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I'm the same way, but for different reasons. I'm a single mom, so I'm all there is. Even when I'm gone for an evening of poetry with friends, I leave notes behind for whatever family member is watching the munchkins.

I can't keep it all in my head on a day-to-day basis. I'm the type of person who has to physically write things to remember them, so every day I'm working from a messy-looking calendar and incredibly detailed task list. It looks chaotic, but it works very well for me.


Do what works for you. It protects your kids' health and gives you peace of mind. If other people do things differently, that's fine for them.


I see absolutely nothing wrong with this set-up. Honestly, if I am just gone from the house during the day my husband will call me to see what meds to give, what to feed them, etc. If I ever left for longer than a few hours, I would have to lay it out like that as well. Your kids are taken care of and your husband doesn't have to try to figure out what the routine is while trying to get things done. It's all good.


I'm with you, and I don't even have kids. I leave detailed instructions for the pet sitter for each day. Because if I didn't, I'd come home and find pee on the floor because the litterbox wasn't cleaned out, or one of them would have a UTI because she got the wrong food, or there'd be vomit everywhere because one of them ate too much. (Yes, my cats are a lot of work.) And I'd rather put a little more effort in in the beginning and avoid that and not dread coming home.

I can't imagine having kids with asthma and allergies and NOT leaving that level of detail on paper. Keep on doing what works for you and your family. Control freaks unite!


I am absolutely certain that the people who watch my dog can handle feeding, walking and otherwise loving on my dog for however long I'm gone without instructions - but part of being sure I get him back healthy and happy is in being sure those people are set up for success. And have a resource for help with emergencies - such as vet #s or family backup #s.

And once in awhile, I think it's great that you write these things down so that the rest of the family can see how much of life you take care of every day. I'm sure a lot of those things go unnoticed.

I just don't get the no help/sink or swim mentality. You have a vested interest in helping if you don't want to come back to a wreck - and just to be a nice person and good partner. We're a team. My husband tries to be helpful to make sure I can relax and have a nice trip knowing things are being taken care of - likewise, I communicate clearly what is important to me. Basics of marriage, isn't it?


My view on the sink or swim approach is that the kids are the ones who would sink. That is unacceptable.


I totally do this! I do it for everything. We also leave behind medical releases so whomever is tending the children can get medical care.

The one time hubby insisted I didn't need to do it, he called me less than 24 hours in and apologized for his lapse of judgement, thanked me for all I did on a daily basis and asked if he could please have it in writing. I immediately emailed it to him, because I had done it, just not posted it.

That's just how awesome mom's like us roll..


I love the organization and the reason it doesn't seem chaotic or out of control is due to being prepared. Even the littlest tasks can be stressful if you're not prepared. I do something similar whenever I leave and I've even left lists for my husband, as if he was a babysitter. Whenever we travel as a family, I do the same thing: lots of lists filled with lots of information. Have fun this week!


If you say worked in an office and were out a day? you'd have to leave your replacement instructions? Same.
I though don't have a plan myself usually and am winging it most days, and really have never left them.


The 2 statements in this post that felt like my life:
"Sure, they have chores to do, and they do them - but only when the are reminded." EXACTLY!!!
And: "Its even more difficult to find someone else to do those things." That statement right there is why its often not worth the time away, it feels like - as my mom often said, "The mom always pays!!" Hope your time away is worth the prep you "paid" - have some fun!! (I make spreadsheets for everything too!! I don't know if it helps anyone else, but it makes me feel better!!)


I do the same thing :) glad to know I'm in good company


I completely understand. It would be the same way here (well, divided by six, since we only have one child). I'm in charge of all the child care and 95% of the house stuff. My hubby works similar hours to yours and it's simply not realistic to expect him to slot in with no prep work. I couldn't do his job for a week without detailed instructions, why would he be able to do mine?


I do the same as you, even though my life is simpler with only 2 kids and a husband who will cope with pretty much anything that gets thrown at him. And I would think that the kids appreciate knowing that their lives are under control even though you are away. And (hopefully) you can relax a bit more when you're away.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.