SAHM: Surviving When Your Husband Travels
For any mama that has made herself comfortable with having a husband who comes home to join the fam for dinner, play with the littles, and then help put them down for bed, it can be
a little tough straight up miserable when you have to do it without him. Throw in the fact that he won't even be there to tell you how pretty you look even though you didn't shower that day, and you're in for a rough night.
I'm talking about the mama life when your husband is traveling for work, and you're doing your best to make it work while he's gone.
First off, I know it's not easy, mama. Whether your man is gone for the night, week, or for a few months (all the props to any of my mamas who send their men off on deployment), it is anything but easy to keep things under control at home without him.
How you choose to do things at home while daddy is gone is going to change from home to home, and will also depend on how long he's gone. The longer the trip, the more likely you'll want to try and make some of these changes a more consistent thing in the home, compared to the short and sweet trip where the novelty of the new routine can be a little easier on the mama. No matter what your situation, here are a few tips from this mama on how to survive while your man is away.
SimplifyThis is probably one of the most important tips for any mama who is trying to make it through the day/night/week or whatever without daddy coming home. If you've been relying on your man being around so that you could get it all done, you're going to have to throw out a few things that you and the kids can do without. If you're trying to get through your nighttime routine with your kids, you may feel okay with skipping the wrestling match that is brushing teeth, or you may only read 3 books instead of 18. You may also need to simplify your own schedule. If you're used to going to the gym, doing the laundry, and making a gourmet meal all in the same day (first of all, teach me your ways), then you may need to cut out a few things while your husband is gone to make up for the fact that you don't have a second pair of hands to help out.
Mixing it UpThis is something that I do all the time when my man is out of town, because it helps take my son's mind off the fact that daddy isn't around to hang out with him in the evenings. By mixing up the routine, and doing a few things here and there that are new and out of the ordinary, it helps him focus on other things. When Daddy has been on different work trips, we've tried out different parks, gone to reading time at the library, met up with friends that we haven't seen in a while for a play date, or mixed up the evening routine with a fun movie/popcorn date instead of just watching re-runs of Sesame street before bedtime. Don't feel like you need to fill the day with new/fun activities, or that you've gotta go out and spend money all different kinds of things. In fact, mixing it up can be as easy as doing PlayDoh when you haven't pulled out those hideous yellow tubs in a few months.
Taking it EasySo you may think that this tip and the one above it are polar opposites, but hear me out, mama. This is something that became especially important for me when we said hello to our new little girl a few months ago. This means that when my husband is out of town, I am officially outnumbered. *shudder* Taking it easy is simply reminding myself that I cannot do it all on my own. It's okay to have a day inside the house hanging out, giving your kid some extra screen time so you can close your eyes for a second, and even ordering a pizza for dinner to keep from absolutely losing your mind when your newborn wants to be nursed every 15 minutes. It also means taking advantage of every opportunity to take it easy-- so if both of your kids are in bed and sleeping by 8:30 p.m., get your cute little butt to bed, mama! Don't stay up watching Chopped or binging all the Cheetos in the pantry (guilty), but do yourself a favor and get some sleep. The more rest you get, the easier it'll be on you during the day while your man is away.
Keeping Your CoolThis can be so SO hard when you have an independent and opinionated 2-year-old to contend with. Something I've had to learn while my husband is away on business is to pick my battles, and not sweat the small stuff. If my son crumbles up his goldfish into the couch cushions while I'm in the bathroom, I shrug my shoulders and move on. If my newborn needs to be held all day, I turn on movie after movie for my toddler, because it is the path of least resistance. If my son wants string cheese for breakfast instead of oatmeal, I open up two for him and kiss him on the cheek. The thing about keeping your cool when your man is away is recognizing that if you nitpick every tiny thing during the day, you will literally be on that negative train all. day. long. And without daddy coming home to help brighten everyone's day, you will pretty much make everyone in the house miserable (including yourself). Take it easy on your kids, and be willing to forgive. Let go of certain things you would be more quick to fix when your partner is coming home to help. With him gone, you need to make sure you save your sanity by being a little more easy going.
You need a minute to yourself. And I don't think that going to the bathroom counts; considering the fact that my toddler feels he has a standing obligation to hand me toilet paper every time I sit down on the toilet. So, what can you do to get a little bit of mama time when your husband won't be coming home to help? Babysitters are still a thing, and they aren't just for date night, mama. Go ahead and call a sitter for a night, and get out of the house! Get your nails done, go to the mall, or meet up with some friends. Get a little bit of time to talk to someone who isn't talking to you non-stop about Octonauts, or demanding you play ring-around-the-rosy for the 4000th time. Getting some adult conversation, some time to decompress, and a breather is really important to making sure you are in good shape to watch the kids solo. If a sitter isn't in the cards, don't feel guilty if you hand over your cell phone to your toddler so that you can watch some Fixer Upper and casually have conversations with the hosts for a couple of hours. Totally normal! Or keep it real and head to target for an extended trip, get yourself (and your kids) some popcorn and drinks, and roam every aisle to your heart's content. Doing things that make you happy will help to make sure you are making your kids happy. Win-Win!