My imagined scenarios for potential problems have always had one assumption in common: my husband would be right beside me sharing the workload. But last year he fell off a roof and fractured his spine while attaching a tarp to the roof.
He fully recovered within a year, but that really woke me up to a dismal contingent: What if he was sick, injured, or didn’t make it home right away? Could I really do the day-to-day business of providing for two kids on my own? I hope I never have to find out. But if I had to, what simple tools could I procure now to make that a little easier? Here are some preps I’ve added with that in mind:
LED head lamp—Doing dishes in the dark? Searching the basement for preps during a power outage? Soooo much easier if you have both hands free. (And the kids can actually help instead of just holding the flashlight!) Better yet, they only get to wear the headlamp if they’re directly involved in the task. I can hear them begging to help already.
Wallet-friendly multi-tool—After “American Blackout” showed kids stranded in the elevator, I realized my awesome bug-out bag would do me no good in the trunk; I needed more in my purse. Then I found a multi-tool that fits in my wallet just like a credit card. Lots of uses and virtually no weight, husband not required. And another lightweight addition…
Solar-powered flashlight—I clipped it to the purse strap so it doesn’t take up any room, and it gets sporadic sunlight. No batteries necessary. E-bay and Amazon also haves several key chain varieties, but I liked this one.
Staple gun—If you had to quickly secure a tarp to your roof or black-out curtains to your windows, I think this would come in pretty handy. I picked one up for less than ten bucks and then bought an extra box of staples for about $3. I like that it doesn’t take a lot of muscle to use it, too.
Knife sharpener—Hubby usually takes care of the tools, and we sort of assumed I would be handling most of the food preparation in dire circumstances. Those meat knives are my tools, and I want them in tip-top condition. I figured I’d better be able to sharpen them myself.
Zip ties—I’ve already used these to reinforce the chicken pen and the garden fence. If I’m fending for the family on my own, this might be like having an extra set of hands around to help me “hold it all together.”
Spray paint—If I need to conceal something in a hurry, signal for help, mark belongings for each child, color-code preps, or leave a permanent message behind, this should do the trick. What could be easier than one-handed application?
Work gloves—I’m almost ashamed to admit I didn’t already have these. But these delicate hands are not accustomed to chopping wood or carrying heavy loads. And if I only had my two hands, a couple of fists full of blisters could be a major catastrophe. I think I’ll hide them, though, until I absolutely can’t talk my way out of using them.
Wheels—Whether it’s a wheelbarrow, a dolly, or the kids’ Radio Flyer, I would definitely need help lugging around firewood and buckets of hand-pumped water from the well. Maybe I should get some weightlifting equipment in the meantime.
5-Hour Energy—I hate this stuff. I used it once on a drive-through-the-night-while-the-kids-are-sleeping vacation, and I hated that “buzzed” feeling. But if I’m the only security detail—or even if hubby is around and we’re taking turns doing night watch—I’ll definitely need help staying awake. Sam’s sells it by the case, and I’ll never be tempted to open it prematurely.
I have so much respect for you single moms who do it yourself on a daily basis. Please share your wisdom by posting a comment below. What tools and/or supplies would you add to this list?
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