Going Away for the Weekend (Alone): 7 things to do so that your husband will agree to watch the kids for an entire weekend again
Have you ever had to go away for the weekend? (Or dreamed of doing so?) I mean, your husband and kids stay home and you are off to relax, work, visit, or help someone all on your own. That, my dear SAHMs, is what I'm fixin' to do this weekend.
You may have noticed that I launched my very first actual, physical, tangible product - Mama's Got Mail.
Well, it just so happened to be that there is a local "Shark-Tank-like" entrepreneurial competition going on here in Chattanooga. It's called The 48 Hour Launch: Female Founders edition. I applied and got in. And yes, it is an entire weekend of building up an online business idea. (I'm building up Mama's Got Mail.) I have people on my team for the weekend to help me market the idea, partner with awesome local vendors, and develop a solid business strategy.
This is so dorky (but true), but I think that The 48-Hour Launch is like the best play date I could ever imagine. I am so excited! But, it means I have to be away for the weekend (for the first time ever!).
On the home front, I'm making my lists and checking them twice. I'm not only preparing to go, but I'm also preparing for my husband and kids to stay. It's called double-duty; and no, it's not fair.
But it has to be done if I ever want to go away for a weekend again.
So, let's say YOU are in the rare situation where you are going to go away for the weekend. How do you prepare so that your husband will happily agree to watch the kids by himself all weekend long?
Allow me to show you.
1. Plan the menu. This may sound like total bologna. "Why do I have to plan the meals if I won't even be there to eat them!?" I'll tell you why: Because if you do, your kids will eat better, your husband will be less stressed, and everyone will be able to carry on without you being the air traffic controller.
So, plan food that everyone likes and that your husband can easily make.
You see I have beef stew on Friday night. I'm making that in the afternoon so that it's all ready when my husband and I have the "changing of the guard" at dinner time. And Saturday night is roasted lamb. That's easy because you put it in the oven during nap time and then there is no dinner-prep-stress when the kids are a hot mess at 5:00. You're welcome.
Bonus points if you do some of the prep work for him on Thursday or Friday morning. Cut the vegetables and label them in a Ziplok bag. Prepare the lamb in the baking dish and put it in the refrigerator with a Post-it note with baking directions. Set out any recipes needed.
2. Buy the groceries. Yes, buy the food so that your husband can make everything and not have to leave the house with kids that miss their mommy to buy groceries. That's a problem waiting to happen! Have the food in the house, ready to go.
3. Do the laundry. Not saying every sock and undershirt has to be washed, but do enough laundry on Wednesday and Thursday so that there are enough clean towels, underwear, socks and pants for everyone over the weekend.
4. Write up a suggested itinerary that your husband can use as a basis for planning his weekend. Men like to be communicated with clearly - but not in a nagging way. A list is the perfect solution for you to be able to show what you normally do with the kids and around the hosue without being Mrs. Bossy Pants. (No one likes her.)
You can upload my Daily To Do List that I'm giving to my husband this weekend below. He can use it as a working document, but not be held to it. Since it's the weekend (so no homeschooling), I'm sure he'll fit in some playground time, a hike, or a trip to the Children's Museum to keep the kids busy.
5. Let the kids know you'll be gone so that they can prepare. It's important to let your kids know what to expect, especially if it's the first time you will be away for the weekend. (As it is for me.) Let them know how much fun they will have. What they will eat. And how good that Daddy will take care of them. Give them a week or so to get used to the idea. And always give it a positive light - but let them know that you'll miss them!
6. Thank your husband. Being kind and sweet to your husband is just part of having a happy marriage. When he is doing more than usual, it's just plain good manners to thank him. (Men are so simple. I love it!) This genuine gesture of gratitude also encourages him to have fun and enjoy his time with the kids over the weekend. He'll also feel good that he is doing something that is so helpful to you.
7. Pack ahead of time so you are not rushing around and stressed when you leave. The last thing you want is to put an air of distress into the family when you leave. Do the math: Mommy is a hot mess when she leaves = kids + husband a hot mess because Mommy is leaving! We don't want that. So get your stuff packed and ready to go Thursday night and you'll be able to be calm and relaxed when you spend extra time playing with the kids before you leave.
The key thing to remember here is to make it easy for your husband to be willing to watch the kids for an entire weekend again. Your goal is to make him happy on this one. If he's happy, he can keep the kids happy, and next time you want to head out, he will say, "Oh sure! We had such fun last time! Go ahead, you little Darling. I've got this." (passionate kisses follow)
That's my short (but not necessarily easy) list of how to prepare to high-tail it outta the house for the weekend without the man and babies. Do you have other to-do's to add? I'd love to hear them in the comments below.
Are you lovin' this post? Well, get on the Newsletter to hear more from me.
Oh, and if you're interested in getting surprise gifts each month from me, hop over to MamasGotMail.com and sign up! You know I'm going to send you something fun, useful, and thoughtful. I've also had some press about Mama's Got Mail here, here, and here if you want to know more.
Oh, oh, oh! If you'd like to follow my progress on The 48 Hour Launch this weekend, you can follow Mama's Got Mail on Twitter.
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