There are so many things I look forward to when my husband gets home, spending time together, my daughters face when she sees him, but it’s the little things that really make a difference. You don’t realize how much work a big house with animals can be it until you have to manage it alone, little things like taking out the garbage and the recycling are a huge pain. Folding and putting away laundry, doing the dishes and taking care of all of the animals are all things that not only take time and energy but make me miss my husband that much more.
Don’t get me wrong, this is the life we chose. I am not complaining, I actually want to share with you how I go about surviving the little things while he is away. Hopefully my advice can help if you are taking care of a big house all by yourself.
Garbage: The day before the garbage man is due to come, I gather all the garbage, clean the litter box and take everything to the garage. Then I usually take the time to have my daughter come play out front with me, while I put everything I gathered into the large garbage bins and head out on my trek to the street. It’s about a half an acre walk over grass and gravel, so bringing my daughter outside where I can see her gives me time to not rush. When I rush, I end up knocking over the can while pulling it out, and thats never fun. Of course, this is all done the afternoon before garbage day to ensure that I do not miss the pick up!
Recycling: This day goes pretty much the same as garbage day. We have a small garbage can in the house we drop recycling in and frequently go outside and dump it in the big one. So, the day before pick up, I also gather all the boxes and random items that may be recyclable and add them to the big recycling bin. Just like garbage, my daughter comes outside with me as I make my long haul to the street.
Laundry: OK, so only the first few loads have his clothes as well, but the way I go about all laundry when he is gone is the same. Really, it’s just a matter of getting it done. I start with our clothes. I do small loads so that when it’s time to fold, I can stay near my daughter while she plays and get it folded quickly and then put away without being MIA for too long. I do this same thing the entire time he is gone. Its more loads of laundry, but if they are small they take less time and in the end, makes it easier for me so that i do not end up with huge baskets full of clean laundry, just sitting there to wrinkle.
Dishes: This is so much easier when hubby isn’t home, hehe. It’s like we have 10x as many dishes when he is home! When he first leaves, I do a huge load of dishes, and usually put them away while my daughter eats her breakfast. Once the bulk is done, it’s easier to keep up. Each night I run the dishwasher (well, i try to! I am not always on schedule), even if it is a small load. Then the next morning I put them away.
Animals: Well, this is really not that hard either, and to make it more fun, I keep my daughter involved. I put the food in the dog bowls and let her carry it to the stand and give it to one of them. She helps me feed the cats, and she comes out with me when I gather fresh eggs and feed the chickens.
Really my best secret is that I try and keep my daughter involved as much as a 2 year old can be. It helps her not only learn what it takes to help mommy and how to care for things but it helps me so that I do not have to do everything while she is asleep. That whole “sleep when they sleep” advice really doesn’t take effect until they are about 1-2 years old, haha. Now that she is old enough to do some things on her own, I am able to involve her, and rest when she is sleeping!
Until Next Time,
The Not-So-Single Mom
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