I am a stay-at-home-mom. Yes, I work part-time in ministry. Yes, I steal moments to scribble out thoughts and lessons and stories. But my main role in this season? Stay-at-home-mom.
As a result, my kids are with me just about all the time, or another way of looking at it: I am with my kids all the time. So those few times a year when I pack my bags and get ready to travel to a conference or a mini-getaway with my best girlfriends, all of our normals get a little bit shaky.
Leaving the kids isn’t just hard for the kids, it’s hard for me, too. One major piece planning for a getaway is preparing little surprises for my kids. I first saw this idea on Pinterest and have since adapted it to fit our family.
For our surprises, I have used everything from little finds in the Target dollar section to picture books our family loves. The little surprises don’t need to be expensive; some, like planning a time to talk on Skype or FaceTime, don’t cost anything at all!
When I traveled to the Allume conference last week, I left a little note and a surprise activity for the morning, and I wrote a note and bedtime blessings for Daddy to pray over the kids in the evening.
The following are what I included in the morning surprise this time:
- Day 1: a note (with some dollars to pick up breakfast donuts!) and a new puzzle for the kids to do with Daddy.
- Day 2: a note with our newest Kiwi Crate activity. The kids love these and this glow-in-the-dark activity box did not disappoint!
- Day 3: a note with a little gift card to the local bouncy house. I figured by day 3, everyone would be eager to get out of the house and burn off a little energy!
- Day 4: a note with some new finger paints, paint paper, and a few assorted craft supplies.
I left a note for every night, too. Bedtime is often the time the kids are missing me most, so I wrote out a bedtime blessing for each night. (You can find out more about our bedtime blessings over at For the Family, where I wrote out the Scripture-based bedtime blessings I wrote for my kids while I was away.)
Question for you: Do you ever travel without the kids? What do you do to help them “survive without mom”?