Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vacations are HARD WORK!

I am about to be going on my first ever "mini vacation" without most of the kids. As I am still nursing the baby, she'll be coming with me for a weekend away. I'll be leaving the three older kids at home with their father. He's a capable man, though the longest he's ever been responsible for the kids has been an hour or two at a time.

You can perhaps see why I'm a bit nervous.

In order to try to make it run smoothly in my absence, I'm going to try to get a few things prepared. Most of these apply to all vacation planning, though some are specific to my situation.

Straighten Up
No one likes to come home to a dirty house. Get all the dishes done (and put away!), sweep everything up and get that vacuum running! Get all the laundry caught up and put away. Put fresh linens on the beds so the coming home and going to bed won't be such a hassle.

Throw it Away
Gather trash from all the waste baskets around the house. Clear out the leftovers in the fridge, along with any veggies that won't keep.

Pet Care
We only have a very low maintenance snake, so making sure he's okay while we're gone is easy. Depending on how long you'll be away, arrange for their care. Either place them with family or a kennel. If you have a trusted neighbor, ask them to stop by and feed your pets while you're gone.

Unplug all non-essential electronics. If it is during the winter, keep the heater down as low as you can without endangering your water pipes. Speaking of which, be sure to open up all the cabinets under the sinks to aid in that effort.

Hold the Mail
Are you going to be gone for longer than a day or two? Arrange for your mail to be held, along with your newspapers. Nothing says "Hey, we're gone, come rob us!" quite like a pile of newspapers on the stoop.

If you're leaving your children behind (as is my case), pick out outfits that are easy to get to. Packing clothes, it is good to keep a check list handy, so when it is time to come home, you don't forget anything!

Emergency Aid
I'm pretty sure my husband has no idea where we keep the band aids. Before you leave, point these things out. If you don't get a chance to do that, leave a detailed list of where such and such is. "Bandaids and Neosporin are in the bottom drawer of the purple plastic set of drawers on the counter in the bathroom." BE SPECIFIC. I can't get away with "it's in the thingie by the dohickymajig in the bathroom.."

Stock up
If you're going, but your kids are staying with the other parent... stock up on snacks and easy to make meals. Make it fun and interesting! If your partner loves to cook, make sure they have the means to cook what sounds good to them.

I will, of course, be available to answer questions by phone while I'm away. I'm going to try to have everything put away where it belongs so I can tell him specifically where the things are that he's looking for.

I'll try to relax and enjoy my time away, though I suspect it to be easier said than done.

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