Organize your days
Organizing – If you are like me – you are a mom, and you have someone in your life whom you raise the children with. If you don’t – you may not need this post – but I welcome any advice you can offer.
I find that often when my Husband travels the house turns into Chaos. It has been several years – and we have learned a thing or two, so I thought I would share these tips with you!
1. Set expectations
I always make sure that before my husband or I leave for a trip – there is a conversation with the children Where we are going, how long we will be gone, and what we are traveling for. Honesty is always a good policy – and when the boys know what to expect there is less chaos.
2. Organize using lists
to do lists
I find that especially over the summer – if there is a “to do” list for the boys, then I can leave before they wake up to go to work, and they know what is expected. the lists include: chores, small tasks, personal goals, reading, instrument practice, walking the dog, and eating. yes – eating. Because their clocks get off during the summer, and they often forget to eat.
3. Lower your Expectations
I can remember when we were younger and Steve would travel for work. My mental health would take a huge hit. I would set self imposed goals of – the house will look 100% different, we will have cleaned everything top to bottom, and the boys will have twelve course meals three times a day…
Those things never happened of course – and I always felt like a failure.
Here is what mattered – The children were fed, all schedules were kept, and no-one was lost or injured. I started to realize that my self imposed check lists were too demanding of my mental and physical health.
4. Have fun
When my husband travels it means I am doing the things I do – and the things he does. This means always going – and I realized that these “mom only” moments were fleeting, and I needed to capitalize on time with my children. I started to make time for video games, favorite foods, or just conversations. organize a list of things your children want to do with you. This way, when one of you is away – the other knows how to heighten engagement without overwhelming yourself.
5. Shop before – and organize your meals
No one wants to go to the grocery store with one, two, or three kids. (ok – some do – but, I like to stroll and look for the exact thing) If you do – please know – I envy you!
I write out a loose plan of meals before a work trip – three to four meals and all of the ingredients – plus breakfast and lunch supplies. Organizing a list makes having all of it on hand before the trip means that the at home parent has what they need – and can prepare when the time allows. I love to use Pinterest to find new recipes for these times! Also – planning ahead prevents eating “whatever” is in the house, and helps you stay on budget. We also plan a “takeout” night to allow for the fun factor.
Always make sure that the things are done early so that you can have an hour to yourself a day. When you are the sole caretaker who is used to a partner in life – it can be hard to remember to breathe. There is no one to tag you out – no one to talk to the child who is back talking – no one to confide in. Take the time – before they wake – after they sleep – take the time. It isn’t selfish – it is necessary.
7. Plan time together when the trip is over
When you are used to two people running a household, doing it alone can feel completely overwhelming. I have been doing this for over 10 years, but – that doesn’t mean it is easy. SO – we are sure to organize our schedules and plan time before and after a work trip. Time alone, or with friends, or together – but we plan it in. This way there is no excuse not to do it!
So – How do you organize your time apart? Share your tips here!