At sometime, most moms leave the homestead for a night or two, for work, a retreat or a short stint in rehab (don’t judge). This departure is always preceded by furious, turbo-nerve fueled list making and notes for those left behind. I recently left for three nights (!) to go speak at a conference, and my dear husband looked into my eyes as he said goodbye, and asked “How will I know what to do?”
So, I have a created this handy template for you to print out, fill in and help get you started. I suggest you print it now, and put it in a safe place, like your chocolate drawer (don’t act surprised – Even Gabby Reese has a chocolate drawer).
While I am Away
Hi all my loved ones! I have narrowed down the house rules to only TWO when I am gone:
1) Keep all children and pets alive.
2) Do not misplace (even temporarily!) a child or pet.
Here are some Household Operating Best Practices to refer to in my absence:
1) If they whine in the kitchen, feed them and fill the water bowl.
2) If they whine inside the back door, let them out.
3) If they whine outside the back door, let them in.
Items 1 to 3 – same as above
4) Make them do homework, if they dwaddle, threaten them with no TV.
5) If they fight while watching TV, threaten them with early bedtime.
6) If they are complaining or bickering after you put them to bed, threaten them with no TV.
(Note: This is referred to professionally as a Threat Loop – I may trademark the term.)
Remind (child) to take a shower.
Remind (child) to brush teeth.
Remind (child) to take medicine.
Wake (child/ren) at _____, and then again at ______ when they go back to bed the first time. Beg them to eat, help them find their book bags and shoes (which are never on the handy bench and hooks in the mudroom for these things). Bonus points: you can time the race to the bus and see if any of them have a future in track.
Remember that (child1) must be at (location 1) by (x) o’clock, and don’t forget to take their (music, cleats, bible, trumpet, helmet, etc..)
If you are reviewing my list and wondering why all the other household responsibilities are not outlined, I will explain that I simply don’t shoot that high. But again, with an all male household, I have an ADD infused audience, so I need to focus on the basics. And in my maturity (or exhaustion) my level of perfectionism with respect to the house has softened. And I am not satisfied if they don’t miss me just a little when I am out of town. I haven’t gone so far as to hide the toilet paper, or bribe the dogs to lay near my side of the bed and cry softly, but it is a thought.