Kids, Life

Solo parenting days: teen edition

To anyone who spends a lot of time solo parenting young kids (and that was ME back in the day… our work schedules used to be wacko and I was alone A LOT with our very young boys….), can I just say:


Ivan left on Wednesday, and these last few days without him have been a literal breeze. It’s just basically a non-issue at this point! (Besides of course “missing him”, but to be honest, we have a secure enough relationship that I really do not “miss him” terribly after just a couple days! I’ll see him again soon. 🙂 )

He is off enjoying this weather:

I’m not jealous, I’m not jealous, I’m not jealous…..

Sounds like he has is having a fabulous time with his family, and I’m so glad. 🙂

It’s crazy what a difference a few years make. The boys are now both teens (13 and 14, if anyone is new around here), and generally speaking, they’re just so easy.

The only tricky part about solo parenting in this stage is really logistics of getting people where they need to be. But fortunately, their activities have been perfectly staggered this week such that miraculously, nothing has overlapped- so no driving issues.

On Thursday the boys had a snow day. This also is no longer an “oh no!” moment for me…. no issue figuring out how to keep them occupied while I work. They just do their own thing and are totally fine. They even shoveled, so I didn’t have to.

Thursday night the snow cleared, so we all went to the gym. Asher met up with friends, but Ethan did LEG DAY with me!! He’s been to the gym several times with me lately, and it’s so fun. He is really quite a joy to be with.

Got him in the squat rack! He’s doing great.

After, we had an impromptu pizza dinner date.

Rocky Rococo’s is his fav…. but Ivan hates it, so we never go there as a family. So, I tend to take the boys there as a treat when we’re on our own.

Friday evening I had to drive basketball practice carpool (pick up at 4:30), and then get Ethan to work at 5, then home at 7. (How do I sign up to work 2 hour shifts at my job? 🤔) Asher had late swim practice, so I drove him to/ from that from 7:40-8:45. So, Friday did involve quite a bit of running around, but it didn’t feel “hard”- certainly not like wrangling toddlers having meltdowns or anything like that.

Today, Saturday, has also been full and busy- but once again, no big deal! Ethan had an 8:00 a.m. basketball game, so we went off to that. Asher was still sleeping, so…. another perk to having teens: they can stay home alone! We didn’t even wake him up before leaving. 1,000x easier than having to lug a younger sibling along to entertain during his brother’s game.

At 11:00 Asher had to be to a local school for the Solo Ensemble band competition. Ethan stayed home, so I was again 1:1 with just one kid.

Playing his drum solo! He already got his results and got the highest score- he was super happy.

From there, Asher and I swung over to the library to return a few books + pick up a hold. He browsed for a few minutes. I realized I’ve never photographed our nice little library, and took a few pics, for memory keeping purposes. Some day it might be fun to look back on.

How inviting is this “teen tower” corner?
An area we used to spend a lot of time in, but sadly, not anymore…
The big Reading Room…’s wonderful when they have a roaring fire in the fireplace.

I then dropped Asher home and had just enough time to fit in a back/biceps workout at the gym before taking Ethan to soccer practice.

Raced home, grabbed Ethan (again, leaving Asher at home!), and now I am sitting outside Ethan’s indoor soccer practice typing this post. I did not leave enough time to refuel after my workout, so I ran to fill up my gas tank (needed it, anyway) and tried one of these Quest bars:

21 g protein, 21 g carbs, 9 g fat, 12 g fiber. Actually really tasty! Tasted like a dessert.

It’s just so interesting to reflect on how things change. It happens so gradually that you almost don’t really notice it. But all of a sudden you look around, and life is totally different. We’re no longer in that “omg, why is everything so HARD” stage where you feel like you want to lose it a bit too frequently. (Or was that just me??? 😬) Of course, there are still challenges. In some ways, one could argue the teen problems are more difficult/ bigger- or at least potentially more serious/ life-altering than a tantrum in the grocery store. But I gotta say…. I’m kind of a fan of 13 and 14. 🙂

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that the kids’ Saturday activities (BB game, band solo, soccer practice) all naturally lined up perfectly spaced apart so that I was able to handle it all myself!

8 thoughts on “Solo parenting days: teen edition”

  1. Even I don’t have teens yet I can totally share the sentiments. It’s funny that I met a friend inf Buenos Aires with a 7 years old, he has some issues and seeing a psychiatrist now, very likely because he’s addicted to devises. I gently made the suggestion to cut it back and I think my friend agrees but then she asks: what do you do with your friends in free time? Like tell me hour by hour. I told her that girls are very good playing alone, together, or eead with me, or do sports. I don’t feel I need to think what to do with them, if anything we always run out of time to do things on weekends but never on devises. Maybe it’s the age, but I trust more on being mindful as parent to craft their days that are healthy, choose what’s right over what’s convenient. Obviously not everyday is possible but what we do most of days is what determine our life. 🙂 your kids seem to have a variety of hobbies and so chill. Must be fun hang out with them.


  2. I look forward to this stage! It feels so far off right now. Ha. I definitely feel like I might lose it pretty frequently! Yesterday Will’s gymnastic class got cancelled so we dropped Paul at his class and then went to get some GF treats for a playdate later and Will LOST HIS MIND. I think he didn’t like that we left Paul at class or something? So he was kicking and screaming and just out of his mind, even though we only left Paul there for maybe 10 minutes. So I am in the thick of those hard toddler years. But I can see it gets better as Paul is pretty delightful to be around!

    You have had a busy weekend, though! That is a lot of driving around! But I can see how that is less stressful than like wrangling a screaming/kicking toddler into a car seat. 😉


  3. What a lovely post, Kaelyn!
    I have glimpses of what is to come. Last night my dad took our daughter to a college basketball game. I was in bed reading with the light turned out on my e-reader (so she thought I was asleep) when she got home. I got up to use the washroom and saw a note slipped under my door, included in the note was the message:
    “No need to remind me to lock the door; I already locked both locks!” To be at the stage where one of my kids can come home, lock up, and get themselves ready and into solo bed is glorious.

    I’m not QUITE at the golden stage where they’re fully independent yet and snow days are still a bee in my bonnet. But I’m getting there and while I still find parenting hard/exhausting it is SO different and I really do look forward to the teenage stage. My kids are pretty awesome and I think that extra layer of independence will be so nice.


  4. It sounds like you are having a lot of fun and that your boys are so responsible! I don’t have kids but I help out a friend who is a single mom with the pickups and drop offs; I don’t know how she does it as it seems like they always clash with each other. In a couple of weeks both kids have a soccer tournament and they each have two games on Saturday and two on Sunday! That is eight games and I am sure it will just be Auntie Uber day. Luckily her kids are 8 and 12 and are also okay to be home alone and are also very mature and can entertain themselves!


  5. It’s so nice to see the future! Even with a 9.5 year old I’m amazed at how much easier it is. The oatmeal choc chip & blueberry muffin Quest bars are my favorites.


    1. Yes- I feel like right around that 9 year old time they really start getting sooo much easier and more into the tween/teen category. 🙂 Blueberry muffin sounds yummy! I’ll have to try.


  6. So glad to hear that solo parenting is getting easier… seems like the early years you spent parenting are paying off, if your guys are so easy going 🙂


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