In the last 10 days, my wonderful hubby has had to be away for 8. If you haven’t had 3 kids 3 and under, or had kids and a husband that travels a bunch for work, let me give you an idea of what this is like…
The closest I can come to describing this is, pretend you’re hanging off the edge of a cliff. by a piece of thread. while little people are throwing sticks of dynamite at you. ….But the view is just gorgeous!
Ok, that’s a little dramatic. We have over the past few years gotten into a bit of a groove, and a few things have helped.
1. Have a routine. It’s good to know what is coming next, breakfast, outside, lunch, nap, and on and on. (said in whisper, if you’re stressing, it especially helps to know how many hours until bedtime.)
2. Have a streamlined bedtime routine. You don’t want to deal with a 3 year old that just doesn’t want to go to bed, 4 days into the business travel. You’ll need the patience of Jesus not to lose it.
3. Easy meals. Yes, you can serve peanut butter and jelly for a bunch of consecutive meals. No one has ever died of this. It’s not a bad idea to try to alternate it with hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, apples, bananas and steamed baby carrots. And if you’ve got lots of time a smoothie with spinach thrown in.
4. Events. Try to plan a fun thing to do every 2-3 days. Not a trip to disneyland… but a picnic lunch outside, meet some friends at the park, play groups, have a dance party where you and the kids get all wildly dressed, indoor balloon soccer, whatever floats your boat.
5. Reentry. When hubby comes back from a trip, we try to make time within the first 24 hours to catch up. We may go out, walk around the block together, or just sit on the couch for a few minutes after bed time. We fall back into our groove better if we can catch each other up on our time apart before jumping back into the circus. This is actually a military idea, that I read about on Jill Savage’s awesome blog.