Emily Jade discovers that the bins go out Tuesday night, along with a few other things….

My husband Gerard is away for work a lot. I won’t lie, I hate him being away and since becoming a family I hate it even more.

I not only have to defend the mortgage and dog by myself, I now have our offspring to worry about as well. It’s not so much the aloneness that frightens me; it’s the ‘what if’ something happens to him that does.

Before one of his recent trips I had one of those half-asleep thoughts that woke me up and annoyed me until I dealt with it. So I nudged him awake.

“If something happens to you on your trip I’m screwed,” I whispered into the dark.

“Hmmm love you too,” he sleepily answered.

My issue was not that I would be a single mother with a daughter, but that I had no idea about our bills, our accounts, our insurances – NO IDEA.

You see, B.G., that’s before Gerard, I had a handle on all my monetary affairs. I was conscientious with spending, saving and personal accounting. I had to; I was single and there was no one to look after me.

But since becoming a mother, it was like the 1950s housewife came out in me and I was more than thankful to sling all the household accounting and decisions his way and simply let him be the family accountant, because quite frankly I was exhausted from all the mothering and working.

In essence we divided up the household tasks: my job is to worry about the big things like a clean house, kid and dog and he worries about the small stuff, like the mortgage and car repayments. But ‘what if’?

My midnight inner voice became a loud outer one for Gerard. His mother was a young widow and when she was plunged into grieving she also discovered a whole new horrendous world of navigating expenses without her husband.

Her number one tip, have your own credit card, not a joint one – she learnt that the hard way. But my husband’s sad life experience taught him that a detailed what-to-do list was essential, along with a Will.

Each person in the relationship needs to know the inner workings of the other so they can take up the slack should something devastating happen.

The next day he penned a what-to-do list for me. Below is 10 of the things he suggested I do A.G… after Gerard.

What to do if Gerard dies:

• Call your mum, you will need her, then book in to see a grief counsellor.

• Don’t spend too much on my funeral. Buy you and Millie something nice, like a holiday.

• Call Brendan (our banker). He will get our money sorted and my life insurance payment underway. Tell him to meet with you at home; you will not want to leave the house.

• The home loan needs to be paid weekly.

• Once my life insurance is in, pay off the house.

• Pay all bills as they come in. Say on the Friday of each week. Also do your accounting at the same time. It’s easier to keep on top of it.

• Keep investing in property.

• Buy a lotto ticket, I will try to look after you.

• Find love again.

• And the bins go out on Tuesday nights.