Friday, March 26, 2010


When I married Gary I was relieved I'd married a guy who didn't have a job that forced him to travel.

Ha! I. Was. Wrong.

Granted, he travels far less than a lot of dads and husbands I know, but far more than I thought I'd signed up for. Throughout the year he has retreats and conferences and training opportunities, and summers bring camps and youth group trips and mission trips. It was fun before we had kids and I could travel with him, but toting all these kids along isn't a possibility anymore, at least, not at this stage.

He was away on the annual Spring Break trip with his high school students last week, so I played the role of single mom during his absence. I have SUCH an appreciation for actual single moms or moms whose husbands are deployed for great lengths. It's exhausting work.

I've heard of some moms who go out of their way to make the time alone with their kids just hopping and really special. While I think that's awesome, I just can't do that. First of all, I don't have the energy. In my mind, I'm "that" mom who can play entertainment director and plan a fun-filled week of never ending excitement, but the truth is... I'm not. Secondly, I don't want to have so much fun while he's gone that the kids look forward to him being gone. That said, I do try to do a few simple things that are out of the ordinary, for my own sanity as well as theirs.

This week, I planned two simple things that would last throughout the week in order to keep my kids engaged and keep me sane.

First, we started reading a novel each night before bed. We read at least one chapter a night, and are still reading it. The girls LOVE IT. I plan to blog more about that, so I won't get into that now.

The second thing I did was make a big "Welcome Home" poster for Gary. When he was gone earlier this month, the girls made a dozen "Welcome Home" signs and cards for him which they taped all over the walls. Knowing they'd probably do it again, I beat them to the punch. The banner also served as a countdown to when Daddy would be home.

They were each allowed to paint one or two letters per day until the day he'd be back home and it was finished! They absolutely loved it and looked forward to painting time every day. And it was SO EASY!


  1. I'm not "that" Mom either. When Jeremy is out of town, I feel good if we all just survive his absence! I love your banner idea!! I will be trying that one during his next hunting or motorcycle trip!! Great idea!

  2. It's those simple ideas that are the most helpful to other moms!

    I have started reading chapter books to my older two and they actually look forward to heading to their room for bedtime now. Right now we are cruising through the Magic Tree House series.

  3. I love it!

    My husband is approaching a very busy travel season and I woke up this morning in a really grumpy mood about it.

    My kids (the girls, especially) would really get into making a banner like that. I think we may have to steal this idea. Thanks, Angie!

    Off to Walmart to stock up on Tylenol PM. It's the only way I can sleep when J is gone. ;( Happy weekend to you! Enjoy having Gary home!

  4. Very cute idea! My kids would think that was cool, too. I'm looking forward to hearing what book you're reading to them. I need to start chapter books with them, I think it would be great fun. :)

  5. I'm not that mom either and since my husband has deployed at least every other year since 2004, even if I was, I'd be all funned out (I know not a word! LOL).

    I do enjoy not poking him in the side because of his loud snoring and getting the bed all to myself...ahhh nothing like it, but by the time our 12 months to 14 months has been up, I'm always more than ready to share again and all the parenting duties!

  6. I can't wait for Katin to make a welcom home daddy sign! You are a great mom!!!

  7. Such a cute and easy idea Angie!

    I can't imagine being a single mom (even if only temporarily) to 3 1/2 little ones. You have my utmost respect... "that mom" or not :)


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