In Case of Habit, Please Break Routine

Some part of me wishes Working Mom would go on a business trip.

Working Mom will not be going on any business trips without dragging Boobaby & me along with her. It’s just not in her nature.

I’m crazy to want this, I know. From a scan of my favorite blogs, it seems like everyone else’s spouses go on trips and leave them home with the kids. And in most cases, it’s not all that great for either parent. A quick business trip carnival:

The Spouse Left Behind

The Spouse Who Goes

Long story short: nearly everyone says that flying solo sucks. That no one apart from the most self-flagellating doofus should ever seek it out. That it should be avoided at all costs.

I still want to try it. I want to know that I can do 24-hour care, that that person could be me, at least for a few days.

And I think I just realized why.

I was listening to some old podcasts while putting Boo down today and I came across this Mighty Mommy post about dining out. Mostly it’s common-sense stuff, but she made one interesting suggestion: that each parent have an occasional night out with each kid, a one-on-one experience that will “feel like a special occasion for both of you.”

That’s the key, I think. All the parenting books tell us that routine is desperately important for happiness and security, and that to break a routine will bring all manner of catastrophe crashing down around us. But routines are going to be broken involuntarily whether we like it or not, and it’s important to know that a change once in a while will not sink us.

That, in fact, an occasional foray into “something different” is not only survivable, but potentially enriching and fun.

Finally, a light bulb: Working Mom doesn’t need to travel for the family to escape its rut. All that’s required is that I decide how often is healthy for minor routine disruptions, pick a new adventure, and go!

I’m sure, given the nature of parenting, that the next tooth, rash, family crisis, or broken washing machine will crop up pretty soon, anyway… might as well have fun getting ready for it!