Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Working for a Vacation without Kids

I LOVE VACATIONS and I LOVE TO TRAVEL!
I will travel anywhere possible and I will love it no matter the circumstances!  I have been to some not so sought out areas, but there is always something of interest you can find if you open your eyes and look.

When you have children, going on a trip of any kind is a huge undertaking even if you are not bringing them along.

Recently, I tagged along with Ryan to a conference.  He took one night to pack and I took two weeks to prepare the house to be run by someone other then me!  I needed a break after all of that!

Here is a little list of things to remember to do when leaving your kids in the care of someone else for an extended time:
    Some of the prepared meals labeled and ready to go!
  1. Prepare and freeze meals.  Write instructions of how to prepare right on the items. 
  2. Stock cupboards and the refrigerator with food.  You don't want your caregivers to have to scrounge for food for the kids.
  3. Wash sheets and clothes and clean the house.  My thoughts are that the more I can do before I go, the less the caregiver has to worry about and can focus on the children!
  4. Contact all of the teachers personally.  Supply them with a way to contact you and the substitute caregivers while you are gone.
  5. Write out a complete schedule for each day.  Include regular routine suggestions.  Your normal schedule will not always be followed, but it will make it more helpful for the caregiver to know what goes on normally in the home.  I didn't realize how many comings and goings we have occurring in our household right now until I wrote them all down!  Be sure you double check what you write as well so you don't send a child to preschool on a day they don't go! (yes, I have done this-oops!)
  6. Post emergency information by your telephone!  I include our address, our phone numbers, numbers for family members and neighbors.  I also have the numbers for the schools and bus garage.  Most of us have all of our numbers on our cell phones, but others won't be able to get to those or know who is in the blue house unless we tell them!  I just leave this up all of the time so babysitters have this information as well.
  7. Post information about each child by the phone.  If there is an emergency chances are I won't remember my child's birth date.  I can't expect someone else to remember or search for that information.  Each child has their birth date, place of birth, allergies, distinguishing characteristics (scars or birthmarks), hair and eye color, approximate weight, and their doctor and dentist names and numbers.
  8. Sign and date a release giving your caregiver permission to treat each child in case of an emergency.  Include all insurance information and copy your insurance card as well.
It makes me tired just thinking about it all!  All of the preparation will pay off though!  You will not receive desperate calls in the middle of the day asking where the soccer jersey is or if the kids can eat a certain food.  You can enjoy your time away will a little less worry!

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