OK so let me set the scene – you & your wife/partner are chilling out watching the box when she turns around and calmly slips ‘You know I’m away with the girls this weekend – right?!‘ into the conversation to which you, as cool as a breeze I might add reply ‘Yep, of course I remember! Absolutely no probs baby!’
…..but you didn’t remember, did ya?! …..and then the reality kicks in and you get ‘The Shits‘!
ok, let’s not freak out just yet!
As a full-time SAHD, I’ve got your back man. Panic not. Just check out my list below. It WILL help you – and your offspring – survive the weekend in one piece!
This is not a ‘OK, the Missus is gone, so I’ll just pack the nips away to their Granny & Grandads’ type of post. No no. I want better for you and the nips – and more importantly think of the brownie points when she gets back and get’s the lowdown from the nippers!
1 Plan for it!
Seriously, when Mama gets back and asks the nips how they got on, this could be the difference between you looking like a lord or it being a major balls of an operation – trust me, I’ve been both!
Don’t just try to wing it. Get your phone out (or whatever you makes notes on) and make a list of activities the night before.
Like him or loath him, Roy Keane got it correct when he said ‘If you Fail to Prepare, then Prepare to Fail‘.
2 Prep like a boss!
Depending where you live, there’s always a number of activities on each weekend. You just need to research them first. Take the time to do this. Yes, some have a cost but, so many cost nothing.
Before leaving the house, make sure you have a bag packed with all the ‘essentials‘, you know – snacks / water / nappies / baby wipes / change of clothes etc – be ready to expect the unexpected.
I’ve been seriously caught out on this one before. So I’m in a cafe and I hear this long, runny, wet noise that goes on for way longer than it needs to. Nip#2’s face is returning from that alarm red to somewhat normal colour when she checks me out with that grin. You know that grin they do (at the finishing stage) and yep you know it, oh it’s shitty nappy time.
‘Sure no worries’, I say to myself. ‘I can change nappies with me feckin toes at this stage’. Game ball Rosser, I’ll just grab me bag and…..me bag?!……agh shiiiiiitttttt. No fuckin bag. Which mean no nappies, no wipes, no new clothes. Nathin. Well fuck, shit & bollox!
Yeah, don’t let this be you. Bring the bag man.
3 Check in advance
Don’t be a prick with ears! There’s nothing worse than a disappointed nipper roaring crying in the car because they can’t go in just because ‘Dick Head Dave‘ in the front seat didn’t check ahead. Call to see if you need to book tickets in advance and if there’s any age or height restrictions too.
For Jayzus sake – make sure the nips go to the jacks before you leave!
Getting from A>B can take forever sometimes and the last thing you want to hear after 5 mins on the road is ‘Dada, I need to wee‘!!!
5 Fun for all
Irrespective of the number of nips you’ve with you, you need to ensure the activity is age appropriate. This will go a long way in making sure everybody has fun. This rule includes you too btw. Don’t be afraid to fully let go & have fun. Mess around, tell jokes, play the clown and it’ll make you & your nips feel deadly.
6 Put the phone down!!!
Be fully engaged with your nips, not your phone! You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel afterwards. Send Mama a few photos/videos (to prove you’re all still alive!) but don’t waste time by having your head stuck in the phone.
7 Exit strategy
‘It’s time to go now‘ – 5 simple words that can trigger the end of the world for (some) nippers!
You need a distraction and you need it fast! Taking them for food at their favourite place is always a great way to help ease the pain of going. It’s also a good idea to have something they like lined up at home so leaving the restaurant also goes as smoothly as possible.
8 ‘Don’t tell your mother’
Good God man! Never never never say this to your nips – ever!!
Disclaimer – The Stented Papa takes zero responsibility for what may/may not happen if you do/do not follow this step!
9 Dad’s don’t Babysit!
You are not their babysitter. Are you getting paid for this? No. You are a parent. You are Daddy. You are their Daddy. Shout it proud ‘I don’t babysit my own children, I parent‘. Fact.
10 When your other half gets back
Run – run like the wind man!! Messing of course. But I would suggest arranging sometime for you. Meet a mate or two, maybe go for a well deserved drink. You survived. Your nips survived. You had fun. You are ‘Daddy-Man’!
Then, listen to yourself when you’re proudly telling your mates just how class it was to spend quality time alone with your nips.
Enjoy that pint – you legend you.
For the record – I’m proud to say this is a ‘slightly amended’ version on my 1st printed article in Ireland’s biggest selling parenting magazine ‘Easy Parenting Magazine‘.
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