Dadlando weighs in: On When Mom’s Away

There is nothing worse than not having a plan.  At least, that is my motto for the times when I find myself alone and outnumbered by my children.  Momlando had a well-deserved mini vacation this past weekend, so I got right to it on a schedule packed tight with super fun daddy weekend activities.

If there is anything I learned this year, it’s that two children are more than twice as hard to take care of than one.  I don’t mean to offend anyone who is struggling with one child – we did that too.  I also don’t want to scare anyone away from having a second.  You learn and adapt.  It can be tough though.  One great strategy we like to employ is divide and conquer.  For some reason, it is much easier to take care of one child alone than both of us taking care of the two kids together (I hate this term, but it seems appropriate- it’s like herding cats). 

With all that said, there are a few things you can do to make weekends when you are alone easier on yourself – that is where the Super Fun Daddy Weekend Plan comes in handy!

I had some big challenges to work around including: needing to be home every 2-3 hours to give our youngest one a nap.  But wait!  That may be a challenge, but I used it in my favor to keep the weekend moving, and on to our next activity.  Here are some of the activities I used to survive being outnumbered:

Drive to the playground: This is an activity on it’s own because I take the scenic route to a playground that we don’t usually go to… and along the way make a couple stops where I don’t have to get everyone out of the car like the post office or a drive-thru for coffee.  And then of course we play at the playground.

Holiday themed activity while baby Simon sleeps: Violet kept asking how many more days until Christmas, so we made a chain out of paper for the Christmas tree.  Every day we will cut one off and when there are no more rings left, it is Christmas!

Make Rice Crispy Treats with Violet: Then use the treats as incentive to get Violet to participate in other activities, like…

Pack a bag and go to Cranes Roost Park to walk around: there are a bunch of holiday decorations that the kids love!

Play superheroes while baby Simon sleeps: Our current storyline revolves around Dr. Blanky vs. Ultra Violet Captain America battling for the magical Tsum-Tsums.

Oh no!  Simon wouldn’t take his nap… 

Time for an adventure to Publix: There is nothing better than strapping the kids in a shopping cart and walking around the supermarket.  The kids can’t go anywhere AND you get to cross a chore off your list.

Cinema Saturday: Once the baby is asleep for the night and the toddler is ready for bed, we have Cinema Saturday!  I used this as bribery all day too… the trick here is, again, a snack.  We can watch movies during the day, but when we have popcorn it’s an official event where we can sit and watch an entire movie.

I love spending the time with my kids, but it can be a lot to handle on your own if you’re unprepared.  Sitting around the house and watching TV or corralling the kids into the playroom gets old real quick.  Just when I think I learn a new trick, the kids grow or change their habits and we are back to the drawing board.  All I know is that staying busy helps the time pass, and the kids enjoy it too. 

What are your tricks for keeping the days moving?  Want to hear more from Dadlando?  Check out last week’s column on the most wonderful time of the year!