50 Ways to Leave Your Children
Don’t need to be coy, Roy. And make a new plan, Stan.
There are 50 ways to leave your children.
Okay, not literally. I’m talking about what we working moms like to call: Business Trips. Not only do we work and be a mom simultaneously, but when we travel we orchestrate child care, pick-ups, drop offs, and more with such efficiency we make the CIA look lame.
I don’t have to travel too often, but when I do, you can bet there are going to be multiple spreadsheets involved. Here is how it is done.
So you have to travel for work. Let the planning begin!
- You be the planner. This gives you date picking rights amongst the group. What are the easiest days to leave the family?
- List out all the responsible adults in your child’s life and the possibility of getting their help:
- Spouse – he’s useless, gone 12 hours a day with no vacation time left
- The Grandparents – they live an hour away, may be able to help a little?
- Great grandparents – she’s 95 and I’m sure my toddler would destroy her in 10 minutes
- Aunts & Uncles – They work (sad face)
- Friends – None that I’d be able to pawn off my children with
- Neighbors – Only if desperate
- Nanny or babysitter – she left me for college
Bus driver, Lunch lady, Librarian, produce guy at the supermarket– probably inappropriate?
- Once you find people who can help out, you start your
schemingplanning. Check out the days you’re gone and look at the kids schedule. Can they miss any school? What activities can be sacrificed? How can this planning be the most smoothly executed with the least moving parts and the least obligations missed? Typically while you’re at this stage you need three spreadsheets, two computer monitors, a phone, a online calendar, a paper calendar, Facebook messenger, and Beethoven’s Symphony #5 blasting through the speaker as your mastermind plans come to fruition.
- Now that you’ve orchestrated the best plans, next come instructions for all the caregivers. I usually plan my instructions this way:
TIME | ITEM | WHO | DEPENDENTS | NOTES |
A good, organized spreadsheet or list works the best. You’re the CEO of your family so take those good work ideas and bring them home!
- Be as detailed as possible. If you want there to be no question whatsoever in case you’re on a plane, take advantage of that notes section. I usually add things like: Be sure the kid has a ponytail in her hair that is secured tightly at the top of her head with the thick elastic tail (ugh it’s a hair band but I have to call it an elastic tail cause that’s what my baby girl called it when she was two and it’s too cute a habit to break) so that when she’s done with school and goes straight to gymnastics, the ponytail will still be intact. Feel free to spray the whispies down if necessary. And make sure you hold the toddler’s legs open when he needs to poo so his butt cheeks don’t attempt to squeeze that shit in like he tends to. You can never go wrong with details.
- Confirm dates and plan with your colleagues. Make sure everyone is on board for those days. This is for work remember. It’s not always about you.
- Book your travel time! I find it best to be gone as short amount of time possible. That means early morning transport and redeyes are fair play. Plus they all sound so nice on paper creating lots of fun bitching sessions when you’re hitting the alarm at 3am or attempting to drive home after no sleep the night before on a plane.
- Finalize your spreadsheet and the moving parts. Notify all the parties involved and use a Google doc because hello, it’s the best invention ever. For reals.
- Make sure everyone on the spreadsheet reads the spreadsheet. This is easier said than done. The husband will most likely tell you he knows the deal. But when you ask him the plan for the booster seat and he looks at you like a deer in headlights, print that shit out and tape it in at least three areas he’s bound to be in. Don’t be afraid to highlight. You didn’t go throw all that work for nothing! If he misses one detail, everything will have gone to hell.
- Once that is all taken care of, the prep work begins. Any notes to school or things you can do in advance – do them. My daughter’s backpack was packed up and placed by the door with a ziplock baggie containing hair stuff and a note two days before I was to leave. People who needed to know were notified and shit was packed up!
- After everything is set for the family, take care of you.
- Ten minutes later you’re ready to go. (haha, get it? Takes a month to plan and pack for the family and you get 10 minutes)
- The hardest part goes next. Saying goodbye to the kids. In my example, my toddler kisses me and yells bye as he walks away happy to be rid of me. Meanwhile my daughter who is six collapses on the floor like a wet noodle and convulses so methodically well you question for a second if it’s an actual seizure or not. Bribery doesn’t work, threats don’t work, and eventually your family is pulling her off of you as you run to the car speedy quick with a wowwie wow wow, to quote Junie B. Jones.
- The plan goes into motion and you get to hitch a ride on a plane without a screaming child, no carseat or stroller, and can actually read a book in peace.
- You call or text every hour and request photos often.
- You can’t obviously ask people if they are following the plan but “coincidentally” having a meeting break at the same time your child should be on their way or wearing something somewhere is a good time to call and confirm.
- Your work meetings go well and it’s time to get home. All of a sudden, you can’t get home fast enough. Is there an earlier flight? Can I skip out of this last meeting a bit early? You are frantically rushing as if to will time to go faster so you can get back to your babies.
- Finally after what seems like an eternity, you’re walking through your front door. The hugs and kisses never end. Until 10 minutes later you’re back to screaming bloody murder that no one ever listens to you and begging the toddler to not throw his truck at your face.
You’re home, back to the chaos and all is well with the world. Until the next time.