Just for the weekend that is. I'm heading to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the WholeHearted Mother Conference. There's much to do before leaving on a trip, even if it's just the weekend. Besides packing for myself and the baby, there are a number if things I do for my family so that things will run more smoothly while I'm gone. My husband will be taking care of five of the kids while I'm away. I'll be taking the baby, of course, but also my 16 yr old daughter, who will be one of the group sitters. Between my very capable husband and my 13 yr old daughter, taking care of five kids won't be too difficult. Nonetheless, I feel better about leaving when I know I've made things as easy as possible for the ones left behind, especially when four of the five are young and require "all hands (and eyes) on deck". So, these are the things I've done in preparation for leaving.
Meals: Both my husband and 13 yr old daughter are wonderful cooks, but again, I want them to be able to focus on the little ones instead of preparing meals all weekend. So, I made three special dinners and put them in the freezer. All they have to do is remember to take them out to thaw and throw them in the oven. I bought bagged salads and breads to easily complete the meals. Lunches are simple too, one of which will be a picnic. Greg is the breakfast man, so he'll make things like oatmeal and pancakes. But there's also plenty of cereal as a back-up. The Friday morning they drop me off, they'll be making a doughnut run for breakfast. Meals will be no-brainers this weekend with little work involved.
Laundry: We usually do 1-2 loads a day. But since I will be gone, I don't want them to have to worry about keeping up with laundry, the girls and I have finished all of the laundry. Everything is put away and ready to go.
Itinerary: Don't laugh at this one! Every time I go out of town, I write out an itinerary for Greg and the kids. We talk about the things they'd like to do and I put it all together for them. It's filled with fun activities and outings. This weekend, they'll be going bowling, picnicing in the park, seeing a movie, going out for ice cream, and having an in-house sleepover complete with a movie and popcorn. They can't WAIT for me to leave. And that's the way I like it! They'll have so much fun, they'll hardly miss me. Knowing that their weekend will be just as special helps me to fully enjoy mine, even IF my husband makes fun of my "schedule" (lovingly, of course). He does appreciate it.....he just giggles whenever I mention an "itinerary". ;-)
So, all that's left to do is pack for myself and the baby. I'm looking forward to a wonderful weekend of fellowship, refreshment, and fun! And doing these few things before I leave ensures that my family is well taken care of and everyone will have a great time! ;-)