If you’re a stay-at-home mom like me, there’s one thing we most likely have in common: our husbands work HARD to provide for our families. If this wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t be able to stay home with our kiddos! What a wonderful, selfless, and loving thing that these men do day in and day out.Unfortunately, there are a lot of jobs these days that require a bit of travel. Or a whole lot of travel. This means our jobs as stay-at-home moms shift a bit as responsibility at home is solely on us while our spouses are away. My husband leaves in three days for Washington D.C. and the closer it gets the more I dread next week. It takes me a minute to find my groove when he leaves, and an even longer minute to resettle when he comes home! I look up to, and admire, moms who endure a travel-heavy schedule, and I’m happy that, for now, I’m not one of them. But I’m eager to share with you some of the things I HAVE learned and tried while my husband is traveling, as well as things I’m preparing for while he is gone all next week.
Stay busyWe thrive on our busiest days! Time goes faster, everybody is happier, and sleep comes easier at the end of the day. My two favorite things to schedule while my husband is away are play dates during the day and dinner plans for the evening. This way, kids are happy and have something to look forward to and there’s more social opportunity for us moms after five when our husbands would usually be coming home! I have a friend who frequently schedules girl’s nights, while her husband is gone, after her kids go to sleep. I for one, don’t mind the alone time after the house is quiet, but I do like the idea of my house being clean enough for guests to come over!
Stick to your scheduleIf bedtime is at eight o’clock, keep bedtime at eight o’clock. If laundry day is Monday, keep laundry day on Monday. Remaining consistent to your own schedule is beneficial for both you and your kids while Dad is away. Chances are enough has changed already for your little ones, and sticking to your regular daily or weekly schedule will be a great constant for everyone at home.
Talk about it with childrenPreparing your child while Dad is getting ready to go will help them understand what is happening and reassure them that he’ll be home soon! Involve them in packing (if Dad doesn’t mind) and tell them, “five shirts means he’ll be home after five days!” Not only talking beforehand, but during the trip, is important to keep kids comfortable. Talking about airplane rides, making a countdown chain, or coming up with a fun list of things to do when daddy comes home are all fun ideas to help kiddos understand.
Food preparationI have a hard enough time getting dinner on the table at a decent time (or at all) while my husband IS home, so when he’s gone, I really tend to cut myself some slack. The last meal I make before my husband leaves will be an extra big meal. I know I'll need the leftovers for us to eat for lunch and dinner the first couple days, and you can bet I wont be feeling too guilty for grilled cheese on the menu multiple days next week! I also plan on taking a pizza or something easy over to my family one evening, simply to give us an excuse to go hang out for a few hours! Before he takes off, having a full refrigerator and pantry is also a great idea so grocery trips aren't necessary during his absence and so your chocolate stash is well stocked!
Keep word lowI consider where I live incredibly safe and I feel perfectly comfortable in my home. However, stuff happens and no matter where you live, I recommend not announcing to social media that you’re home alone for x amount of time. Although it is difficult, and you may want to complain or send a cry for help, I suggest you refrain from doing so over the Internet and instead have a buddy system (a few friends, neighbors, or family members) to contact in your times of distress.
Most things can waitDon’t push yourself too hard! Be forgiving of things you don’t get to and remind yourself that most things can wait. It’s as simple as that. Give your kids love and affection, make sure everybody is safe and healthy, and let go of the rest!
CommunicationKeeping in contact with Dad, when he’s available, is fun and beneficial to the whole family! If possible, daily FaceTime chats or phone calls should be added to your routine. Listing things you’ve done during the day is a great way for everybody to stay connected as dad probably misses the kids as much as they miss him! Video or audio messages are also good ideas for when dad isn’t available for a phone call.
Welcome homeAs we’ve established, yes business trips are tough on mom, but try to remember that it’s not necessarily easy on dad either (even though there’s sight seeing, movie watching, NBA games, and yummy restaurant food involved. No bitterness here). You’ll both be tired by the time he’s home, but do your best to make his welcome home enjoyable; this will go over well for everybody! Welcome home signs, tidy(ish) house, waking up to greet him if necessary, and some special one-on-one time with each member of the family -especially you- will be incredibly appreciated and well received.
We love our Dads and what they do for us! Single moms and military wives, I don’t know how you do what you do. You’ve got quite the fan base and so much respect from myself and many moms like me. Thank you for your examples and hard work!
Featured Image Credit: @xomrsmeasom