Since Josh and I have 3 little rug rats now ( we won't talk about having 5 soon...eesh), and because I have become quite the homebody, I have been traveling less with Josh. It is nice to have the freedom to do this and not feel the pressure of having to leave all the time. But that means that Josh has to leave us at home a lot.
So inevitably I get asked a lot, "How do you do it?"
Here are a few things that help get us through the time without daddy.
The first thing I do is try to put it in perspective.
My sister's husband is in the Army and she has spent several months/years of her life without the help of a husband. I respect her so much for all she was able to accomplish while living life alone with her boys.
Then I think about the women who live life as single moms. I have no idea how they do it! I personally know several single moms who don't just get by, but thrive as mothers as they find what works for them and their kids.
So, when I get to the end of Josh's two week mission trip and I can't seem to pull myself together I think about how so many others do it all day, every day, for an indefinite amount of time...and then I give my sister a call because she is always so encouraging, even though 2 weeks is nothing compared to what she had to do:)
But, knowing myself and my kids, when it is for just one night without daddy, an extended weekend or a mission trip overseas, I know that we all do better with a plan.
So, here are a few tips to keep you going so you can make the best of this time with your kids, because I have come to realize that these times alone with them are some of the most special times I have.
1 - It's amazing how God gives you exactly what you need when you need it. This past weekend I was playing at Journey while Josh lead worship in Missouri. I wasn't sure how late we'd be to rehearsal Sunday morning, with the morning sickness and coming down with a cold, and three kids. But quite honestly, since I knew it was all on me I was more proactive to get everything set out the night before, I made sure I woke the kids up in enough time to get them all ready AND made a Starbucks run, while making it to church 5 minutes EARLY, what?! God gives you what you need, if you rely on Him to do it through you.
2 - Themed dinners - You may remember a couple of years ago when we lived in Charlotte. Each night of the week we had a themed dinner. We made a whole day out of the theme with library books and activities. It gave the kids something fun to look forward to, and something fun for me to work toward.
3 - House Projects - I like to rearrange. Josh doesn't appreciate me moving heavy furniture or flipping the mattress without him, but I like to think of small projects around the house that will keep us occupied. It might be organizing a messy closet, or rearranging...something...anything:)
4 - Be Proactive - I try to calculate what I'll need while Josh is gone so I get groceries and run my errands before he leaves town. That way I won't have that task hanging over my head with all three kids, but can be used for an extra outing if we get antsy in the house.
5 - Backup - When we were a one-car family I needed to make sure someone could come to my rescue if I need it.
6 - To-Do List - I try to keep my to-do list to a minimum. If I happen to have a ton of tasks waiting for me I get antsy, grumpy with if the kids interrupt, and always feel preoccupied, giving me no desire for that special time alone with the kids.
7 - Sleeping - I try to remember to close the blinds and curtains right before dark so I don't have to look out at the pitch black night, which only gets my imagination whirling.
8 - Music - Our house makes lots of crazy noises. LOTS of crazy noises. So I try not to keep it quiet, especially at night time.
9 - Play Dates - This is a great time to get in lots of play time with friends. Make it a point to get out of the house, if you have an extra car, to go see some friends. It's nice for the mom's to be able to chat too:)
10 - I just couldn't end on 9, ha! Oh wait, happy hearts...that's a pretty big deal...that can make or break your time.
So, there you have it.
What are some things that keep you going when you know no backup is coming?