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#1 of 11 Old 01-14-2006, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I hope this doesn't sound silly, but DH is leaving for a 6 day trip, and I've never been alone with both girls (4yo and 1.5yo) for more than 48 hours. I'm am so used to his being a part of our daily routine that I am really stressing about next week ( he leaves tomorrow AM).

Also the we've all been sick for about 3 weeks and I am already feeling the burnout of not having a second to myself in all that time. I am trying to fill the week up with out of the house activities, but I'm nervouse about all the dead time nonetheless.

I would love this to be some special time for the girls and I to do things we would normally not do. I know other people's partners travel and they get through it. Why is this freaking me out? What do y'all do?

Angie, mama to Anna '01, Mia '04, and Leif '08 and angel1.gif '03  angel1.gif'07 angel1.gif'12.Expecting someone new in 7/13! pos.gif

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#2 of 11 Old 01-14-2006, 09:22 PM
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I would freak out too. My dh doesn't travel much (thank goodness) but when he does I enjoy very relaxed dinners and earlier bedtimes. When Daddy's not coming home at dinnertime to get the kids all riled up, the evenings can be easier.

I've also been known to invite myself over people's houses for dinner just to break things up a bit. Lean on your support group, whoever they are. Good luck!
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#3 of 11 Old 01-15-2006, 12:17 AM
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I know what you mean. My DH doesn't have to travel much but he has a few times here and there. I rememeber the first time I was so nervous with our first child. He just recently went away and it was my first time with two kids. I was so scared. But you know what? It went much better than I thought. The trick for me (like the poster above me mentioned) was early dinners/early bedtimes. It really worked. I would cook dinner early, we would eat around 4:30. I would head to bed at 6:00 - read books to the 4 year old while holding the 8 month old and be done by 6:30 - then nurse the baby and have him down by 7:30. My DH helps a ton but I never quite figured out why when we are both home to do bedtimes it takes us longer

You can do it. It is a bit harder during the days - if you have any friends who can come by during the day or for dinner it helps break up the time.

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#4 of 11 Old 01-15-2006, 01:12 AM
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Early bedtime.

Not having to really cook a full meal.

Kids sleeping with you/ or more bed to yourself.

no sex, adult cuddles.
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#5 of 11 Old 01-15-2006, 12:58 PM
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My guilty habbit when dh is out of town, is dd and I eat frozen dinners. We probably wouldn't do it for a full week, but not cooking dinner every night helps me. And dd loves those awful little frozen dinners.

I also make a bunch of waffles and put leftovers in the fridge for easy meals to reheat in the toaster. Dd helps cook. We also bake cookies or something else fun and out of the ordinary.

Since you are in need of some mommy time- see if you can get a friend or family member to keep the girls a few hours. I often get my mom to help extra when dh is out of town.

Hang in there! And plan for a nice family dinner out when your dh gets home.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#6 of 11 Old 01-15-2006, 04:58 PM
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My Dh is gone a lot too, though not as much since he's had a dedicated run at work. We just tried to kick back and not sweat the small stuff too much. (Well, I try for that all the time but...) We just had easy dinners, played a lot, watched TV a lot, etc.

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#7 of 11 Old 01-15-2006, 08:02 PM
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DH travels once a month for work, it sucks, but we try to make the best of it. Sometimes we go over to a friend's house for dinner, we also spend the night every other month at my sister's house. We watch TV at night which is something we don't when DH is around, we eat food that I don't have to cook. I try to keep it fun. I used to love it when my dad went out of town, we always got to do things that we never could when he was home, I guess I'm trying to recreate that!

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#8 of 11 Old 01-15-2006, 09:20 PM
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My dh did a response job last Feb-April where he was gone M-F. My kids at the time were 5,4 and 4 mos. It took a few days to get into a routine but it did get better. Just concentrate on the important things and like pp's said don't sweat the small stuff.

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#9 of 11 Old 01-17-2006, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, we've made it sp far without a problem. Its not as bad as I thought. I just put my expectations for myself back down to reality and its going ok. Hopefully tonight I can get them to bed earlier and relax a little!

Angie, mama to Anna '01, Mia '04, and Leif '08 and angel1.gif '03  angel1.gif'07 angel1.gif'12.Expecting someone new in 7/13! pos.gif

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#10 of 11 Old 01-17-2006, 11:35 PM
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Hi, Angie, I'm in the same boat. DH just left for a 4 night trip. DS fell asleep in my arms crying for daddy. The fridge is packed full of leftovers to make things easier for me, but I'm also going to spoil DS with trips to his favorite cafe and other fun places around town...we went swimming after dinner tonight. I actually think it's harder on DH to be away from us, because DS still has his regular preschool routine and me at home with him as usual.

Have a good week holding down the home fort, and have some fun with your girls!

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#11 of 11 Old 01-18-2006, 04:35 PM
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My dh travels a lot, and my kids are 4 years and 13 mo. Because he does travel a bit, we are now fairly accustomed to it. While I always miss him, there are aspects that I honestly look forward to when he is gone...

As others have said, quick and easy dinners! My 4-yo loves to help, and we make things like scrambled eggs, quesadillas, pizza (our local pizza shop will sell the dough, the we just have to roll it out and put on toppings), mac-n-cheese...we also often scour dd's children's cookbooks and make "creative" meals together - dh might not like a dinner of penguins (made of dates stuffed with cream cheese) marching across cottage cheese "snow" but the kids do!

Earlier bedtimes and leisurely baths, etc (when dh is home, we wait for hiim to get home from work so we can all have dinner together, so the evening is shorter after dinner)

After the kids are in bed, I have a long quiet evening to work on my own projects - sewing, writing, knitting, etc. This is the time of day when I miss dh most...but I LOVE getting time to do all that stuff!

Somehow,, when he is out of town, the laundry is dramatically lessened and certain household chores are not as pressing...

Things I like to do to help make it easier for all of us when he's gone:

Schedule a playdate or two, preferably a playdate where mom comes too so I get to socialize a bit!

Have one of our neighbors over for dinner - the company is nice, the kids have fun, and daddy's absense is not as "visible" when there are others around to play with and talk to.

Dd and I do what we call "special girl time" when dh is not here - I try to have some special crafts or activities ready to do together - making beaded necklaces, baking, reading a new book, maybe opening a new craft kit or something...making it an opportunity for connecting and doing something special together. Once ds gets older, I'll do this with him to, but we'll have to call it something different!

We had our first "movie night" on his last long trip away - early dinner, pjs and slippers and bathrobes on, and then we cuddled on the couch and watched Charlotte's Web - a big hit with my 4-y-o dd! (Ds played for a while, watched and cuddled a bit, and then I put him to bed and finished the movie with dd). The next day, we started reading the book and finished it the day before dh got home.

When bedtime with two is looking like it might be a struggle, sometimes I bundle both kids up (pjs, followed by all sorts of winter layers) and bring then outside for a "star walk" in the evening...they ride in their cozy sled, all bundled in, and I pull them, usually on snowshoes and into the woods...it is a big adventure, and it feels really late since it is so dark. We watch the moon and the stars - we live in a really rural area, so it is dark and quiet. Sometimes they fall asleep before we get home - if not, they are usually pretty mellow and ready for bed when we get home. The last time we did this, both kids brought a sippy cup of warm milk with them, so we brushed teeth when we got home. Dd wanted to brush her teeth in the dark, and did not want to turn on her electric toothbrush "so I can just keep it all peaceful, like outside"

Outings help - to the library, a museum, ice skating, sledding...something to look forward to each day.

That is all I can think of right now - good luck!
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