Survival Mode: When Daddy’s Gone

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Mela Photo

The sun is not up yet and both kids have been up waaay too long, running around with inordinately loud stomping and asking for breakfast. I keep telling them, “No matter how early you get up, I do not feed you breakfast till 7. Mommy needs time alone with Jesus!” It’s falling on deaf ears but maybe in 5 years they’ll get that an hour alone for mommy at 6am means Happy Mommy for the rest of the day.

Last night it took 2 hours for my daughter to fall asleep. She was so sleepy and rubbing her eyes and crying at 7. But it wasn’t till 9:30 that I gave up putting her back in her bed (with corresponding attempts to hold her, rock her in a chair, sit by her bed, offer to lay in bed with her, and ordering her to stay in bed and putting her back over and over.)  I KNOW that if I cave in one time and let her sleep in my bed, she will never. ever. go. back. And while we spent 2 of Little Man’s years in between us in bed in India, we also had a giant king bed. Now we’re in a queen and there’s just no reasonable way for this heavy, solid, sumo-wrestling Little Miss to sleep peaceably between us in a queen.

Eventually I found myself hanging out in the bathroom pretending to get ready for bed while the child accidentally fell asleep in my bed, then I put her in her bed so that I could return to my bed and crash hard—exhausted.

The longer my husband is away the more I forget my principles and fall into Survival Mode. Lots of boxed mac’n’cheese. A tad more TV time. Sometimes if the car is quiet while I’m driving I just keep driving for a while… Help me, Lord, to hang onto just a thread of order until we’re all 4 back together again. I’m losing my resolve.

Mela Photo

This week I discovered a video interview I had done a couple months back on living overseas, motherhood, and mental wellness. It was fun to see even how far the 4 of us have come emotionally since I did that interview 2 months ago. People say we look more … “rested” … And it’s interesting how stress and pressures can just wear on you and make you look… tired.

This week my biggest challenge has been trusting God with all the details and finances of life. When it’s all up in the air and we’re waiting to see how it will take shape, the joy and creativity in working independently runs dry and just leaves me with a racing mind and heart. And I do miss the routine and normalcy of our life overseas.

But tomorrow the kids and I will get on an airplane to go meet Tyler and travel together to 3 cities in 8 days. We get to stay with good friends and make s’mores and drink coffee and visit a couple more universities to explore study abroad partnerships. I’m looking to the days ahead with expectancy, knowing that His ‘’goodness and mercy” will follow us there, enough for every new day and place.

Do any of my blog friends have survival tactics and tips for life with kids when one spouse is out of town? Post them here.. we could sure use some more!

  • Madelaine

    Just a small comment regarding a dinner meal. My kids got a kick out of having “breakfast” for dinner. Easy to plan and adventure lasts about 30 minutes! Well, that is the extent of my suggestions! Xoxo


  • Wellspring Post author

    Madelaine I love this suggestion, don’t know why I didn’t do it this week… maybe tonight for dinner! We miss you! Thanks!


  • Katie

    I utilize TV time majorly!! Take advantage of the time they are occupied by something other than you! If there are sitters you can hire, do that too and go take time out for yourself!

    I like the idea of driving just a little longer if they’re quiet 🙂 haha!


  • beth grant

    Breakfast for dinner (i remember lots of those), develop a favorite video that becomes special to watch together when daddy’s gone, reward quiet time when everyone is in separate rooms starting with 15 min. and grow it:-) they could play with whatever, look at books, color in their separate rooms . . .but reward at end for entertaining themselves for that time. They will grow to appreciate it, and you will begin to have quiet time too.


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