But for today I want to start with my first priority after my marriage, my littles! Preparing to leave on such a big trip means making sure they are well taken care of. I want to share with you a few tips for making sure that when you take your next big trip, you can be fully present and engaged right where you are, knowing they are safe and well taken care of.
1. Details & Instructions
- Spend some time walking through your normal days and just jotting down notes. If you are the primary caretaker there are lots of little things you do all day that you may not even realize and may not even deem as important information to relay to the caregiver that will take your place while you are gone. However, keeping a running little list of even those little things will help you sleep just a little better while you are away from your little loves. (i.e. no 4am panic attacks that you forgot to tell grandma what channel Disney Jr. is on! Not that I know anything about that.)
- Get your own printable checklist: Caretaker Checklist I hope it brings a little peace to your next trip preparation. The list includes everything from daily schedule to medical authorization form. Use a template like this from the Law Depot.
- Have the caretaker, whether it’s grandma or a friend, come a day or so before you leave for your trip. This gives you a chance to walk through your normal routine and answer any questions they may have that you just didn’t think of.
2. Write Love Notes.
Let your littles know you are thinking about them and love them even when you are away! This is a simple little thing I try to do whenever I am away from the littles. And this time, since both my husband and I would be away, we both wrote simple notes to be opened and read every other day while we were gone.
3. Little Presents.
Same idea as the notes but this little gesture serves as a countdown as well. Depending on my how long I will be away I leave a gift for every day I am gone or every other day. This doesn’t have to be expensive and typically the gifts are dollar bin items. Occasionally I will include a fun activity to do (like movie tickets or a gift card to their favorite frozen yogurt spot.) The kids love this and it’s a small investment to give them a sweet little thing to look forward to every day while mama and daddy are away.
4. Phone Calls.
Make a tentative plan for when and how you will talk to your littles while you are gone. This way you can remind grandma how to use Facetime or Skype. Just a note, we planned on Facetiming while we were away but the internet connection was never strong enough so we sent a few videos and made a few calls as well as lots of Imessages.
If you are traveling out of the country I would recommend calling your cell provider to see about a global calling and data plan. We added this service to our account for this month only so we could use things like the map app while lost in the streets of Rome. However, being able to make a few calls to the kids ended up being the best benefit of the additional plan since we were not able to connect with the kids otherwise.
5. Plan Your Time (When You Get Back)
Do your best to plan your time and organize your calendar in a way that gives you some time on the back end of your trip. Keep in mind that the days leading up to your trip will be a bit hectic as you finish running a million errands and tying up loose ends and then you will be gone for any number of days so ensuring you have space built into your calendar to really rest and enjoy your kids when you get back is of utmost importance. Do your best to plan in a way that prevents you from just jumping right back into your crazy to-do lists and bajillion repsonsibilities without first spending a some purposeful and intentional time reconnecting with the ones you love and value the most.
Do you have any tips I forgot?! I would love to hear how you prepare to leave your littles and what tips you have for making that transition a smooth one.
xo friends. I hope this was helpful!!