When Mom leaves on a trip…

I’m leaving Wednesday on a trip. All by myself. To a foreign country. Did I say ALL BY MYSELF? No children. No husband. I greatly lament the no husband. I very much wish he were going with me. But leaving five children under the age of 12 home alone is not viewed favorably by some authorities. And boarding them with some innocent family is not conducive to keeping friends, except in dire emergencies. AND both parents leaving the continent at the same time just does not compute with my motherly instincts. I really don’t think you could drag me on a plane if we both went.

I’m a little unsure how my family will survive without me. I’m very unsure how the house will look when I get back. It may take weeks to return it to something resembling order. But isn’t that what trips are all about? Taking three times as long as the trip to return to normal? But here is my attempt at giving my husband and the kids a fighting chance at survival.

First, I forwarded all the kids activities to my husband so he will know when and where he needs to be and with whom each day. I’ve warned the girls and their teachers not to worry if they miss something. It’s just meant to be. He’s only a man. He can only do so much.

Second, I’ve cleaned. Oh, how I’ve cleaned. For all the good it does. The garbage disposal picked this weekend to die with a quart of food packed into it. A little known fact about dead garbage disposals is that they don’t allow water to drain well, even after spooning out all the gross food that didn’t get ground up. I hope it’s replaced by the time I get back.

Third, I’ve freezer cooked for several weeks. Again, for all the good it does. The children eat it as fast as I can make it. So, now about all that’s left is the stuff they didn’t like in the first place. It will probably all still be there when I get back. Instead, they likely will plow through 3 jars of peanut butter and 6 loaves of bread. I also bought snacks. Fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt, pita chips, lemon snaps. A little of that is left. The stash might last a day or two, tops.

Finally, I’ve hugged and kissed and snuggled as much as possible for the last week. My pre-teen keeps telling me she’s good. No need to worry. I know she’s just putting up a brave front. My next two have a list a mile long of things for me to bring them. It’s a coping mechanism, I’m sure. My babies are innocently unaware of the impending disaster of missing mom. I hope it won’t traumatize them for life. My husband is very supportive. He’s done the Mr. Mom routine before for shorter expeditions, but this is more of a marathon. He may never be so generous again.

I’ll be back next week to let you know the extent of the damage. If you see a semi-comatose man with five children hanging on him, give him pat on the back and a cup of coffee.


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