If your husband has a job that requires him to work away from home a lot – maybe five days a week, it can be hard to cope. This is especially true when you have young children to look after, as flying solo is never easy.
Admittedly, it can take a bit of getting used to, but once you have got into a routine, you will find it much easier to cope. The key to dealing with being a ‘single’ mum is finding simple ways to make life less stressful.
To help make life with a partner who works away a little easier, here are some tips and ideas that you may find useful:
Be open and honest with your children
Sit the kids down and explain to them that the reason Daddy is away from home so much is because of his job. Tell them that your partner has to earn money to take care of the family, so it’s important that he can keep his boss happy by going wherever he is needed.
Once you have explained why your husband is away so often, ask them if they have any questions. No matter what they ask you, aim to be as open and honest as possible.
Make your partner part of daily life
He might be away from home a lot, but it’s important to make your husband part of family life. By including Daddy in your children’s lives even though he’s not there, you can make his absence easier to cope with.
If, for example, your child has a sports game, but your partner is away, you can still involve him. Tell your child that you will take photos and videos throughout the game and will send them to Daddy later on.
Each evening before bed, allow your kids to Facetime or Skype your partner, to say goodnight. If he isn’t too busy with work, perhaps he could also be the one to read them a bedtime story? Pack a couple of your children’s favourite books into your partner’s suitcase, so that he can still read to them while he’s away.
Go and visit him
If your husband is going to be away longer than a week, consider planning a visit to where he is staying. Whether you go for a couple of nights or a few days, it doesn’t matter, just as long as you get some family time.
Ask him to look at renting a flat with a flexible lease – these apartments are ideal for business trips, instead of staying in a hotel room. This will mean that he will have enough room for you and the children to come and visit him while he is away.
Have some me time
As well as ensuring that the kids are okay, it’s important to think about your needs. You need to make some time for yourself so that you have a chance to relax and unwind. Flying solo is incredibly hard work – you deserve some me time.
Send the kids off to sleepovers with their friends or to stay with their grandparents, and have an evening off. Go out for dinner with the girls, relax in front of the television, have a movie night with your friends – do whatever you fancy.
Be as prepared as possible
To make life as simple for yourself as possible while you partner is away, being prepared is crucial. If you know that you will struggle to keep on top of everything, start planning in advance, so that life is a little bit easier.
For example, if you struggle to keep on top of the housework and making meals for your kids, make dinner in advance. Cook up lasagne, chilli con carne, and shepherd’s pie, portion them up, and freeze. That way, on nights, when making dinner seems impossible, all you have to do is microwave these.
Coping on your own while you husband is away is never going to be easy. However, there are lots of simple things that you can do to make life as a ‘single’ mummy a lot less stressful.