1. plan your meals ahead of time - what is worse than crabby kids and nothing to feed them? okay, maybe a lot of things but still, it's not fun.
2. go buy the groceries while you are still fresh, especially if you have to take a toddler with you
3. perhaps buy them at target so you can also get a yummy coffee and some new mascara (or something)
4. make a list of fun things you can do together, especially if there is a weekend involved. When your parenting partner is out of town weekends=very very long days with no school.
5. call friends. or don't. sometimes my kids are easier to handle (thus more enjoyable) when it's just me and them. go with your gut.
6. accept all offers of help
7. get a babysitter. A few hours to yourself might refresh all of you.
8. keep the house clean. what is worse than a messy house, crabby kids and no husband? okay, maybe a lot of things but it still sucks.
9. keep up with the laundry. this makes you feel better all of the time and you know it. don't ignore it.
10. exercise at least a little every day. this makes you feel better, too. and you know it. duh.
11. that being said, a small chocolate treat for after the kids go to bed never hurts.
12. go to the library, get some books. save any new subscription magazines you receive the week before he leaves for when he is gone. you're going to need them.
13. get good sleep. a tired mom is more likely to be a bitchy mom.
14. put your kids to work. it's good for them.
15. go to church. spiritual enlightenment + one kid-free hour = no brainer
16. get them to bed ON TIME. See 11 and 13 above.
17. kiss and hug them a lot. maybe let them each sleep with you one night. they miss him too but also love the extra time with you.
18. text husband 4 happy messages of love to every desperate one.
19. spray paint something
20. shower. every day.