Travelling for business comes with the territory of certain occupations or job scopes. And as much as your husband (or yourself) may much prefer to stay grounded, some of these work trips are inevitable.

It can be a scary prospect to do without your partner for a few days, or sometimes longer. Of course, it’s great if you stay near your parents or in-laws, who may be able to help you out while your husband is away. That said, you may not want to unduly trouble your relatives to look after your kids.

Mother headache about child

If you’re planning to go solo for a while your other half is overseas, here are tips that might come in handy for you.

1. Prepare the kids

Don’t spring a surprise on them and tell them about Daddy’s trip the day you see him off at the airport. Prepare them way in advance, letting them know why Daddy needs to go for this trip, and that everyone will need to chip in to make it work when Daddy is not around. Don’t just mention it once, either, but make mention of this once every few days until the actual trip. Even very young kids often understand more than we give them credit for.

2. Schedule in family time

Before the trip, schedule in lots of family time. Take the time to remind the kids that Daddy is going to be away for a while. During the trip, set aside a regular window of time – preferably daily – where everyone can catch up on their day. Nowadays there are a whole range of options available to make this happen, such as Skype or FaceTime.

3. Make sure you have buffer time

Things hardly ever go as planned – in fact, Murphy’s Law is pretty much the norm when you’re on your own with the kids. With that in mind, don-t pack your schedules to the brim or expect things to move smoothly. Always have lots of buffer time between activities, to allow for all the inconveniences and unexpected bumps in the road. For example, begin preparing the kids to leave the house at least half an hour before you expect to close your front door.

4. Spend time on yourself

While hubby is away, self-care is more important than ever. Do pencil in me-time for yourself. If you can get someone to watch the kids, like their grandparents or a friend, then enjoy a couple of hours of solitude doing whatever revitalizes you best. If not, try to spend some time to unwind each night after the children have gone to bed. Curl up with a book or watch your favourite drama serial. Answering emails and staying on top of housework can wait.

5. Let go a little

Be prepared that the house may not be as spick and span as it usually is when hubby is around. Allow yourself the sight of an overflowing laundry basket without forcing yourself to tackle the ironing till the wee hours of the morning. It’s okay if you don’t have time to dust the furniture every single day – focus on the essentials. A little dirt never did any harm.

6. Have some fun!

To help keep your mind and your kids’ minds off missing Daddy, plan some fun dates with your friends. Simple play dates for the kids might involve some playground action or perhaps a baking session, while your mummy friends and you can catch up on each others’ lives or the latest gossip. Happy times make the seconds go faster, and before you know it, hubby will be home again!

By Dorothea Chow