Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love

I haven't mentioned that Mr. Daddy is out of town this week. ALL week. He left Monday morning and he won't be back until sometime on Sunday. So this week's on me. When we did this last year (it's an annual trip), we got in a huge fight when he returned because I said "tag, you're it" when he got home. He got all up in arms about the fact that he wasn't playing! He was working! It's not like he was just off goofing around. He might have even said something like "I don't know why you're making such a big deal out of keeping the kids by yourself for a week. It's your job." And then I might have eaten him.

Before you guys eat him on behalf, he's sort of right. It IS my job to take care of the kids and it is my job to do it by myself when he's gone. I guess what I was looking for was a little acknowledgement that it might be more difficult when one does it alone. And that while he is working during the day, when he's finished working he's then sitting by the pool and drinking beer, and eating Omaha Steaks and bratwurst hot off the grill (as he keeps reminding me). And that I might like a little time to myself after being at the beck and call of two small humans for an entire week, with little to no relief.

But you know what? This time it's been easy. Okay, not easy. But easier this time. Because this time I decided to focus on enjoying this time with my kids. Don't get me wrong -- some voices have been raised and they might have even been mine. A time or two. But on the whole the kids have been VERY good. And every time I feel my patience start to wear a little thin I remind myself -- payback is hell!

I'm just kidding. The truth is though, that you win a lot more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar. If I jump on him the minute he walks in the door, sure, he's going to react defensively. If, instead, I tell him I 'd like to go see a movie with a couple of girlfriends on a weeknight next week, he'll probably say it's fine (and he did!).

So, I've learned my lesson. Now if Mr. Daddy would just quit calling me and talking about how awesome the weather is in Florida, I'd say he's learned his too.

9 comments:

for a different kind of girl said...

My husband is out of town several nights a week. Sometimes it's just one night. Others it's a couple. I always (still) kind of dread it, even though it's been going on for a year. However, when it comes down to it, I don't really know why I dread it (other than when it snows) because really, the kids are well behaved when he's gone (as they are when he's here), and I really enjoy the conversations we have when we're sitting together eating dinner or after school. They're helpful without bickering, etc.

However, I understand your feeling. When Tool Man calls me from the hot tub in his room and tells me how tired he is, and it's 8:30 p.m., and I'm packing lunches and doing laundry and picking up the house, I'm totally check marking the payback columns! I know he doesn't mean to rub it in, because while I've been doing my job, he's also been doing his while he's away, and he'd rather be home, but I do think there's some refreshment to come from having a bit of time by ourselves or our friends to be there and ready for our kids again.

(sorry for the post-length comment!)

CassJustCurious said...

I hear you. My favorite thing Ross says is "its not like I'm having the time of my life here Honey" and what he doesn't understand is that if I were in a hotel with room service and a bed all to myself with zero piles of laundry, dishes, wet towels on the floor, babies crying that THAT WOULD be the TIME of my life.

Having said that a shift in perspective is key. If I just say "I'm going to let myself enjoy this time with Lexi just the two of us. Anything goes. Then I have a great time too."

Mir said...

Uh huh. So, when is your trip? You know, the one where you're gone for a week and he takes over with the kids while you're gone...? Surely work can find a conference they need to send you to....

calicobebop said...

It usually takes a little longer for lessons to sink in with guys. Not sure if it's because their skulls are thicker or what - but I'm sure he'll get it sooner or later!

Hope you enjoy your night off!

ImpostorMom said...

It is your job but it's just as much his job too. So I like Mir's suggestion...when is your trip?

I do keep a certain amount of score for these things though, even though I know I shouldn't. When I take Boog to my mom's for a whole weekend and leave my husband at home, you best believe I intend to be paid back in some way in the coming weeks.

Katie in MA said...

I think you need a few nights of staycation, if nothing else. You can stay behind the closed doors of your bedroom, reading, napping, taking long, luxurious baths, emerging only to raid the fridge for call for take-out. Sounds like the perfect sanity restorative to me!

(And it's amazing the different a year can make with the kiddos, isn't it?)

Michele said...

I totally get it. Mine rarely goes out of town but in the past I have a couple similar stories. Isn't it a riot how we have to learn to phrase things a certain way so that the reality does not upset them.

Laura said...

This is a subject I could go ON AND ON ABOUT...............
my hubby travels with his job..and yes, it is work, but YES, he gets to eat out on the company dime, and get drunk every night. He doesn't have to wipe noses or asses (unless he shits, then he wipes his own) but he is only responsible for HIM, and HIS ass...and when work is done, he gets FREE PLAY! Guys get RECESS! What do we get???

WHERE ARE OUR FUN AND PRIZES?????

Yes, it is our job. And we can complain all we want, but honestly, would we want our hubbys to do it instead???No.

All we want is recognition. If guys could come home from work, scoop us up, say "Thanks for all you did today! WOw! The place is clean, dinner smells great, the kids did their homework..WOW! THANK YOU!" we would soooo not complain. (as much)

My week alone is coming up....I am sure a good post will come out of it!

Debbie said...

I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it. Men are just dumb like that.