When my husband is gone during the work week, it is usually fine. Unless I have a really bad day or something like that, I can usually get through it with out a lot crying or feeling too lonely. I am pretty busy with the boys, work, and the house. I can feel as if I have this solo parenting thing down pat.
The weekends are another story. Having your husband gone during the weekends whether they are deployed, gone for training, CQ or have a job that takes them away is very difficult. What works during the week might not work on Saturday and Sunday.
I think it is hard because most of the time, the weekends are family time. From BBQing to going out to eat together to exploring your city, for most people it is time off work and time to connect as a family. You see it on social media and at times, I have had to not check my Facebook as often on the weekends because of it. It is hard to see what all the families are doing when you are missing a part of yours.
I struggle with finding the balance between staying busy and not doing too much. If we do too much during the weekends, my son has a hard time. He needs time at home to chill a bit and just relax. I also need some time like that. Time to just regroup and get ready for the next week.
Here are some great ideas for activities you can do with your kids if your husband is also gone on the weekends:
1) Get together with a friend whose spouse is away too. This can be hard when you don’t live in a Military town but still, ask around. Someone’s husband could be away for work or for some other reason. Some spouses work weekends and although they are home at night, they can’t make any plans with them either. Getting together with a friend is also a great way for your kids to stay busy and have fun with other children. Invite them over or get together at a park to keep it simple.
2) Attend a community event. Every community usually has something going on you can go to. Here in the Ft. Campbell area there are usually at least 2-3 events going on either on post or off that we can choose from. Sometimes they can get canceled for weather but more often than not there is always somewhere fun to take the kids. Even if you go for just an hour or two, it can be worth it.
3) Go for a long walk or bike ride. This can usually be done as a solo parent depending on the ages of your kids. If they are young enough, put them in a stroller and go. I once went on a 5-hour walk when my boys were very young and just took them out in the double stroller. Five hours was a bit much bit it was a great way to pass the time.
4) Dollar Store Shopping. I did this during Spring Break but it can work on a boring weekend too. Give each child $1, take them to the dollar store and let them pick out something to play with. It gives them a chance to make a decision, it’s a lot of fun and then they will be busy the rest of the afternoon or even into the next day. Usually, the toys they pick won’t last too long but they only cost a dollar.
5) Go to the movies. This one can get a little more expensive than you might want. If you are lucky enough to have a cheap theater in your area, take advantage of it. Find a movie that all of your children will enjoy and go. The kids will love it and you can help keep the “I’m so lonely and sad” feelings away.
6) Call your mom or a friend. Sometimes when it gets too hard during the weekends I like to call my mom. She can always make me feel better and it is nice to catch up with her. If you can’t call your mom, try a friend or another family member. Even if you just talk for a little bit it can change the tone of your whole day.
7) Go to the park. This is always my go to when there is nothing else to do or we don’t want to spend any money. It’s free. I bring a book and some snacks. The boys bring their energy and we are good to go. Now that the weather is warmer I plan to do this a little more often. Sometimes we even stop for ice cream cones on the way home.
I hope if you are feeling the lonely weekend coming on you can pick something from this list to keep you going. Bring a camera with you and take some pictures to share with Dad. You all will have fun and he will enjoy seeing what you guys have been up to while he is away.
Do you struggle with weekends too?