My husband G works away every week from Monday to Thursday evening. He has always done this and when we were a childless couple I used to love it! I mean who wouldn’t want the best of both worlds. I would have a couple of evenings out visiting friends and then one evening in in my pjs watching what I wanted to watch on Tv.
Then Little Man came along and things changed. Suddenly the freedom of being able to go out in the evening was taken away and once the night feeding was finished and a long evening stretched ahead of me alone things really started to take their toll. I was lonely I realised and I really missed G. A couple of years down the line and I think I have it all a bit more sussed, I still miss G and I still miss someone to talk to in the evenings about how my day with Little Man has been or a terrible day at work but still I can honestly say I don’t dread the time on my own any more. 3 or 4 nights is my limit though, those Mummys doing it on their own or who have partners that work overseas, I salute you. I know it can sometimes be a hard old slog. So for anyone who is in the same position as me or is about to begin it then here are my top 5 tips for getting through the week when your partner is away.
Prepare – This is so important for me. The beginning part of our week I am at home with Little Man, my working week starts on Wednesday so I find that preparing for those 2 days really helps. When you know there is no one coming home for you to hand the toddler over so you can get on with your jobs can be a bit overwhelming when you’re trying to get it done with a toddler under your feet so I try and get everything done at the weekend. Admittedly I have the evenings butthis new found blogging hobby I seem to have taken on seems to be taking up all of my evening times! If everything is done I can spend the time with Little Man without worrying when I am going to get everything else done.
Routine – this is my saviour. I am a lover of routine anyway but I think without a routine I would struggle especially on work days. Work one out that works for you and your family and it will make the week go much smoother. For example, we have our Mondays and Tuesday routines which are a bit more chilled but when Wednesday hits I am like Little Man’s Sergeant Major to make sure we get out of the door in time for nursery drop off and work.
Skype – or any other video calling thing. A good old fashioned phone call used to do the trick before Little Man but now I find that Skyping is good for all 3 of us. Little Man and G get to have a nice chat in the evening – I say chat it usually entails Little Man bringing every toy he owns to show G on the screen. But it’s great for us as a couple too, there’s something much nicer speaking to his face than over the phone. He may not agree because his role is often just to sit and nod whilst I go through all my trials and tribulations of the day.
Count the sleeps – Now Little Man is getting older he is starting to understand that Daddy isn’t always here. We often worried about this and whether he would miss G so we have started counting the sleeps. Every night at bedtime, I tell Little Man how many sleeps it is until Daddy comes home and this seems to settle any uneasiness he has about Daddy being away.
Socialise – This is so important. I don’t even mean socialising in the evening as this can be hard especially when your friends have their own kids. I do see people in the evenings but this is dependant on if they can come to me while Little Man sleeps. However, I find as long as I socialise in the day the evenings don’t feel so bad and I relish the time on my own a bit more. It can be a long old day for both me and Little Man if all we have seen is each other so we try and see someone on Mondays and Tuesdays and obviously on Wednesdays and Thursdays we see our nursery and work friends.
So there we go, a few tips from me. I hope they are useful to anyone who is in a similar position to me. I would love to hear any more too.