Danny left for a work trip to Europe a few days ago, and I have been DREADING this trip for quite sometime now. The trip was originally scheduled for the end of September and my sister in law was going to come down and help me with the girls, but because of the hurricanes it was moved to January. It made sense for me to suck it up and be on my own. I knew I could do it, he’s often gone 1-2 nights a week for work on other islands, but I never feel like I handle it with grace or patience. That’s my biggest issue, I feel like I get easily frustrated and overreact to a toddler, then I’m filled with guilt and hate myself for doing so.
I’ll be honest I’m writing this only half way through, but it’s going well so far so I’m going to jot down what has worked for me, that way, when he goes on his week long February trip I won’t dread it as much. So here’s some tips of how I survived, with grace, and minimal yelling.
Talk out loud, even if it’s to yourself. Any of my instagram followers notice I’ve been extra vocal in my stories? Talking about my house and my mail, I feel silly, but it’s kept me sane. Along with chatting with my mom on a daily basis and talking to Danny as much as possible, I need to say real sentences everyday. The norm of, “Did you poop?” And “don’t draw on that” can only get me so far.
Wine. Have it on hand and keep up. Now I probably sound like a raging alcoholic, but I’m serious. By the end of a LONG day alone with two children, everyone hits a wall at about 6pm, and this is the most important time of day. It’s time to prep everyone for a successful nights sleep, and if that’s not achieved, shit gets really bad. Everyone needs to be fed, bathed (ya right), and tired! For us it usually means everyone is overtired and it would be the time daddy comes home to give me a small break. Have a glass of wine before this starts happening, like half a glass at lunch and a full glass when the clock strikes 5. It just helps. Don’t judge me.
Cook ahead. I made a big tray of lasagna, scrabbled egg cups and mini pancakes while Danny was still here. It made food a non issue for me, this way when I didn’t have the time to prep food, I didn’t need to. If I hadn’t done this I wouldn’t have eaten and no one likes a hangry” momma.
Get out of the house. I didn’t want to, but I did anyway and it made a huge difference. We went down to Yacht haven Grande and sat in the grass while Denver ran wild. It was perfect and made for a very easy rest of the day. I also spread out our errands so we left the house almost every day. Worked in a beach day too, it really made the time pass quickly.
Shower + put on makeup. Even if you’re just going to be grocery store, it will make you feel human and you need it!
Make plans. Give your self something to do each day, even if it’s make a phone call, write it down and cross it off. While you’re doing that, use a calendar, crossing off the days till Danny’s return makes it seem not so impossible. Call up your friends and DO STUFF, invite someone over for dinner or grab coffee, it will fill a day and give you small things to look forward to.
Make chores fun include your kid on things you have to do. For example, taking the dog out to pee is like the best thing ever for Denver.
Entertainment. I recorded SO much on the DVR, and it’s all stuff Danny would hate to watch (Gilmore Girls, The Twilight Saga, etc.). I love having a series or movies to pass the time!
Pick a project, mine is my new sewing machine. I set it up and I’m gonna try to make something! It’s been out all week and I’m able to come back to it ever so often.
Lower your expectations I notice when I want to clean the house, or work on a project and the girls interrupt, I get frustrated that I can’t finish what I’m doing, so start small and take it little by little. (AKA my house will NOT be cleaned while Danny is gone), if I overload my plate with chores and errands, I’ll never get them done and feel unaccomplished at the end of the day.
Here we are, Danny is on his way home, I pick him up tomorrow and I am SO excited. Time passed quickly and wasn’t so bad!