There is something about being stuck at home by yourself with your kids for multiple days that can push a mama to a breaking point.
Especially during bedtime.
Spoiler alert for new moms: Bedtime routines are not fun. Even if you have implemented a consistent bedtime routine, it is still exhausting trying to get everyone everything they need and keep them all happy without losing it.
Related Post: What To Do When Motherhood Isn’t Fulfilling
The first five years of having kids, my husband was working his way through an apprenticeship program that was far more demanding than we ever expected.
I am not exaggerating when I say that he worked 40-80 hours each week and did school on the weekend.
Not to mention many weeks he was gone on storm work (he is a Union Lineman by trade and travels often).
Naturally, that put parenting as a whole on me by myself and was a very stressful.
Though I am really glad that chapter in our lives is over I wouldn’t go back and change.
My husband has a really great career because of it and I learned so much about myself, my kids, and being a wife and mom in the process that truly shaped me.
Donavin still works crazy hours sometimes but not nearly as much as he used to.
I wrote How To Survive When Your Husband Works Long Hours to share some ideas that I implemented during that time that really helped me get through.
Take The Kids Out…..But Don’t Overdo It
Getting the kids out of the house is crucial. Go for a drive, take them to chik-fil-a, or on a long walk.
It helps them burn energy and helps you clear your mind.
And if you time it right, you can get home right before bedtime and ready to sleep.
But be very careful about not overdoing it. If Donavin is out for a whole week, I will typically only take them out two evenings.
It’s just too much for them to process and will typically end with an exhausted toddler meltdown which really isn’t their fault and is NOT fun for you.
Also, on the afternoons you do take them out, don’t stay out too late. You will regret EVERYTHING.
Do Something Fun With The Kids And Make Memories
It’s really easy to feel a little down when your guy has to work long hours, but instead try to capitalize on the fact that you get to spend a special night or week with your kids alone.
We have a “make your own pizza night” and the kids love it.
Another night we will have a picknick on the kitchen floor. It’s super easy and the kids have so much fun!
Sometimes I’ll turn off all but one light in the house and play hide and go seek.
….and of course, if you have family nearby……crash!
We will typically end up at my parent’s house for dinner one night when Donavin is away.
Take some time to come up with a few creative ideas and use this time to make lifelong memories.
Cultivate Quality Relationships With Other Moms
There is nothing more empowering than being around another mom that completely gets it.
Mom life is not easy. You need a handful of friends that you can call when you are about to lose it.
Me and my guy are besties and we’ve always enjoyed each others company.
But let’s be real, how could someone who has never been pregnant ever truly understand pregnancy?
I don’t want to give husbands a hard time. I really think for the most part men are great and my husband was the most sympathetic and understanding during all of my pregnancies.
There is still something special about finding a tribe of like-minded moms to run with.
Find A Creative Outlet
When your husband works long hours or is away often, you need to find a creative outlet. You will get lonely. REALLY REALLY lonely.
It’s not healthy to spend each evening hustling toddlers and finish off binge watching Netflix while scrolling Instagram.
It is a downward spiral toward depression.
Use the time you have to dive into a creative outlet you’ve always wanted to explore.
Set And Work Toward A Big Goal
Whether it’s that business you’ve always wanted to start, a fitness goal you’ve always had, or maybe just to completely declutter and organize your home…
…set a big goal that scares you and works toward it.
If you are reading this and feel overwhelmed and alone because your husband is gone often…
….get your kids out of the house to burn some energy. It’s good for all of you.
Be intentional about using this time to make memories with your kids and invest in meaningful relationships with people that get you.
And lastly, use this time to finally do that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
Your husband’s crazy work schedule may just be a blessing in disguise.
May Your Coffee Be Stronger Than Your Toddler