When the cat's away-if your husband travels for work

In the past couple years my husband's position at work changed and now he sometimes has to travel out of state.  He is the one in charge of drop off at daycare, as I have to be out the door at 7 a.m. and she is still sleeping.  Normally her mornings are pretty laid back, since he works from home when he is not traveling. 

They wake up whenever and eat breakfast, play a few games of Candyland or Chutes and Ladders then get ready for the day.  Her lunch is already packed and her clothes are already laid out my me.  He takes her over there around 9/10 and by 3 I am picking her up.

When he is out of town due to work, getting her ready and to daycare is up to me.  I wouldn't mind this so much if it weren't so early in the morning.  She is NOT happy to be up early and lets me know it.  She is also a daddy's girl, so she is mad to see that he is not home.

So I thought I'd share with you some things I do to make the morning a little easier. 

First, her clothes are always ready ahead of time.  Usually on Friday I will check the week's weather forecast and lay her clothes out for the week.  I fold the shirt with the pants, so there is little confusion as to what top goes with what bottoms.  I put the pile in a small laundry basket, but when she gets older I really want a weekly organizer like this:

Days of the Week Closet Organizer
I also try to pack her lunch at night, as it usually consists of dinner leftovers.  Sometimes I pack it in the morning.  If he is out of town, I make sure I pack it at night to reduce stress.

I wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual and work on getting myself ready.  Once I'm done, I go in the kitchen and start on her breakfast.  This is usually something fast such as Raisin Bran or a frozen waffle.  I fill up her sippy of milk (we do regular cups, but since I'm taking her to daycare, I need it in a sippy) and take it and her clothes into our room (we bedshare). 

I wake her up gently by turning off her fan and sound machine.  As soon as she stirs I hand her the sippy as I have found that stops her from crying.  While she's drinking and half sleeping, I change her diaper and get her dressed.  By this time she's wide awake and not happy.  I turn on the tv and turn on a SuperWhy episode from the DVR.  I usually read her the choices to stop her from crying.  While she's watching tv and drinking I bring her breakfast and I go into the garage to bring all of our bags to the car. 

I come back in, brush her hair and teeth, and let her take her milk with her to daycare, just to keep her happy.  Most of the time she still has breakfast to finish, so while brushing her teeth and then having her eat is not ideal, it is better than not brushing at all.  If she isn't done with breakfast, it comes with us as well.

When I drop her off, she is usually in a happier mood and I give her breakfast to her DCP, get kisses and hugs, and run down the stairs to my car and get myself to work.

Pick up isn't as bad as I always do the pick up.  We come home and do school or crafts, play games, or go outside if we can.  While I cook dinner I let her watch something or color.  If it's a Wednesday we do leftovers or take out because she has music class. 

This year will be a little crazier as she has dance on Tuesdays and music on Wednesdays. 

I am also a grad student so I try to get work done when she's sleeping, but I do the majority of it on the weekend when I have help.

Phew!  I'm tired just from writing this!  Props to all you single moms out there, or moms with more than one child whose husband travels.  It's a LOT of work.

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