Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Husband returns

It's been a long, hard slog, but I'm pleased to say that my husband is finally coming home tomorrow. I haven't actually counted the days he's been away (42 out of the past 53). Ok so I hadn't counted them until I wrote that comment and then I only did for the purpose of this post I promise. Put into context, what that means is that I've had rather a lot of mothering duties to perform completely, entirely, utterly on my own.

Here are just a few choice incidents which my husband has missed...
  1. A trip to A&E with two screaming children. Click here for the full story.
  2. Four delightful children's parties.
  3. Edie's first wee wee in the potty and subsequent (rather foul) accident on the stairs (he'll be devastated to have missed that one).
  4. A miserable, teething, insomniac of a toddler.
  5. A broken-down car whilst away from home.
  6. A puking, pooing, generally very unwell 4 year old.

And of course that is without mentioning all the meals cooked, school runs made, nappies changed, teeth brushed, stories read, kisses given, baths run and tantrums averted.

So, in light of all the things that I've had to do on my own and the promises that he keeps making me via phone, text, e-mail and Skype that he will come to my rescue as soon as he is able, I've decided, for his benefit of course, to write a list of all the things I need doing when he finally does return.

  1. Breakfast in bed (without children hovering nearby). As much as I love them, marmite on toast and Edie are not a good combination to have in bed with you. Especially not if your duvet is white.
  2. Cup of tea in bed (ditto above).
  3. A lie-in. Again without children hovering. Please just let me sleep until I wake up naturally and not when I hear 'Mummy' at 6 o'clock in the morning.
But then this is where I go blank. The strange this is, I've been on my own for so long that I've forgottten what it is to be looked after. So this is where you come in. Please, please help me out and suggest some things that my husband can do for me when he comes home.

P.S. - to my husband - I will be forever grateful (that is until you go away again).


  1. Well, I can think of one or two things ;-)

    Enjoy having your husband back, have a lovely reunion.

  2. How about...

    Taking both kids out (without being prompted and without sighing, grunting or otherwise looking unwilling) for a whole Saturday morning (possibly after the breakfast in bed) leaving you with hours and hours of unaccountable time to yourself. This is my ultimate fantasy - just the concept of having TIME stretching out before one, unsullied by appointments and full of possibility. Even if you chose to spend the entire time wallowing in a hot bath with a trashy novel, it would be SOOOoooo worth it.

    Have fun xx

  3. Demand princess status! He could let you have a bit of me time - & not have to be a mummy/wife/domestic godess... G workd away alot - 2007 he racked up 200 nughts away - I get so used to managing on my own, I get cross when he disturbs my precariously organised 'routine'... Whatever happens enjoy having him back! - Oooh must tell you this one - when my eldest was 2 and a bit he announced (panic stricken)"mummy there's a strange man in your bed" - "no darling", I replied - "that's your dad.." Lx

  4. Get him to explain what happened to the horse - You have done well enough Maternal Tales, holding the fort for so long during his absence...

    That, and enabling you to lie in/have a luxurious bath/read a favourite newspaper/magazine quietly with a coffee - Delete whichever appropriate... Enjoy Easter, hon'!

  5. Ooh dear I'm blank on this one, I tend to perform all the child care duties at our house and you kind of forget what a day would consist of without them :S How about putting them both to bed after making the dinner? Lol, or is that pushing it just a little? Have a great weekend enjoy the lie-in, let us know what that's like luv Karen x

  6. Don't forget to ensure that all the things you would normally do between getting up at 6am and whenever you wake up from your lie-in get done, too. For example, the children will still need to be dressed and fed breakfast. Packed lunches (if appropriate) will still need to be prepared. Dishwashers and washing machines filled. I'm often shocked at how much I get done between Rosemary waking up and Chris getting up.

    And then, I'd probably add in the evening routine, as well. Whether that's dinner, baths and bed, or just bedtime stories. And make sure, if they wake up in the night, that he gets up to them (sometimes that can be counter-productive, of course; they may still scream 'Mummy' and not take comfort from him, or he may just cave in and bring them through to sleep in your bed).

    I would think with the morning and evening routines out of your way for, say a week, you'll feel almost like you're on holiday, as they can often be the most trying.

    And good luck. The promises might well come to naught.

    And... enjoy having him back, even if he doesn't do all those things. Try to book in some couple time, if possible, and rekindle anything that needs a bit of rekindling!

  7. A good long soak in a perfumed bath with a good book, a glass of wine and a face pack.

    No children allowed in the bathroom.

    Have fun,


  8. NS - I can't possibly imagine what you mean! We have children now. We don't do things like that!!

    HM - yes that's it - I just need some time to sit and do nothing. And without having to ask. Ok I won't ask. Husband I hope you're reading this!

    Lydia - that is hysterical. So funny - husband must have been devastated to be called 'the strange man'. Good story though. 200 nights away is A LOT. And yes, always have the same thing here - a 'period of adjustment' I call it where my little routines all go haywire.

    WonI - thank you. Yeah holding the fort always takes so much of my energy that normally the moment he comes home I get ill. Think my body and mind finally give up.

    MGM - Exactly - I went blank too. It's liek when we had the au pair and I didn't kow what to ask her to do. I had been moaning about needing help for so long and then when she finally came I still tried to do everything. When I finally allowed her to do stuff for me it was a revelation.

    Tasha - yeah good idea. It's true - all those things that you cram in early on in the day. I'll make sure when I have a lie-in husband can do all those things. Hmmm. Not gona be easy! And yes, a bit of us time too. Might have to push the boat out and get a babysitter in...

    NWbD - Yep - definitely no children in the bathroom. Glass of wine in the bath sounds perfect!

  9. Wow. You had done a sterling job keeping your head above the parapet.
    Just think, some people do this full time - that's what keeps me going whenever hubby is away.
    I also find that I'm just so happy to be a big ole family again I don't want him taking the children anywhere. I just want to sit and enjoy us all being together! Glutton for punishment obviously!

  10. Breathe a huge deep breath and stop for a bit. Have him do bathtime and cook dinner. And enjoy it. You'll have a wonderful Easter all together, and you deserve it!

  11. Wow. Yes I know what that's like, my husband was once away for a month although it's usually a few days at a time. I didn't realize until he'd got back how exhausted I was having been on duty 24/7. I think you should ask him to take them both away for a night one weekend, perhaps to his parents? Then just lie around doing nothing, or having pedicures, manicures and massages.

  12. How about being a naked butler for the day? He could cover his modesty with a little pinny whilst he fetches and carries? Nope...just me then! My husband never goes away but if he did I'd have a few little jobs for him on his return.

  13. The gardening. It is always low on my list (as we are currently renting, it barely touches the list if I'm honest) but when I've done everything else it is usually too late at night to start on the garden!

    But I like the idea of naked butler. And the bath with wine & candles. And taking the kids to the grandparents for a night. And...

    Enjoy yourselves!!

  14. I think your husband will know what to do when he returns...

    CJ xx

  15. Tara - yeah that's how my husband feels too. He always comes home and has spent so long away living in hotels that all he wants to do is stay at home and be with the family. Totally fair enough...except that I want to leave the house, eat in restaurants and have time on my own. Not easy to make everyone happy!

    BiB - Ok deep breaths. Thanks. Hope you have a great Easter too.

    City Wife - Welcome! Yes that sounds pefect - except that his parents live in France! Not so easy then. I'll settle for a day though...

    Mary T - Ooh you are naughty. I think if I saw him naked except for a tiny pinny I might laugh just a bit too much. Could spoil the moment!

    Catharine - good idea. It's funny - we moved house a couple of years ago because we wanted a big garden for the children but we didn't really think about the maintenance a big garden would require. It's a bit more than watering a few pot plants I can tell you!

    CJ - yes after all this I think you're probably right. He'll like this comment!

  16. Wow ... that's an awful long time to be away. Mine hadn't been gone 12 hrs and the furnace broke down. Good thing he carries a blackberry coz I had no idea what to do. You (and all you single moms out there) definitely deserve something special for doing a fantastic job raising kids solo. I agree with CJ ... your hubby probably has thought of a thing or two to make up for his absence.

  17. Blimey that really is a long time to be away.....can't you go for a pampering day somewhere and leave hubby to mind the little 'uns.

  18. I would suggest sex whereby you have to contribute nothing and he has to contribute everything.

  19. Tea in bed sounds just the best. What about lunch, tea and supper in bed??!
    Actually the best thing when you have been doing it on your own all this time is just to have another pair of hands. For someone else to clear up that mess, and those shoes, and for it not always to be you. Enjoy having him home. How lovely!

  20. I agree with home mum; taking the children out for a decent length of time so that you can have some time to yourself. Just sitting with a cup of tea without being mithered is a rest!

    (I am so looking forward to two hours on my own today!)

  21. Gosh MT, you really have been through it! Yes, i have "happy" memories of at least half those things.

    Hope you get a chance to have a good Easter xxx

  22. SAHM-I-AM - Yeah I'm used to hubby being away but this was a particularly long one so I'm even more exhausted than usual!

    Magnum Lady - yes a day of pampering is just what I need. Will pencil it in when the dust settles.

    DM09 - You're naughty!! But I think I like you...

    LWM - Yeah I sometimes wish I had another pair of hands. I'll try to make the most of husband's hands while he's home!!

    WM - Ooh lucky you. Hope you enjoyed the two hours on your own. Sometimes that's all it takes. Yeah the mithering is a pain. Just to be left alone for a moment is what I dream of sometimes. I'll make sure I get a few hours peace at least!

    Jennysmith - thanks for popping by cigarette lady. Glad I brought back some memories for you! Happy Easter to you too x

  23. Ok, so here is what you are going to do:
    You and him will pick your diaries and arrange for one full day, when he can have both girls on his own.
    During that whole day you will do exactly what you want to do.
    Now you can think of 2 things:
    1- He takes the girls out all day on his own and you do what you want at home. Last time my hubby did this, I spent all day in my tracksuit, eating nutella, lying on the sofa with French TV on. I had a bath with music in the background, not screaming kids, lots of bubbles and a tea. When he came home I felt completely regenerated (with a bit of a tummy ache, but that was the nutella).
    2- Retail Therapy (I think I mentioned that one to you before) Go out on your own for a whole day. Pick a location with lots of fab shops, work out a budget of spending money and splash it out on yourself! I want to say that you don't need a big budget for big fun... Now there are a few things extremelly important: it is stricly forbidden to call home to check if everything is OK/ Hubby is allowed to call if and only if something is going very wrong (not finding a teddy or a pair of shoes doesn't count!)/ It is absolutely forbidden to enter children shops or to look at anything children related!/ you can return home in your own time, no curfew accepted.
    You can decide on having both kind of days, if you want to.
    You are not allowed to do any type of house cleaning or sorting if you choose 1st option.
    You are obliged to have fun and relax.

    You are not allowed any guilt feeling for having fun on your own!!

    I can tell you, I tried both option and it is now about to become a tradition. It is brilliant not to have to worry about anyone else but yourself! Enjoy and tell us how it felt!

  24. Just a quick note... I just wanted to add that I admire you and all the other mums out there who do care for their children on their own most of the time (if not all the time). I don't know how you do it, really! You can be really proud for doing such a great job. I panic when my husband tells me he is going away for 3 days for work, when I should just be grateful for having him here the rest of the time... Enjoy your husband being back x

  25. PHM - I love you! You are such a sweetie. Yes, yes, yes. I will do all these things xxx