parenting for you. But have a read, enjoy, laugh and if it doesn’t work…get lots of chocolate in and avoid google.
(And if it doesn’t quite apply to you, please share with those who might find it useful).