Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Days, 31 Smiles {Day 16}: Having Fun When Daddy Is Away

Before I get to today's post, I want to remind you to sign up for my "Without Losing Your Cool" giveaway going on now through Monday, October 29.  If you tried yesterday and noticed the form wasn't working, try again!  It's up and running now.  There are 6 prizes, 6 winners, and a chance for up to 6 entries!  Right now the entries are low so you have a great chance of winning.


My husband cuts grass and landscapes for a living.  It keeps him extremely busy and away from the house from morning until late evening from May through October, and those can be long days.  Long days that make up long weeks that make up long months of dinnertime without Daddy, bedtime without Daddy, and lack of Daddy's loving but firm presence. 

Some people say that the best way to combat those kinds of days is to stick to the same routine that you'd have on the "normal" days so that no one has to think about what comes next.  It simply flows naturally. 

I tend to try a different approach. 

On days that we know Brian will be away from the house all day and will not be joining us for meals, we relax our standards, relax the routine, and adopt a laid back attitude.  If we get involved in a project and want to save school for the afternoon, we do.  If everyone hungry for dinner but it's only 4:30, we have no one to please but ourselves so we eat! 

When eating family meals with Brian, we all sit together at the table,  but when he is away, my kids' favorite thing to do is pretend they're at the movie theater and watch a DVD while they eat.  I gave up feeling guilty about that long ago. 

We often plan afternoon outings on  Brian's late days.  That way, if we spend extra time chatting (and running and climbing) with friends at the park, he's not waiting at home for dinner. 

Bedtime is a gentler affair, too.  We read books, get the wiggles out, and settle down to sleep.  My kids think spreading out a sleeping bag on the floor is so much better than sleeping in a bed, so why not?  Who am I to dictate fun?  I'm not losing my cool over this one. 


We've had some practice over the years with coping when Daddy is gone for much of the day. 
Read my thoughts:


  1. Love these ideas. Dinner time definitely gets relaxed when Tim works late.

  2. Good ideas. Especially staying at the park talking with friends

  3. We relax a bit when daddy's away too. He's been volunteering once or twice a week for the EMS station locally. That means he leaves work early, drops by to change clothes and pick up his dinner and isn't here again until late at night.

    Those nights we generally have left overs, but if there aren't left overs to be had, we have a "fun" dinner. Thankfully they think it's fun. Basically it's just a bunch of random things that make up all the food groups we need to cover. Not daddy's style at all, but the kids think it's great!

  4. Tim has been away 1 week for every month this whole calendar year and he left today too. We only have one more training week to go though!!

    So we've taken the same approach as you. Very laid back. Meal time looks like cereal or grilled cheese, and we do more running around too b/c we don't have to be back home at a certain time. I will admit that the bedtime routine is my least favorite part of my time when Tim's away. I just feel so wiped out by that time that I really have to muster up my strength and just do it! Occasionally when daddy's away we try to have lunch at McDonalds to spice things up and make it the time just a tad more special.

  5. Some great ideas! We relax things too but that is really a win win as then I can cope with the dinner, bath and clean up/bedtime routine. Things because a challenge when we stopped watching DVDs initially but have dramatically improved (along with the weather).

    How do YOU cope with missing your husband when he is away. I miss my husband a lot. I just long for him companionship

  6. we (mostly) keep going ... but some school gets put on hold (math, logic, our bible workbooks) and I do simplify dinner. and I suppose time isn't really an issue.

    but leaving the house (especially when I don't really know my way around) just seems scary! I'm going to tackle Storytime tomorrow, though ... ...

    *i WISH i could go to your park and chat!


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