DH traveling next week - need survival tips - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 03-27-2006, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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My DH is going to Bermuda all next week for a business trip (poor baby, ), and I will be on my own with 21-m.o. DS and our two dogs.

DH and I generally share equally in the division of labor around the house, so I will miss his presence tremendously, and am wondering how on earth I will survive.

I should note that I work five days a week, three full days and two half days. DS' daycare is 10-15 minutes from our house, in the opposite direction from my workplace. Dropping him off and picking him up adds at least an hour of commuting time for me. (There are very, very good reasons for this arrangement, and it usually isn't a problem for DH and drop him off or pick him up most days.)

Our two dogs are high energy working dogs who need at least an hour of hard exercise a day.

I can get some things done in the evening after DS goes to bed, but am often thoroughly exhausted by that point. He's a total lark, wakes around 5 a.m. right now, so there's no way for me to get a shower or get anything done in the morning before he wakes up.

Here's what I've planned so far:

- take-out, crockpot meals or casseroles from the freezer for dinner on the nights DH is away;
- I am paying a friend who has taken care of the dogs before to come at noon and take them out for some exercise. I will still have to take them out in the morning and evening, but at least won't have to worry so much about getting them out for extended periods of time.

Does anyone have any other survival tips? It often takes both of us racing around at full speed in the morning to get everyone showered (me, not DS), dressed, toileted, fed, and out the door. DS is at an age when it can take 30 minutes just to get his pants on (picture a toddler running away at top speed, laughing hysterically, and yelling "hide, hide" as mommy chases with the pants). Schedules and time mean nothing to him, and he is interested in everything, so a simple trip up or down the stairs can involve a stop to look in the hallway mirror and talk about what we see there, close scrutiny of the lady bug on the stairs, a discussion of the baby gate and how DS pinched his fingers in it one day about a month ago, exploration of how it feels different to go up (one) stair and come back down (four) stairs, etc. DH and I can usually work with this, but when it's just me, it's tough... which makes DS upset, and thus makes it even more difficult to accomplish anything.

Thanks in advance for any help. I know we'll survive, but most of all, I don't want the week to be filled with conflict and struggle. I'd much rather get to the end of the week feeling as though I had some good one-on-one time with DS.
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#2 of 4 Old 03-27-2006, 03:37 PM
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I don't have the best advice...but wanted to wish you well. Being alone can provide some great bonding time! It also sounds like you've planned to take care of yourself (dog care, crockpot, etc.).

One thing I've found is that things are usually simpler when my DH is gone on a trip. Meals are smaller, the house is neater (even though he helps out...one less person is one less mess), there's even more 'time' with fewer people around, etc.

I usually like to spend a little time doing a one-on-one activity w/DD that we wouldn't otherwise do if DH was around b/c we do other stuff with DH...baking, collages, painting, etc.

Does it matter if your DS ends up at daycare with PJs on? One day when DH was away, I had to do that. [We go to a home daycare, and on that particular day DCPs daughter was wearing her PJs, too.] Or could you dress him the night before (I have a friend who does this)?

Can you shower or bath with your DS either at night or in the morning? We have a shower stall in our bathroom...and DD actually just does her own thing in the shower.

Good luck!
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#3 of 4 Old 03-27-2006, 04:06 PM
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On mornings when we have to be up really early, I put DD in comfy daycare clothes the night before. Sweats, leggings, etc. Then I don't have to go through the whole routine of dressing her the next morning.

I bath together with my DD every night. Its a huge time saver for us - plus its fun!

What about putting on your makeup, doing your hair, etc, once you get to work, instead of trying to do it at home with DS in tow?

If you've got a longer commute, can you eat on the road?
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#4 of 4 Old 03-28-2006, 11:42 AM
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I can SO relate to your situation. DH was gone for 10 days on business and just returned last week. I also work full time and was dreading the time he would be gone because we also shall equally in all parenting/household tasks. DS is 11 1/2 mos old and is a handful and usually very clingy in the mornings. I was pleasantly surprised that the 10 days was not as stressful as I was anticipating and I agree with PP that things around the house were actually better with DH gone - less mess, fewer dinner dishes, etc. DS surprised me and on about half of the mornings played happily in his child-proofed room while I took a very quick shower. Other days we bathed together at night. Luckily I don't have high maintenance dogs, but it sounds like you have that figured out. Looking back, I realize that all of the extra one on one time with DS was great and we were able to connect on a deeper level. DH will be gone for another 10 days in April and this time I am not going to stress about it, but just realize it's going to be a bit more work and look forward to all of the one on one time. I did not stress about the housework while DH was gone and I made sure all of the laundry was done before he left and also I made sure all of my work clothes were ironed and ready to go so I wouldn't be scrambling in the mornings to do that.

Good luck - I'm sure things will work out wonderfully.
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