Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Wise Mother's Guide to Coming Home after a Trip

1. Leave the house tidy. Easier said than done, but if your kids are like mine, they will be milling around ready to get in the car substantially sooner than the adults are ready to go. Take this formless energy and harness it--send children to pick up rooms, wipe surfaces, gather trash, and put laundry away so that you can step back into a peaceful, welcoming house.

2. Think ahead about food. Must-haves to return to: at least one fresh, crunchy vegetable in the fridge (carrots, sturdy romaine lettuce, red peppers, etc.) and the makings of a pantry supper--eggs and bacon, pasta and sauce--not so much because you will be hungry (we eat constantly in the car while travelling!), but because you and your family will want something that tastes like home.

3. Immediately gather the dirty laundry and start a load. Nothing will make you feel more in control of your re-entry. Also, all your boy's jeans will be dirty. So will Soft Blankie.

4. Ignore the answering machine. Unless there is some urgent question that has been hanging over you and knowing the answer would be less stressful than continuing to wonder.

5. Empty the car. Again, this is a biggie, but so nice to have done. The Composer is always on this job at my house, and I appreciate it so much. And no leaving the piles in the front room. Use that child labor and get things put away!

6. Do whatever will make you feel better. Travel is tiring--being away from home is draining, driving hundreds of miles with a nursing baby can be challenging, and a carful of big children, however well-behaved, can leave you feeling weary. Once your homecoming business is taken care of (see above), do whatever it is you've been missing. Exercise, go for a walk if it's still light, sit with a magazine, take a bath. Oh, I'll take all of those option, thanks. And bring me a hot water with lemon, please.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Next weekend is Road Trip Weekend for us; I appreciate your tips.

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