Friday, April 26, 2013

Tips for surviving your partner’s business travel

Are there words more dreaded than “required business travel” when your partner starts a new job? We have a good division of labour in our household so his absence during these trips is strongly felt. The highlight of his last trip was making my daughter cry as I yelled at her to “Just get in the @*&$^ car!” I’ll pick up my Mother of the Year award later, thanks. In my defense pregnancy fatigue does not increase patience. Still, that’s not her fault. I made a promise it would be different for his next trip. Here are steps I have taken to make things easier on all of us:

Planning, planning, planning!
The meal plan features simple, one-pot affairs. Everybody’s laundry was done over the weekend because who wants to discover a wet, musty bathing suit when it’s time to leave for swimming class? The gas tank is full and I have enough cash for the week. Sure, surprises still happen (Hooray! A birthday party… this weekend!) but it’s easier to roll with the punches when there are fewer of them. 

Identify and eliminate potential points of FAIL!
Before I retire for the night I do EVERYTHING for the morning - including washing fruit and pouring cereal and breakfast drinks. It only saves a couple of minutes, but if the FaceTime call with Daddy fails I want those minutes to cuddle and dry tears instead of having to hustle, hustle, hustle.

Respect the routine
The Husband and I handle different parts of the bedtime routine (except when I'm pregnant, when he does the lion's share. Because he is awesome.) It’s tempting to skip steps when I’m on my own, but it’s not fair to expect a little kid to adapt to change in the who AND the what, so I complete all steps in the bedtime ritual. OK, maybe I skip a few words in the bedtime story... This practice will end when she learns to read. 

Know when to ditch the routine
I am a public transit evangelist who eschews the car for the daily commute because I respect the environment, dammit! Except while The Husband is out of town, when the planet can go to hell. Rather than berate myself for running late and then driving to daycare and work, I just budget for parking and carry on with my days. The relief is sweet when I hear about multiple subway delays. 

Revel in the one-on-one time
The baby will be here soon. I don’t have much time left to give my firstborn baby all of my attention. Thanks to advance planning, dinner prep is quick and the dishes can wait until after bedtime. We have time to cuddle on the couch and tell silly stories about My Little Pony.

So far, so good! Got any tips you'd care to add to the list?