Preparing Your Home for When You're Away
Preparations will vary depending on who is watching your children and how old your children are, but there are a few generalizations when preparing for your time away.
Stock the fridge Make sure your food pantry is well stocked with the foods your children like. You also might want to check with whomever is staying with your children to make sure you have food on hand that they would appreciate. I’d also recommend making a list of some of the items you consistently buy for your children, the brand names, and where to find them in case they need to be replaced while you are gone.
Emergency Numbers I leave the numbers to the various doctor’s as well as directions to their offices. I also leave the phone numbers of friends who can help out in a pinch, contact information for the mechanic who takes care of my car, the babysitter’s number, and the number of the woman who cleans my house. I want to make sure that if anything comes up, I have already thought of it and everything is easily accessed. Along with the essential phone numbers, it is also important to leave your insurance card and signed paperwork that your pediatrician might require if someone else is bringing your child to the office (Power of Attorney papers, for example).
Schedule I do try to create an easy schedule for whomever is taking care of my children – not a lot of running around and driving, no appointments during the week I’m gone, etc. I print out a blank week from my calendar and pencil in any scheduled engagements. I also write down the day the garbage and recycling trucks come, when the landscapers come, and any other scheduled visitors to our home. When my children were younger, I wrote out very specific details for their typical day. I understood that someone filling in for me might not carry it out exactly as I do – but I felt that knowing the typical routine would help him or her to provide consistency for my child and guidance for the caretaker.
Places to go In Arizona in the summer, it is more important to have places to go than during the winter when children can play outside. I make sure to include movie theatres, indoor miniature golf, bowling, museums, and other hot weather ideas on a list with phone numbers, directions and the website if the caretaker needs additional information.
In addition to the above, I try to leave my house spotless, the laundry folded and put away, and clean sheets on the beds. I try to make the care of my children as easy as possible – as much for their own good as for my own.
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