Craig's been gone since Monday morning. Which means I've been the lone soul in charge of taking care of everything - the kids, the house, the dog, and everything in between - for four and a half days straight. Now, please know that I am not complaining. Not one bit. I know some moms who do this all the time. Every week. Non-stop. Month after month and year after year. My hat is off to you! For me, it only happens a few times per year. But I always dread those few times. Do you blame me? One time when Craig was gone, my kid's finger blistered after getting burnt on something in the wheel of my car, another time, I got a flat tire on my way to work (among other things), and another time, I was left to deal with a horribly-sick-and-throwing-up child......all while taking care of an itty bitty newborn (and all that that entails). I've been conditioned to expect the worst. Luckily, the last few times Craig's jetted off for work, things have been smooth sailing. And this week? Pretty great. But it's still a challenge. I have to get up 45 minutes earlier than normal to ensure that our kids are dressed and our dog is fed before leaving the house at 6:30am, then I have to drive them to daycare, which is 20-25 minutes from our house in the opposite direction of my school, then drive back to daycare to get the kids after school, only to turn around and go back home, which is a mere eight minutes from my school. And then there's dinner to feed, dinner to clean, and bedtime routines go through. I finally sit down to relax (or sometimes grade because I have to leave school pretty early to get the kids by 4:30) around 8pm. Except that Brantley is going through a phase right now of not wanting to go to sleep, so he usually calls for me to come back upstairs (for various reasons) no fewer than three times. It. is. exhausting.
Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good about how well I handled things this week! Not once did I arrive late to work, I managed to keep food and water in the dog bowl, and I even remembered to take out the trash and water the flowers! #win
I also thought a lot about what made my week so successful. Here are five of my suggestions for surviving a work week without your hubby.
1 | Make sure there are plenty of leftovers in your refrigerator. I didn't purposefully plan to have a refrigerator full, but it just so happened that we had multiple meals' worth of leftovers from last week/weekend. Best. thing. ever. It made for easy dinners without having to dine on Easy Mac and hot dogs every night! (Though I know the boys wouldn't have minded, that's not my idea of a satisfying dinner for five nights in a row.)
2 | Shower at night. I sometimes go in phases of taking nighttime showers. But usually, I'm too lazy and just take one in the morning. Morning showers mean I need to dry my hair, which takes forever. When I take a shower at night, I simply blow dry my hair for about 45 seconds and go to bed with a partial head of wet hair. I didn't take one morning shower all week, which allowed me to quickly ready myself and get a few extra minutes of zzzzzzs.
3 | Take advantage of dry shampoo. I discovered my love for dry shampoo over the summer. It's pretty much the best hair product ever. No shower = no problem.
4 | Lay out everything at night. I would literally get everything for the next morning ready to go before heading to bed the night before. K-cup in the Keurig, coffee mug + lid next to the Keurig, a box of cereal + plastic bowls for the boys on the counter, dry dog food in Kinnick's bowl, my lunch packed and in the refrigerator, kids' shoes, backpacks, and water bottles on our mud room bench. I didn't always pick out my clothes the night before, which would have added to the morning ease, but my admin at school has allowed us to wear Royals gear and jeans during postseason play, so getting dressed has been pretty stinkin' easy anyway.
5 | Keep the house clutter-free. This is huge for me and a rule I follow regardless of whether the hubs is gone. I can't function when there is crap piled on our kitchen island and toys scattered across the living room floor. This week especially, I made sure to put things away the moment I arrived home and I picked up most of the boys' toys before going to bed each evening. This helps me live a less stressful life all around, but especially when single-moming it.