How to Survive Mom’s Extended Getaway

I love my wife. She does so much for our family.

First of all, it’s because of her we have a family. Pushing out 4 babies, homeschooling them, and running a successful business…..all from home.

My wife also loves to travel. She ‘conveniently’ set up a business that involved traveling from time to time.

No I’m not talking about a couple of days or a week. I’m talking about 2-3 weeks at a time.

She’s had the opportunity to travel all over the world as a motivational speaker and photographer, speaking to many diverse groups and expanding her creative photography.

We decided many years ago that I would hold down a steady job building my career and that she would be a stay at home mom and raise our kids, but at the same time build her business and brand.

We’ve seen many challenging times with that single steady income from one parent approach, but it’s been very rewarding as well.

More so for my wife of course. She enjoys the freedom of not being in an office space, working a ‘9 to 5’. As a matter of fact, by the time you read this, my wife will be giving a motivational talk to students near Kampala, Uganda.

My wife was born in Uganda and has always dreamed of going back and being a positive influence to the students there. This will be her second trip, but she has more speaking engagements lined up this time around.

 

Toy mash-ups 101: We once had Barbie team up with the Ninja Turtles to face the evil Iron Man and his trusty side kick Thomas the Tank Engine

 

I tell you all this to say……..I’ll be on my own for a very…..long…..time. 18 days and 17 nights to be exact…..with 4 kids!!! But don’t feel bad for me. As mentioned earlier, I’ve been here, done that before.

My wife has travelled to India, Bahamas, Dubai, South Africa, Bahrain, all with me holding the fort down as dad-in-charge.

IMG_2357aDuring those times I’ve learned many things about surviving while mom is away on an extended getaway. Here’s just a few:

Don’t try to be a hero. Accept help if offered or reach out for help. Most of us as men like to show what we can do on our own. Especially as dads, we take pride in letting everyone know that we can handle things when mom is not around for whatever reason. That may be true, however, help always makes life easier. Daytime child care aside, it would be wise to get help from other family members, friends or neighbors you have relationships with, in other areas when possible like cooked meals, yard work, arranging play dates, and possibly sleep overs to give yourself a break.

Plan activities and outings in advance. Check your calendar for the dates mom will be away and determine which days would be good to get out of the house with the kids. If you already have a routine during the week for outings like swimming, soccer, etc, try changing it up and do something different (that’s if your prior commitments allow you to. No need to sabotage yourself with mom out of the picture). In my humble opinion, changing the routine up a little helps kids not miss mommy as much.

Bend the rules a little. Have pancakes for dinner…..with whipped cream. Let the kids stay up later to watch a movie on a non-school night. Have a toy mash-up in the living room (we once had Barbie team up with the Ninja Turtles to face the evil Iron Man and his trusty side kick Thomas the Tank Engine). Just like going out, doing things around the house that may have been a little ‘taboo’ in the past can lighten the tension a bit. Within reason, of course.

Ensure mom comes home to a clean house and clean kids. Technically this will benefit you when she arrives back home. I’ve been on the other side of this and now can say it’s mightily important for mom to see that things were held together while she was gone. So keep the day she plans to arrive free and make sure you go all out: dinner, flowers, keep house and clean children.

Stay at home dads are awesome and more than likely don’t need this advice as they have enough experience dealing with these situations. For working dads like myself, the points I made above may just help you survive life without mom for a few days.

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