when daddy travels :: 5 more practical helps

I last wrote on keeping close as a family when there’s a Dad who travels.  A sense of family togetherness can be fostered during this season or time when a spouse is away.  It’s not impossible!  My list is not exhaustive though, and there’s a God who delights in creative ideas, so ask of Him as well.

Today, I offer just a few practical tips for the home — in particular, the Mom at home.

Over the last 13 years of my husband’s work taking him to various cities and states, we’ve learned that preparation is key.  Responsibilities weigh heavy enough, anything to make the road less burdened for Mom helps the whole family!

Some tidbits I’ve gathered through the years…

Shop Ahead

When possible, do the grocery shopping, clothes or shoe shopping, and any other shopping before Dad leaves.  Unless you really enjoy taking little ones along, take care of purchases ahead of time.  More than once, I’ve called my husband with a ‘what was I thinking’ story due to a disastrous shopping experience!  Ahem.

Much is also purchased online from stores I’m familiar with in real life.  Free shipping and discounts are not hard to come by, making real life and online shopping very comparable in price.  And delivery right to my door? Yes, please!

Simplify Mealtimes

Making and freezing foods ahead of time is currently working for our household and I appreciate the convenience of meals or partial meals ready to go!  That said, mealtime is also ultra simplified if Daddy’s away.

The children enjoy indoor picnics of sandwiches & fruit on a blanket, or breakfast in bed for dinner…which has been as simple as cereal and smoothies…or just smoothies!  I don’t hold long cooking sessions and try new elaborate recipes, that can wait.

Have a Go-To List

By trial and error, I’ve found it important to have a list of helpers for when I’m on my own.  We’ve had medical emergencies, air-conditioners break down, plumbing issues, etc. — all perfectly timed for when my spouse is not around!  Having those who know they’re on call brings a level of calmness and comfort to an otherwise stressful situation.

Change up Routines

On many normal evenings, my husband does bathtime with our littlest ones, devotionals with our boys, and reads chapter books to all — these are missed by the children when he’s not home.  Instead of feeling that I need to replace his role, we change up the routine to something new or hold off until Dad returns.

There’s no need to absorb guilt here — it’s more than okay to wait.

Take It Easy

This one is hard for me, I tend to tackle projects!  The children are in bed early and I delve right into my latest & greatest idea or just something that needs doing around the house.  Not. Always. Smart.

I’m learning instead to relax in the eveningsto practice my own preaching about rest and renewal.  Do what works for you and doesn’t deplete energies too much, the next day is coming.

Keeping close family relationships and keeping Mom and kiddos happy when Daddy travels is a huge task — but altogether possible.  If this is your journey, I’d love to hear any other tips you might add!

 

{In writing this short series, I am deeply aware that many Moms live this lifestyle on a regular basis.  Single parenting delivers challenges and stress, often unrelieved by another helping hand.  Hopefully, you’ll glean from my words.  More importantly, may you be led by the Holy Spirit and may He direct your paths.  Grace to you in abundance.}

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