Even though I get 100% get sick of planning, shopping, and cooking meals when I’m home, I get a special thankless thrill out of doing it when I’m going to be gone, like I’m leaving my family in especially good care. And how often do they even find and eat those meals? Probably never. Because RookieDad Alec totally has this under control.
In October I was out of town for work-related travel three different times for a total of five overnights, seven missed dinners, and eight missed breakfasts (but who’s counting, right?). Since my husband was simultaneously planning a one week trip to China for work, I figured that it would all work out — because as Whitney correctly accused me I still kinda sorta keep score — so I said “yes” to more trips than usual.
Alec is a SuperDad compensating for my absence by either working from home or leaving the office on the 4pm bus. He also has full responsibility for mornings, lunchboxes, pickups, dinners, and remembering to keep all the other balls in the air (bring home daycare sleeping bags on Friday, sign off on the reading log, find permission slips, and nag about class pictures).
He is amazing, supportive, and awesome and says that I deserve time away, that he can handle it, and that I don’t need to go to any heroic efforts to compensate for being gone. These remarks are a great comfort to me when I fall short of my goals to prepare everything before my trip. Ideally, I accomplish the following before I kiss them all goodbye:
- Fill the gas tank
- Pick out all the outfits (using a dress-your-kids-fast hack inspired by Dana)
- Prep meals for dinner (or cheat by ordering delivery in advance with Munchery)
- Stock the fridge (or order Instacart to do it for me)
- Write down lunchbox ideas
- Hire a babysitter to allow Alec to have a night off
- Update the monster calendar in google and on our mudroom wall
Because I feel 100 % guilty if they run out of milk when I’m away, I kick into Eagle Scout level preparedness.
Am I crazy or do you do some of the same things? How do you prepare your home and family if you travel and they stay behind?
P.S. In the spirit of “Do as I say and not as I do”, I want to give each of you a mama merit badge for leaving the house for work or play whether or not you take care of everyone else’s needs.