Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tips and Tricks for a Traveling Spouse

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My husband has been working with his company for almost 12 years. His position has really changed since beginning with the company over a decade ago. As his job has changed, some of his job responsibilities have included travel. Now over 25% of the time, he is on the road for meetings, management responsibilities, and presenting. 

I remember before becoming a parent how glad I was that we had a cat. He kept me company while my husband was gone. Although our cat isn't very outgoing or cuddly, every night my husband is away, he jumps up on our bed and sleeps there all night long. It really helps me feel less lonely when my husband is traveling. 
Now that we have 5 year old and 6 month old daughters, all his work travel is much more stressful for entirely different reasons than just feeling lonely. Over the years I have learned what to do to make the days he is gone pass more smoothly. I am sharing my tips and tricks today in case you or your spouse travel for work! 
1. Stock up! 
Depending on how long my hubby is going to be gone, I try to stock up on a few different things prior to his departure. I head to the grocery store and get everything I will need for meals throughout the week. My husband and I also try to think of any errands that need to be run and do them beforehand. And we also have to make sure our cat Patrick is taken care of! 
Coincidentally, this week my husband is away for work. So I made sure to head to PetSmart to stock up on Purina® Tidy Cats Free and Clean Unscented Litter and cat food before he left. We've been using Tidy Cats litter for years because it clumps so well and makes cleaning up much easier. It really cuts down on the smell, too. I always like to stock up on kitty litter so my husband can help with carrying it down to our basement before he leaves! Hover over the photo below to click through to PetSmart to shop for Purina Tidy Cats Free and Clean!

    I also picked up a few cat toys and some of out cat's favorite food, Purina® Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend to make sure he had enough. Our cat loves anything seafood flavored, so the Salmon and Rice Formula is his favorite! As Patrick gets older, I like the advanced nutrition he gets from the Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend to help him live a healthy, active life. 

    I love how well PetSmart is organized into sections. I was able to find both the kitty litter and food quickly and be on my way back home! Well, we headed straight home after my daughter had a chance to look around at all the fun pets they have in store. She loves checking out the birds and fish! It is a treat for her to come with me and pick up pet supplies for our cat at PetSmart. 

    PetSmart makes pet shopping easy on me because it is a one-stop store for all things pets need. Did you know that PetSmart currently has some amazing rebate offers right now? The Purina Save a Fortune event is going on at PetSmart and if you spend $20 on participating products, you get a $5 PetSmart gift card! It was perfect timing for us to stock up on litter and food for our cat. Here are the details on the event:

    • Spend $20 at PetSmart on Purina products in a single transaction. (You can redeem for multiple gift cards for every $20 purchase, but the first $5 gift card awarded requires the $20 purchase to be on one receipt. Subsequent receipts can be of any value and when $20 in Purina products have been accumulated, the you will receive another gift card.)
    • Register with your contact information here and receive an entry into the Grand Prize Sweepstakes. You can then upload your receipt on the website and upon validation of your purchase you will receive notification of your gift with purchase. 
    • Your $5 PetSmart gift card will be mailed to you in 8-10 weeks after submission to use on a follow up visit to PetSmart. 
    • There is also a share out on PurinaFortunes.com for you to share the Spend $20, Get $5 gift card promotion with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. 
    • You must make purchases between 4/3/18-5/18/18. The promotion ends 5/31/18.
    Once we were home, I made sure to upload my receipt on the Instant Win/Sweepstakes site. There are so many fun things to do there, too! You can play the Paws of Fate game to instantly win prizes such as PetSmart gift cards, as well as Save a Fortune tarot cards! There are 2 Grand Prizes of 1 Dreams of Fortune Cat Bed and 1 Dreams of Fortune Dog Bed. There is a desktop version a mobile version of the game. You can also explore access the Rebate/Instant Win Purina site and find more PetSmart and Purina content here!

    We received a fun Paws of Fortune Kit from Purina full of cat toys and tarot cards for us. My oldest daughter has been playing nonstop with the laser pointer and our cat has been getting extra exercise from it. It's so funny to watch them play together!

    2. Plan Easy Meals
    Now I am no gourmet cook, but I do like to prepare dinners for my family most nights of the week. When my husband is traveling, I try to take that in mind and plan slow cooker meals, frozen meals, or other quick and easy prep dinners. Often my meal plan includes dinners like fish sticks, pancakes and sausage, a slow cooker soup, ravioli and turkey sausage, or a pizza with store bought dough. There is no sense in stressing yourself out when getting dinner on the table. All the dinners I plan out can either be made ahead of time or made in 30 minutes or less.

    3. Take Care of Your Car
    I am one lucky girl that one thing my husband does before leaving is fill up my car with gas and check my tires. Because we live close to work and daycare, I rarely need to add gas or do any car maintenance during the week. It saves me so much hassle and it is especially nice in the winter! When my husband is gone I am getting both kids and myself ready so time is short. It is one less worry to have my car tank full!

    4. Head to the Library or Rent Some Movies
    Before my husband leaves, or in the first few days he is gone, I try to make a trip to our local library and get some books on cd and movies. When all else fails and momma needs a nap, time to make dinner, or some time to shower and get ready, I have my oldest daughter listen to a book on tape or watch a short movie. When it comes from the library, it's new and exciting so she is more likely to watch it in its entirety giving me some time. There are also apps that read interactive books to kids, too. If it preserves my sanity and does not become a regular habit, a little extra screen time now and then is not the end of the world!


    1. Laura, these are really great tips! I have learned so many things about being a "single mom" during my life as an Army wife between deployments and extended trainings that last months at a time. You do get used to doing it all alone! But I also learned all sorts of ways to make it easier on myself through the process. In the end, you realize how strong you really are and wonder how real single moms do it all! I applaud them! Great post.


    2. I don't know how you do it, Laura!! It's hard enough with two of us around, but I'd definitely have him buy the litter because it's so heavy...LOL!!

    3. Thanks for sharing these tips. My husband went on a 6 days work trip last week. So I know how hard it can be. We went to costco before he left and got a bunch of easy food items for me to cook.


    4. I cannot imagine having my husband on the road more. Good tips for making it manageable!

      Amy Ann
      Straight A Style

    5. My husband has been traveling more and more as well and ughhh it can be tough!! So, I hear you on preparing for his absence and trying to make everything as easy as can be. It really does help to have any pet food you need ahead of time. I always hate when I need to run to the store for one thing!


    6. These are great suggestions Laura. It's been awhile since my hubby traveled but I would have loved these ideas...especially easy meals and rentals. :)

    7. These are all great ideas. It's got to be so hard at times flying solo on the parenting thing. Hats off to you for figuring out what makes it work you!


    8. Sounds like you have a great routine down for the solo-parenting/traveling spouse gig! It's no easy task when you have little ones at home. I will say it's gotten much easier for me since my kids got to school age so you do at least have that to look forward to!
      Gina || On the Daily Express

    9. We love PetSmart! I will often take my littlest in there just to see the fish and the kitties!

      Pumps and Push-Ups

    10. These are really great suggestions! It's definitely hard when one spouse is away for periods at a time. I commend you girl!

    11. Super suggestions, my husband doesn't travel regularly but when he does I love not having to cook a real dinner, lol. Popcorn and wine for the win!

    12. Great tips dear. Netflix and chill with my two kids is my go-to.

      Jessica | notjessfashion.com