It doesn’t happen very often. Those few times that Mommy goes away, and the whole family stays behind. However, sometimes, it is needed -and first off – Mommy, that is okay! I am of the belief that we are better wives and mommies if we take some time for ourselves occasionally. Now, usually, for me, that just means a grocery store run by myself, Target and a Starbucks, or maybe a haircut while the kids are at school. However, there are times, especially if you are a working Mommy or if there are ladies events at church – where Mommy might go off for a day or so, and leave the family at home.
When those times come, I don’t think it is our job to let go of our responsibilities. Quiet the opposite – I feel like it is my job to try to see the needs of my family in advance, and help plan and prepare for them. So, I try to follow a few basic steps for when I am gone and they are here.
1) I plan a menu- I think through things that are going to work for my husband or my thirteen year old (who loves to be in the kitchen – and it is good for her!) can do. I pick some of the meals that are my least favorite, but are quick, easy and fun for the kids. Sometimes, I do the prep work – sometimes I don’t. However, I leave the ideas on the counter. I go to the store and stock up on everything they will need. I know how hard it is to go shopping with all of us- and so I try not to give that to my husband. Also – it works better for our budget (can I get an Amen!).
2) I do laundry in advance. I normally am a one load a day (to completion) kinda gal, but in the days leading up to a trip, I try to do two or so. This way, they are not spending time doing my laundry while they are gone.
3) I plan outfits- for the children who are not yet matching clothes by themselves. I lay it out and make sure it is all together. Nothing worse then a Sunday morning “I spy” game to find a dress shoe.
4) I try to find a few, easy and fun things for the family to do. My husband does a great job of this on his own, but I like to find some things to help keep everyone busy so that they make good memories while I am gone.
5) I write each one a note – reminding them how much I love them, and giving any special instructions. Mostly though, to tell them I love them.
6) Make some special time for each one- I try to take some good snuggle time with each person in my house hold before I go – including hubby. Especially hubby. Be intimate. There… now let’s move on 😉
I don’t leave a honey do list of things I expect to be done when I get home. If the house is standing, the kids are alive, and everyone is happy- then so am I.
I don’t have an expectation about what I will find at home when I get there (happy kids, well rested, and clean house) – I have found when I let my expectations wander- well, I am more often upset because SOMETHING doesn’t fit. Also, I would rather be pleasantly surprised then severely disappointed.
Lastly, I pray. Be sure to cover your home in prayer – even when you are not there. Then, go get refreshed- if only for two hours- and come home and jump back in! Thank God for the time He gives you to rest, and then do what God has given you to do with the right attitude!
Worshiping With My Life,