sisterhood of the traveling husbands: keep it simple

Today we're tackling installment two in our sisterhood of the traveling husbands series, where I'm sharing some key tips to keeping your sanity when you're on your own at home.

PART TWO: Keeping it simple.

The Meals: I’m totally not motivated to cook when my husband is gone. And my kids love
it. Here are some of our favorite Daddy's out meals:

Paper plates are your friends. So is take-out. That delivers.

The House: The house tends to get a little messy. Okay, trashed. I don't really bother wasting energy trying to keep it picked up. I just do a big clean the day that he's coming home and don't stress about it!

The Kids: They're going to be asking more of you, so prepare for it. Carve out extra play time in your schedule. Usually, they play with Daddy while I clean up from dinner, so I make sure to schedule some good playtime after we eat. (Again, paper plates = friends!) Cut corners when you can and give yourself a break – if letting them buy lunch lowers your stress level, let them. But try to keep important routines in place, like family devotions or bedtime stories, even though Daddy isn't there.

The Mama: My schedule is totally different when I'm on my own. When I'm running around trying to get everyone to school or wherever they need to go in the morning, I just can't squeeze in a shower. (Plus, you can only imagine the trouble my son can get in during the ten minutes I'm in the shower!) Plus, I can't stay up late or it catches up with me really quickly. When the kids go to bed at 8:00, I take a shower then go to bed and read or work on my blog or something quiet. If I stay up late one or two nights, its just too hard to get up and function the next day!

How do you simplify when life gets super busy?

About Melissa

Melissa is founder of Girlymama and co-founder of the mom fashion blog, All Things Chic. You can also find her designing blogs at Eliza Grace Design and on Twitter as Melissa Angert.


  1. 1

    I could totally be in your sisterhood, Melissa. And I could have written this post too! Great tips, I do a lot of the same here too. Last night we had Soy Chick Patties for dinner – quick, easy and the kids were happy.
    I shift my shower times when DH is away too.
    We try and go out a lot too. I find it 1) keeps them entertained and 2) keeps the house from getting any more trashed! That time from like 4:30-6:30 is the worse.

  2. 2

    See now I’m the opposite with the house. When hub is out of town, I try really hard to keep up with the house b/c if it gets trashed, I am so overwhelmed I can’t handle it. When he IS in town, I sometimes let it get trashed b/c I know he will come home and whip everyone into shape and help me get it picked up. 🙂

  3. 3
    Kellyn says:

    This is one of the reasons that I love pre-cooking a bunch of meals. I have a lasagna in the freezer that we will pull out this weekend for just this reason. It helps a great deal!

  4. 4

    My hubs rarely travels anymore, thank goodness! But, you know what? I’m totally switching to paper plates for a while. Working full time out of the house and trying to keep up with my kitchen is nuts. I feel much saner if I have a clean kitchen.
    A question for everyone… what happens when Mama goes away? I’m just curious if there are any husbands out there that try to keep up like the wives!

  5. 5

    Jen, when I go away for a blogging trip – or dare I even dream, a girls weekend – my house is TRASHED!!! My husband does a great job of getting everyone where they need to be, he’ll even cook dinner – but anything unnecessary, like laundry or cleaning, gets pushed aside. (Which is totally understandable!)
    BTW, He is MUCH more fun to be home with than me! The kids are almost sad when I come home b/c they’ve had so much fun with Daddy!!

  6. 6
    Susan T. says:

    I also have to keep the house together when my husband travels. It’ll make me crazy if it all piles up.
    When my kids were younger, I would always plan at least one thing out of the house each day. It might be as simple as going to the library, but it helped a lot.

  7. 7

    All wise words.
    I have a go-to menu that I choose from when hubby travels. It’s sorta like the Easy button from Staples. Only it’s the Easy menu.