The modern family no longer looks like it once did when we were kids. With both parents home every night for dinner, and only going out of town for work once in a blue moon. Or maybe it has always been normal, but when I was growing up, there were only one or two parents that traveled for work on a regular basis. Now, I know several parents who travel for work.
Maybe it’s because we can do so many jobs remotely now, so we are working for companies in different cities than where we are living. Or, maybe it’s just because so many people want to call Charleston home, and they are willing to travel to work to be able to live here. Either way, if you are a mama of littles and your partner travels on a regular basis (or works so much outside of the home it feels like they’re traveling), or maybe they’re going out of town for a weekend with college buddies – you are going to benefit from my tips to surviving when your partner travels!
Survival tips when your partner travels
- Get mentally prepared. I think the most important thing to do when your partner is traveling is to prepare yourself mentally. When you are parenting solo, everything falls on you. If you can mentally prepare, it won’t seem as intense when they actually leave.
- This means meals, too. It’s much easier to make dinners and clean them up when you’ve planned on simple meals that you can cook in a jiffy.
- Join forces with other “single” mamas. At first, I thought I was the only one with a partner who traveled for work and finding another mom who understood the stress of having everything fall on you was like finding gold! Now, I’ve come to realize just how many families have a spouse who travels often. With those mamas, we keep in touch. We support each other while our partners are gone. We even make it a point to do dinners together. Enjoying time with another mama who is in the same boat as you can make you feel not so alone and that feeling overwhelmed is normal. Plus, you get to talk to an adult! #winning
- Get out of the house. I know, I know. Taking multiple kids out of the house solo is overwhelming. but getting some fresh air makes all the difference in the world. Even if you have an online pickup from a big box store and you don’t even have to get out of the car, just getting out of the house will make you feel better.
- Carve out some time for something for YOU. Even if it’s only when the kids are in bed, make sure you do something just for you every day. This does not mean laundry, dishes, or any other kind of housework. It may be a hot bath or catching up on your favorite Bravo reality show.
- Look at the bright side. When you’re the only parent, you have one less “kid” to parent. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my husband needs as much time, help, and attention as my little ones. When he’s not here, that’s one less person I have to tend to. That’s also one less person who’s schedule I have to figure out. When I’m the only parent around, I’m the only boss, and that can come in handy sometimes!
So whether you are a full-time single mama, or have a partner who is traveling for work, temporary work duty, deployed, or just away on vacation, know that you aren’t alone. Ask your family and friends who will be around or who is in a similar situation. These are the people who will understand how hard it can be when you’re doing everything on your own. Make sure to carve time out for YOU, and keep yourself busy. At the end of the day, remember that you are a mama, and that means you can do anything!