Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to Have Fun Without Your Sailor

By Nanette Field
The Sailor's Woman

The Sailor's Woman
Some people glide effortlessly through life, seeing the positive in everything.

I'm not one of those people.

While optimists view the summer as one long opportunity for fun in the sun even if their Sailors are away, I'm overwhelmed by the prospect of having to entertain my boy (and provide Kodak-quality memories) for two whole months.  If my Sailor is around, no problem!  I can plan fabulous, budget-friendly getaways, but without him, all I want to do is binge watch The Walking Dead while eating chocolate chips out of the bag.

If you're like me and need a little boost to get out and have some fun while you're living the life of the single mom, I offer the following tips I've learned over the years.

1.  Don't save all the fun stuff for your Sailor's return.  When we were on the East Coast, we made umpteen visits to Peggy's Cove to climb on the rocks.  On the West Coast we went to the Undersea Gardens so often the squid began waving at us during the show.  (Okay, maybe he wasn't so much waving at us as flailing when the diver poked him, but it makes for a better story to assume it was a friendly gesture!)  The best thing about playing tourist in your own home town?  You can do all these fun things with your Sailor when returns and your kids get to be tour guide.  (Kids LOVE to be the expert!)

2.  Challenge yourself to do things you've never attempted without Sailor-support.  One summer our boy was disappointed because our family camping trip was cancelled due to deployment, so I took him myself.  We snagged a primo camp site right on the beach and between us we managed to get the tent up.  Everything was wonderful until the rain came...and came...and came.  A kind stranger took pity on us and covered our drippy little tent with his tarp.  Admittedly, this experience was far from fun, but it was better than letting my boy watch me sulk around the house all summer because I missed our Sailor so much.  And guess what--next year's camp-o-rama with our Sailor was heaven compared to our monsoon experience!

3.  Enjoy the simple things.  If you can't muster the energy to get away without your Sailor, you can still make the summer special for your kids.  The best thing about having little kids is that the younger they are, the less it takes to impress them.  One summer when my boy was really little, we did lots of backyard picnics with the dog.  He loved it!  (So did the dog, and we want to keep our furry friends happy, too, right?)  Another special treat--pajama parties!  (Woo hoo!  Let's go crazy and get into our pajamas BEFORE dinner!)  My boy thought this was the coolest, funnest thing.  For slightly older children, an afternoon at the beach or the park can be a special treat.  It doesn't take much.

The Sailor's Woman

4.  Don't feel guilty if you manage to enjoy the summer without your Sailor.  Sure you (and the kids) miss him and your holidays would be way more fun if he was around, but nobody wins if you turn into a moping mess while he's away.

Happy summer, everyone!

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