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
- Motherhood Uncensored Kristen lived with her in-laws (for eons) while hubby was gone… some of those moments are among the most painful (and compelling) I’ve ever read on a blog. (Of course, the oddball in-law situation didn’t help.)
- More than a business trip, Daddy Dialectic Christopher had some hairy, challenging moments after his wife left and he took over the majority of Cole’s care.
- Even Cry-it-out Mike started out feeling insecure about his wife’s first business trip, although it’s clear that he flew through it with colors (and one of the loveliest posts I’ve read in a long time).
The Spouse Who Goes
- CrankMama had a hard time with taking the plunge: it took her until the twins were five years old to do an overnight away from them.
- Child’s Play x2 totted up the very, very few days until his kids go to college (it’s around 6,500) and suffered over losing even one or two of those to business travel.
- Mom-101 took an occasional business trip that she enjoyed at the time, but then got a little guilty about. In an intensely overwhelming commitment to her family, she eventually moved them to L.A. in order to need to travel less.
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!