When Supermom Travels

When Jen travels

Every time Jen travels I feel a little nervous the day before she goes away. Because I’m one of those planners, checklist makers, one who tries to anticipate everything that can possibly go wrong, and comes up with the perfect plan, until life happens.

Here’s my mental checklist for Jen’s travel (it used to be on paper):

  • Jen and I review all the business needs and priorities
  • Discuss how I can reach her in an emergency
  • Make sure her travel plans are clear
  • Make sure she has enough travel cash
  • Talk about travel safety
  • Make sure she is sure everything is packed
  • Check any last-minute mommy duties
  • Get her off on time!

And of course Jen always seems ready even without a little help from me.

Now that I’m home alone! This is the part I worry about the most, especially when Jen first started traveling for business. I’ve always been a hands on dad, but kids without their mommy sometimes get a little crazy.

Here’s my mental checklist for kids, home, business and pretending to be (super) mom (I still make little lists):

  • Double check emergency phone numbers
  • Make sure there’s plenty of food
  • Know and prepare their menu for the days Jen is gone (menus to take-out places)
  • Make sure they follow daily routines precisely to reassure kids everything is normal
  • Have treats, games, toys, videos, stories on hand in case kids miss mommy too much
  • Make sure my parents are there to back me up if I need help (fortunately, we have a two family house and my parents live two doors apart from us)
  • Make sure to remember all their school, extra curricular and homework schedules and assignments
  • Make tent and campsite for kids to sleep in my bedroom, in case they need comforting at night
  • Make sure Sugar, our dog, gets plenty of walks and treats so she’s comforted, because Sugar will miss Jen the most (Sugar is the baby of the family)
  • Make sure I’m on top of all business needs and duties
  • Get breakfast, lunches, dinner, clothes ready, check homework, extra curricular schedule and everything else that’s not on a list ready for the next day (if Jen isn’t back yet)
  • Make sure I’m there to pick up Jen from the airport with Sugar our dog on time when her plane lands
  • Fill her in on all the events, dramas, business that have happened since she been gone before the kids smother her

Sure, I’m a planner, but when life happens and messes up your plan, the best plan is to trust your instincts, do your best and pray! I know Jen feels guilty and misses the kids when she’s traveling, but it’s a great opportunity for me to practice being a (super) mom (in my book any mom that works and takes care of the family is a supermom even if they’re not perfect), once in a while to stretch and help me grow as a parent and as a man.

Do you think this is the new reality for families? How would your family manage? How do single parents do it?