Thursday, June 19, 2008

How to survive while your husband is out of town

My love, co-parent, and closest friend has been out of town three times in three months.  We've been apart for the gospel, separated by IX, and been left solitary for the purpose of education.

My husband reminds me that there are military wives who have it much worse and traveling business men gone much more than he is.  I know that is all true, and I know God gives grace for whatever circumstances he places us in.  I also think that God has something special to show me in my situation and I don't want to waste this opportunity to grow just because other people have it harder than I do.

So how do I, as a very needy, "please help me", dependent mom make it while my husband is out of town?  Here are a few tips:

1.  Ask God for help.  As with all things mother-related, I can do nothing alone but "all things through Christ who strengthens me".  This is not a cliche, or an overused catch phrase.  This is the truth and heart of any attempt at anything difficult.  There is no 'just do it' mentality here.  No bootstraps strong enough to pull myself up by.  God and God alone.

2.  Plan easy meals.  We are not big on prepackaged stuff.  I like to cook, need to save money, and we prefer simple. homecooked food.  However, when Mom is flying solo, the kids eat most of their meals at the counter, and it is mostly super easy homemade stuff like quesadillas, peanut butter sandwiches, and even frozen pizza, pizza rolls and other fun, out of the ordinary treats.

3.  Make your daily goals very simple.  As in clothing, food, clothing and food.  School time is light- just the basics.  Focus and feeding and clothing.

4.  Plan some extra fun.  Try making a list of some fun things to do while Dad is gone.  Last time we went to the beach, checked out a park we don't visit often, and had some new friends over.  Because you are focusing on the basics (food and clothes, remember?), and not deep cleaning anything or relandscaping the yard, you'll have more time and energy to have fun.  But please keep it simple.  

5.  Don't forget quiet time.  Every day.  Quiet time is when your kids each go to their own area and you go to your own area and everyone is quiet.  And alone.  It's wonderful.

However, if you don't already do quiet time in your house, this is not the time to start.  Quiet time takes some training.  Switch to afternoon movie time instead and work on developing the quiet time habit when your husband is back home and your sanity has returned.  (This may take a few days.)

Ok, enough with the list.  Remind yourself you will make it, go over Step 1 several times a day, and don't give up, sister.  He'll be home soon.


Miranda said...

This was great, thanks for the tips. I am storing them up for next time Paul is gone :) I miss you! That may sound silly but I think of you often and those thoughts bring a sense of heart felt affection and encouragement toward loving Christ. Thank you. I am enjoying the blog! We'll talk soon...

Anonymous said...

Well, hello there! It's amazing how God would bring us back together after a trip from the Martins. LOL

I love the house! It's good to hear from you. I plan to be checking in with you all daily from the blog. Feel free to do the same with us.


Renata said...

Thanks for the reminder that quiet time requires training. I have reinstated it here and it is so hard keeping them quiet (and alone). I have to remember they're not going to get it right overnight and that they'll never get it if I'm not consistent with it.