Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Surviving those LONG days when dad is away

As a mom, some days just seem longer than others. Am I right or am I right?

Add to that the absence of dad and a long week-- especially during this winter-- can seem to tick by very slowly. Here's a few tidbits I've learned along the way, when my other half had to be away:

If you have enough notice, plan ahead. 

It is always a good idea to have some simple meals already planned out. If you are able, even better is to do some cooking in advance by maybe frying up some ground meat or throwing a double batch in the crock pot or anything that's going to simplify your days. Getting a good stack of paper plates, bowls and cups is extremely helpful as well.

Plan something extra fun.
I've learned from previous mistakes that planning a huge outing or home renovation project while hubby is away isn't always the best idea. However, it may be fun and necessary to get out of the house a bit. A simple trip to the local mall to do some window shopping or a play date with a friend might be in store. This is always a welcome distraction and takes the stress away from the fact that dadda isn't there around the meal table or tucking the kiddos in at night (for both you and them!). Dinner and a movie nights are always a hit with my kids. I let them eat in mama and dadda's bed while watching a favorite flick.

Give 'em some jobs. 

Just because dadda is gone for a few days, doesn't mean it's a free-for-all! Remember, all play and no work makes for a very messy house! With the right attitude, your kids will enjoy helping you get the house in order before dadda returns home. We've found it especially helpful for dadda to have an encouraging exchange with our oldest, naming him second-in-command while dadda is away. Our oldest takes this responsibility very seriously and, for the most part, he is a huge help when I'm flying solo.

Enjoy the added alone time.
While it's no fun trying to juggle mealtime and bathtime and bedtime alone, it can sometimes be equally as difficult when everyone is in bed. Try to make the most of this time by digging into a good book that you've been wanting to read or on the phone with a friend who you really should connect with more. Also, you can use this time to think of something special you can do for your hubby for when he returns home. Again this shouldn't be some huge project but maybe stock up on his favorite ice cream or have a home-cooked meal ready or even something as simple as tying a welcome home balloon around dinner chair. Anything to show him that you really appreciate him, really missed him and are really relieved happy to see him! Let the kids in on this "surprise" too-- they'll really enjoy it!

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