Traveling Mom and Setting Family Up While Away
Quote of the Week
“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first,
it means me too.
~ L.R. Knost
Traveling As A Mom
I have multiple travel trips coming up these year and went on a few last year. There are obvious pros and cons to traveling without kids as a mom. While it provides a break and me time, it comes with its own stress which is basically the worry and wonderment of whether they’ll be okay without you.
Yes. Yes they will be.
I asked my husband just last night how the kids got a long on my last trip when I was away for 48 hours. He was scared to tell me, because they didn’t even notice I was gone.
Some might feel hurt and upset by this.
I felt liberated. Like I’ve done my job to make my children successful little independent people. I know that I can go travel and come back and everyone will be okay and we’ll pick up right where we left off except I’ll have more energy after having had a little reset of not having to remember when they eat, go potty, or have naps. Having not done battles of what to wear, what to eat, or going potty when I say. I’ll come back a little calmer - no-loop free. My husband will a little more tired, but I’ll have the energy to compensate.
Peace Of Mind
I think one of the reasons I’m not missed as much as my husband when he travels is because I normally travel during the week when my nanny is around. So the things I do for the kids are generally replaced by her awesome ness. She’ll stay longer to help with dinner and possibly bedtime so they’ll be on schedule for eating, going potty, getting outside, and naps.
My husband does things neither me or the nanny can do like funny voices when he reads. Swinging them around and throwing them in the air. Playing video games and more irreplaceable things that create that child/father bond.
I’m traveling in a few weeks for the first time over a weekend. My husband will have the kids all day Saturday and Sunday by himself. Hun, here’s my single parenting post incase you need it.
I’ll also do a fair amount of prep to make sure he has easy breakfasts and lunches to make them each day. They’ll probably go out for dinner. I already have their schedule on the refrigerator so I’ll be sure to update that and run through it with him before I leave. Finally, I’ll alert nearby friends who I’m sure will be happy to have playdates and help run interference.
To make it even easier for my husband I’ll make sure the food he has on hand are all things the kids like so there’s no battles. Also, I’ll be sure to suggest things he knows how to make like Hot Dogs, Fajitas, Chicken Curry, Chicken Nuggets, Yogurt with cereal, etc.
This lines up perfectly with his eating habits because he doesn’t always need a big breakfast or lunch so just needs to make whatever is easiest.
Their schedule has been on the fridge since I started playing nanny roulette. Our new nanny took over and in finding her groove she’s adjusted the schedule a bit so I’ll need to make sure that’s laid out.
I’ve also been experimenting with nap times and bed times so that the kids go to sleep between 8 - 8:30 and sleep until 7. This will be IMPERATIVE for my husband to get right because I generally get up with them throughout the night until 7AM then he takes them from 7 - 8AM to give me a little nap and catch up. I then give him a break from 8 - 9 when our nanny comes. He won’t have a break so the kids sticking to schedule and going to bed on-time, sleeping through the night, and waking up at 7 is going to be his life line.
If you are currently the only parent putting them to bed or feeding them and you know you have a trip coming up, start taking turns so your child gets used to the other parent being part of the routine. My husband helps put the kids in bed every night and we take turns with who we put to bed first so there’s no one person they are used to.
Just Keep Swimming
Being on the move on the weekend is also going to be really helpful. Our kids are much easier to keep calm and entertained when they’re anywhere but home. There’s also waaaaaaay less mess to clean up and stay on top of.
A friend of ours created a Facebook Group of all our close friends who live near by. Whenever one of us is going to a playground or play area we ping the group and let them know where we’re going so others can tag along. Other kids to play with your kids and you having someone to hangout with takes the pressure off and gives your partner a break for a few hours.
I’m generally Sally the Cruise Director for our social outings so I’ll ping this group before I leave, let them know my husband is riding solo, and see if any of them want to make plans that I can put in place before I leave.
Find Your Happy Medium
The hardest part about traveling as a mom is the guilt you pack next to your blouses and shoes. It’s hard putting all that responsibility on one person and not being there to help alleviate the pressure. My husband and I have gotten really good at taking turns and tagging out when we’re starting to get frustrated. When it’s just one parent, there’s no one to tag in.
As mom’s we don’t take this lightly. We don’t just up and leave without feeling the worry of it.
But we do our best to make sure our family has everything they need and that we’ve prepared them all for our absence. I don’t take my kids not missing me as a slight. I take it as a job well done.
So while you’re unpacking at your hotel, unpack the guilt, the worry and the stress with it. Enjoy the much deserved and needed you time and know that when you get back you’ll be a better mom and wife for it.
You do you. As always, find your happy medium between the travel and trips.
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