1 | Schedule + Details
Although it may seem obvious about the way a normal day runs in your house, all those little things add up and can overwhelming to someone stepping in to take your place while your gone. Write out everything that goes on in your home and life on a typical day from wake up to bed time. I keep a notepad with me a day or so before I leave to jot down anything that I do that may not be super obvious and just second nature to me, the mama. (i.e. checking homework folders, packing lunches, etc.)
I include meal and snack options (i.e. what’s in the pantry and fridge), activity ideas and even little things like how to operate the tv and the kids favorite channels. It’s a good idea to include any information that will simply make daddy or the sitters job easier so you aren’t getting emergency “we can’t find the disney channel” phone calls or text messages while away.
2 | Menu + Pantry/Fridge Stocked
I made a simple menu and shopped before I left. I stocked up on easy snacks as well as all the items necessary for breakfast and lunch boxes. I left the menu on the Details page that I left for my husband/sitter.
3 | Love Notes + Daily Prizes
A handwritten love note to your husband and littles (and even babysitter!!) will go a long way in reminding them how very much you love them while you are gone. My other most favorite trick is heading to the Dollar Tree and finding great inexpensive prizes for each day I will be gone. I picked up coloring books, puzzles, squirt guns, etc., wrapped them up and had them lined up on the kitchen counter the day I left. The little prizes were just a fun little something for the littles to look forward to each day.
4 | Scheduled Phone Calls
If possible, ask for a schedule beforehand for the event you will be attending and schedule a time to call home every day that will work with both your schedule while away and the normal life rhythm of your family at home.
5 | Work
One, put up a vacation responder in your email. My time away from my family must be fruitful and full of purpose; if I am tied to email the entire time away that defeats the purpose of stepping away from the normal work rhythm to learn and be inspired.
Two, I am SUPER forgetful. So, I use sticky notes to leave myself reminders on my first day back in the office of all the projects that I have put on hold while traveling. Then, I can easily disperse those projects on the days and weeks to come but it provides a simple way to mentally jump back in to work and not be overwhelmed. I can, at a glance, see everything I have going on without having to go back 2 weeks in the brain archives.
I don’t leave my family often, in fact this was the first year I have done so since I attended the first Stationery Academy in 2011, however the time away was amazing (I can’t wait to share lots of details with you!!) partially due to the preparation details listed above complete before traveling but mostly because I have the most capable, amazing husband who just happens to be the most amazing father. Thank you Aaron for investing in me in this way. I love you a ton.