Lisa Prejean: Mom's in charge even when she's away

April 30, 2010|By LISA PREJEAN

For a man, a week away from home means booking a flight, packing a bag and taking off.

Planning for a trip rarely involves the intricacies of a woman's life, especially if children are involved.

Some of today's teens and preteens have schedules that rival a CEO's. We moms are the ones making that happen. Yes, I know dads help, too, but overall moms are keepers of the calendars. So, when we go away, things tend to get a little interesting.

I've been thinking of this scenario lately because I leave Saturday for a weeklong mission trip to Costa Rica, a trip I mentioned in a previous column. (I'll probably come back with some interesting stories ....)

I'm excited to have the privilege of being the female chaperon for our school's senior class trip. I promised the students we'd make lots of memories and that there would be some experiences they'd never forget.


During one of the programs, we will be feeding 100 homeless people at a cost of $100. It is hard for me to imagine that so little can go so far.

We'll also be working in an orphanage. My heartstrings are already pulled on that one, and I have yet to see the first child.

Before I do, everything needs to be in order here.

To hear my husband talk, my family won't even know I'm gone.

He announced at dinner the other night that while Mom's away, the kids would be learning how to do laundry.

The kids questioned how they would have time to do that, their homework, practice instruments, etc., etc.

He said it wouldn't be that big of a deal. It doesn't take that long to do laundry for four people.

OK. We'll see if he's singing the same song when I return.

I've left behind a day-by-day list of activities - things the kids need to take to school each day, after-school activities, music lessons, doctor's appointments, games. I've also included the cost of each thing. (Oh. So that's where the money goes.)

Then there's the little details. Our 11-year-old is due for shots. She'll need a teaspoon of Tylenol about a half hour before the appointment to ease any discomfort. And don't forget the sports physical form. It's best to get those completed in the spring or early summer to avoid the beginning-of-school rush at pediatricians' offices.

There are two field trips that interfere with sports practices, coaches have been informed and apologies rendered.

Now that I have enlightened my family of what next week holds, it's time to start my lesson plans for school. While I'm away, a substitute will be filling in for me.

Perhaps I should get one of those for home, too.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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