How to organize a week or weekend away from the kids | Organizing Made Fun: How to organize a week or weekend away from the kids

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How to organize a week or weekend away from the kids

My hubby and I just got back from a crazy long 8-days away from our kids last week to Chicago! I do this with him every year - although this was a little longer than usual. And every year it's a lot of work and prep to get things ready for being away from them for a week. 

Organizing a getaway weekend with your spouse |

So, I thought I'd share with you some very important organizing you'll need to do should you and your hubby leave your kids in the hands of another "mom" for the weekend or week. Organizing to go away for a week is a LOT of work - I'm not going to lie! If you've ever taken a weekend away from your kids, you probably know.

weekend travel

Why go away? Well, in my husband's case, this is an annual conference that he insists I attend with him. I enjoy it - every year it changes location and I get to see lots of places around our country. Even though he's in conferences all day, I have learned to navigate my way around the visiting area and find places to shop, sometimes hook up with friends I haven't seen in ages, and find local attractions that I may never have seen had I not been with him. Every evening he has a different event that I attend with him. I now know more of the people at the conference after doing this for several years so it has gotten much easier. Other times my husband and I will go away for a weekend get away to focus on our relationship and enjoy one another again - kind of like a LONG date night, which we also try to do regularly. I miss my kids terribly, but in all honesty, it has been wonderful for our marriage. I LOVE traveling with my hubby!

1.  WHEN

The first thing you do, you decide on a date - the WHEN - and figure out if it's easier for you to go while you're kids are in school or in the summertime or other break. You also need to figure out your budget and for how long you plan to go.

travel airport chicago


Coming up with where you want to go -- usually a weekend getaway is a drive away. But ours was an airplane ride away. Also, where you want your kids to stay while you're away. We've had the kids usually stay at home - it's the easiest solution as all their activities and school are within blocks of our house and it makes it easier - this is the WHERE. 

food Instagram

3.  WHO

Finding someone to take care of your kids - someone reliable and trustworthy - is extremely important and can be difficult. For some of you, that could be your parents or in-laws, a trusted relative. For others of you, you may not have that luxury to have someone to do that.  We have done many different ways over the years for these conferences, so let me give you some ideas:

-  {The obvious} Grandparents
- Aunts/Uncles or trusted family member
- A trustworthy, responsible college age/single women
- A young, newlywed couple

We've also taken them to stay with their cousins at their house if it was over a weekend. My parents have come to our house and stayed with them. And I've also had my in-laws take them - and they live just a couple miles from us so the kids go to their house. But, we've also had newlywed couples from church come and stay with our kids - several times - and take care of them. This last trip we had our college age/single pastor's daughter come over and be "Mommy" for the week. If it's not family, I usually pay them. I need to tell you that you need to make sure that you really know the people well that you leave your children with - I don't want to scare you, but bad things can happen. This is why I stick with women to stay with ours. 

details getaway weekend travel


Once you figure out the WHO, you have to do the next thing - the WHAT. Sitting down and coming up with the schedule for your kids while you're gone. If you are gone during the school week, it's important to tell your "kid watchers" everything that goes one -- meaning what time school starts and ends, what time each activity starts and ends, how long it takes to get to everything, how you manage it each day, and what to expect. This part takes me a long time, but I do it. I also have them come over and go over as much about our home as possible - we have a dog and they'll have to manage that, as well. Include any service people that might come during that time - house cleaner, gardener, etc. - so they aren't freaking out if someone shows up unannounced. 

notes travel schedule

5.  HOW

I love to contact any local friends in the area we're visiting {if John's attending his conference} that I'm going to visit and set up my schedule while I'm there and work out trying to visit with them - as well as coordinating with my hubby's schedule, as I have to be back in time to get ready for each evening's events. But, if you are going away just the two of you, you can decide together how you'll spend your time alone - scheduled, not scheduled, or just fly by the seat of your pants!

You also need to come up with more "how" questions about what's going to happen when you leave the kids behind. Here are some questions to think about when leaving:

-- Will the Nanny cook?
-- Should you give them a full schedule of things to do or let them do whatever they want?
-- How much should you pay the Nanny while away?
-- Will they need a discipline of some sort if your kids act up?
-- What other responsibilities will they do while you're away, if any?
-- Do you want them to grocery shop and give $$ or will you do it before you leave?
-- Do they want to eat out every night with kids or have frozen meals already prepared {another job you would have to do before leaving}?
-- Will you allow them to bring other friends or family over when you are gone?

These are just a few things to think about. It's important to let them know everything you can and write it down - I had so much written down -  including how to work the alarm, feed the dog, quirks about each kid, emergency phone numbers, and other random things.

luggage suitcases


I also wrote notes for EACH of my kids while I was away - for EACH day. It's a long time away from me and I couldn't always call everyday, with the time difference, so they would get a note from me each morning. This especially helped my daughter, as she really missed her Momma! 


If you leave your kids with anyone else, you must have an emergency note for them that they are allowed to take them to a doctor or emergency care. It is a good idea to have something with guardianship for that period of time. You just never know what could come up. Include their insurance cards with your signed note. I found a great site that has this - HERE - and used it to sign over that for the week. 

shopping dressing room


When you do your work ahead of time, you are able to relax the time you're away and not worried. Once you've done this a few times, it gets easier on everyone. We've been doing this since our kids were little! Very little! They have survived being away from us and we've all enjoyed our time together again once we get home. My kids have done well - one of them is a bit more independent than the other, but when they are together as brother and sister it helps them to become closer because they have each other. I enjoy my time and really relax. I enjoy my husband, too. 

dinner out travel

9. IT'S OK

I know many people that just tell me "Oh, I'd never do that..." and give their reason why. "Oh, we could never afford that..." and talk about that. But, we prepare for this each year. The kids know it's coming. We don't feel guilty for investing in our marriage and getting away sometimes.

welcome home sign


Have you been able to get away with your spouse, even just overnight? If not, why not try and plan a trip for the future? It's respite for you. When my son was younger and much more difficult with his autism, there was actually a program that gave us a couple of nights away and paid for respite care for him. They knew it was important for parents of special needs children to have that time of respite and relaxation. I'm always more in love with my hubby when we get back, even as tired as we are. I learn to appreciate him more and see other sides of him. My kids deserve that - two parents in love with one another!

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