It’s so hard when I am away from my babies. When I leave town without them, sure, it’s nice to sleep through the night, but I miss my little ones so much. I don’t travel much. But a few times a year, I pack up my bags, load up the fridge, and head out of town. When I’m gone, I tend to worry about leaving my husband alone with the kids for a few days. My worry definitely doesn’t stem from a lack of trust, because he’s great with the kids. I think my worry just stems from wondering if I’ve left everything he needs to manage the home and the kids while I am gone.
I get wrapped up in all the details of the day-to-day stuff before I leave town, because I feel like the more I do to prepare things, the easier it will be on my husband while I am away. I make sure the refrigerator is loaded. I cook a few meals. I even do all of the laundry and make sure the kids’ rooms are clean. But, lately, I’ve realized that I although my husband appreciates all of the preparation, it may not be what he really needs while I am gone.
I know that all moms don’t do this, but admittedly, I am one of those moms that can be a little annoying because I expect Dad to do things my way. I’ve been working on that, though, because I realize that my way is just that—it’s just my way. That doesn’t make it the right way. After all, Daddy has his own magic touch, so why not let him do things his way? He is great at preparing fun (and even healthy) meals. He is great at helping our baby girl fall asleep when she doesn’t feel well. I think he is a diaper-changing expert. And he is great at having a blast with them in the playroom. He’s got this—right?
So in an effort to let Dad work his magic and enjoy his time alone with the kids, I’ve realized that there are a few things that can really help make that happen, and they may not be obvious to my fellow worry-wart moms (because they definitely weren’t obvious to me). Here’s my list. I’d love to hear what dad really needs from you when you leave town.
- A vote of confidence. Let Dad know that you believe in his ability to do a great job handling things while you are gone. If he knows you believe in him, it makes all the difference.
- A list of tricks (just in case). If you are typically the one to feed them breakfast or put them to bed at night, you may have a few tricks up your sleeve that Dad is unaware of. Share them with Dad to help make the day-to-day moments a bit easier to manage.
- More time with the kids the week before you leave. It’s tough on Dad and your little ones if you leave without easing everyone into it. If you normally take care of bath time, have Dad do it a few times before you leave. If you always prepare dinner, let Dad do his thing in the kitchen. It will make things easier on everyone.
- A confession that you don’t get everything right. Sometimes, Dad might be nervous about your departure, because it seems like you always get everything right. Tell him that you are good but not that good. Everyone gets it wrong sometimes—even you.
- Some time alone with you. When I get ready to leave town, I’ve realized that I am so worried about meals and diapers and clean clothes that I forget all about Dad. Of course your babies will miss you, but so will Dad. Life without you for a few days is a lot easier for Dad to manage if he gets some time to connect with you alone before you leave.