Dad Shares the Reality of Parenting 5 Kids Alone While His Wife Is Out of Town

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Hiding in the Closet with Coffee/Facebook
Not every mom cracks up at what she discovers upon walking in the door after leaving her husband and kids for a work trip. Whether it involves some sort of mess, unhealthy meal, or problem that only Mom can fix, it isn't always deep belly laughs that hit her first. However, when writer Amy Betters-Midtvedt returned after leaving her husband Todd alone with their five kids for a few days, what she found was downright hysterical.

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Amy shared on her Facebook page, Hiding in the Closet With Coffee, that when she got home, she found a recap that Todd wrote about his solo-parenting experience. He entitled it: "The Reality of Being a Dad When Mom's Out of Town."

dad alone with the kids
Hiding in the Closet with Coffee/Facebook

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Todd started out his post by explaining that he thought things would be a "piece of cake" while Amy was away -- but his play-by-play of just one morning proved otherwise. "Alarm went off. Too damn early. I knew I needed to get three of my five kids up and ready for school. After brainstorming ways to do this without actually getting out of bed, I settled on 'pinging' their iPhones with the Find My iPhone app," Todd wrote and Amy shared on Facebook. "Despite it saying their phones were offline, I tried several times before actually submitting to leaving my nice warm bed and physically waking them up."

From there, he referred to the agenda that Amy had thoughtfully left him that involved a detailed list of everything happening that day for each child. "Made coffee. Heard the older girls arguing I think. I might have said 'stop' or 'stop, please.' Handed the boy a box of cereal and a spoon and said, 'Here's some cereal,'" he wrote. "Son needs field trip paperwork signed today. There are four pages. And then I see it's actually due YESTERDAY. I've got this. I decide to leave this for my wife to help me with when she returns from her trip. #handled."

Todd recognized that the kitchen was a disaster, but the state of mess didn't bother him because he usually leaves the cleaning until about an hour before Amy's due to return from her trips. "Burn the bagel I put in the toaster for my daughter. I think I hear her refer to my wife as 'the glue that holds us all together,'" he wrote. "Went to great lengths to transfer money into school lunch accounts so I wouldn't have to pack lunches. Couldn't figure it out and had to text my wife to help me. She figured it out from another state. #winning."

After the older kids are out the door, it's time for round two. "1st wave of kids gone, 2nd wave up. Hard getting them up because of our late night chocolate candy bar run the night before, and they're a little tired," he wrote. "There's a problem finding shorts for spirit day for my daughter. She's near tears. Told her I would help her look in between making 'sausages on sticks' like crazy for my 6-year-old son. It seemed like convenience food was the way to go since I hadn't had my coffee. OH YEAH, COFFEE. Forgot I had made coffee. What was I supposed to do again today? Referred back to the list left by my wife."
 
After coming to terms with the fact that he would never have the kids ready and to the bus stop on time, Todd decided to drive them to school, but before he could leave, they still needed to find those dang shorts for spirit day. "We are now sitting down together 15 minutes before school starts, calmly making a decision between the two runner-up shorts -- neither as good as the shorts we had been looking for. We passed on the polka-dots and went with the red with white stripe. No tears. #winningagain," he wrote. "Out the door, bringing the elementary kids to school. Dropped them off and watched them until they reached the door. #dadsreallydocare."
 
 
 
Back at home, he got ready while messaging work that he was going to be late because he still needed to stop for cash and drop the money off at his daughters' high school so they could buy homecoming tickets. "Stop at the Kwik Trip to take advantage of the no-charge ATM. And okay, to get a breakfast sandwich. Settled on an egg and cheese burrito," he wrote. "Drive to the high school to drop money off for the older girls. This burrito is better than expected."
 
After leaving the money in the school office, he could finally head to work. "Except that burrito was so good and it's all I can think about now," he wrote. "And Kwik Trip is right there, so despite being late for work, I pull back in and buy one more egg and cheese burrito. I'm not kidding ... it's so cheesy!"
 

Todd's biggest takeaway for his life about wrangling the kiddos without Amy: Always make time for the breakfast sandwich. It's just so worth it. 

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