When I started planning the trip to Kentucky (literally months ago) for training classes; I had to plan a way to take care of the kids while I was away. As a single mom this is the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the words “Can you go out of town for this event?”
I have been working for the same non-profit over ten years and they have always been great about being flexible. Quite frankly, it is not often they even need me to go out of town. But when they do, my mind starts working in over-drive… “What about the kiddos?”
It was no different months ago. And the first plan is usually to ask their father about him keeping them. He lives an hour away, so it would mean they miss school if it falls on a school day; but one day or two isn’t a big deal, because they always make up the work. But in this case – he was unsure when I first asked him if he could make the days work on his schedule, even though I asked months in advance.
Ok, on to Plan B. When he couldn’t commit, I considered my other options.
Remember, not only am I a single mom with an X that can be uncooperative at times, but I also lost my mom two years ago. When she was well, she always kept my kiddos for me when I had to go out of town. But now more than ever, the one thing I find useful as a single mom is the support team you put together around you in order to have people to lean on during these times when you need help. It’s inevitable. We single moms – still need the help and support of others. I talk about this often in my blog, I hope you have had a chance to see other examples.
Now back to plan B, the support team. By the time I was finished planning what to do with the kiddos (and the two dogs as well) I had quite a little network planned out to take care of things for me in my absence. And each member of the network had a copy of the game plan as well as phone numbers to reach others involved in this setup. (Remember, I love lists!)
As an example I will share who was involved in our game plan… and let you know HOW MUCH I APPRECIATED THEM!
Mr. M. took care of the dogs every morning before he went to work (driving out of his way to head over to my house to let them out and tend to them). He also met up with Sue to pick up Kass the evening I was due home so I could just concentrate on getting home from the airport that night.
My aunt, Sue took Kass under her wing and into her home and treated her like a little princess while I was away. (Kass said she missed being with her the next day when we were getting back into our regular routine. This made me feel really great – because if Kass missed being there… I know she enjoyed her stay! – Kudos Sue!)
E my neighbor two doors down and Kass’ good friend took care of the dogs in the afternoons and evenings before bedtime so I knew they were in good hands.
C, Jas’ friend from the neighborhood took Jas in as an adopted brother for those few days so he could go to school (and Governor’s school). His parents were a true God-send to take him in and have often said he is welcome anytime. Thanks C’s parents!!!
So in summary, don’t be afraid as a single mom – or as a married mom for that matter – to create your support team of people including your family, your kiddos’ friend’s parents, your neighbors, and of course your s.o. These people can be a life saver for you on more than one occasion. They were for me!
Who is in Your Support Team?
Find yourself… keeping it real.