My dear husband is going to Nashville tomorrow for business. He flies there every month or two for a couple of days because his company, for some mysterious reason, decided to plant most of its back office in Tennessee. Mind you, I’ve never been to Nashville, and it would never make my list of 1,000 places to see before I die, but I imagine it’s a nice enough place to visit. Perhaps I’ll go with him one day.
Our usual Monday-Friday routine suits me well. As a general rule, I deal with the girls from about 7-7:30 AM until about 6:00 PM, after which time my spouse takes over and I’m free! I experience a palpable sense of relief when he’s on duty. Truly, I do love being a mom. But it’s awfully nice to have some time off from being a mom. Even if the breaks are short-lived and fleeting. The girls can play with him, scream at him, cry at him, throw food at him…and I sit back, observe and enjoy my temporary outsider status. Basically, after he gets home I participate in the fun things and conveniently disappear for the annoying stuff.
But when the husband is away, it’s me, myself and I. His absences are temporary, of course, and I’m grateful for that. The good thing about his traveling is that I can usually lay down the law in a way that gets the girls to bed more quickly and efficiently, while still allotting time for some jumping on the bed. And sometimes, Chloe will sleep with me and we cuddle. I like that a lot. The bad thing is that I have no one to turn to for relief when crisis strikes, no one to commisserate with when crisis strikes (exchanging rolling eyes is usually how we communicate in such circumstances), and no one to bear the brunt of my frustration when the two mischief makers take their mischief-making one step too far.
That said, the worst part isn’t the girls. Because they’re usually awfully cute, when they’re not causing trouble. The worst part is my husband. He knows I don’t like it when he travels (my imagination runs wild with all the potentially horrible things that could happen when he’s on the road), and yet he has to be reminded (not so nicely, I might add) several times a year to call me while he’s away – just to check in and let me know that nothing terrible has befallen him. He’s forgotten to do this on so many occasions that my children’s behaviorial lapses pale in comparison to his spousal negligence.
He just doesn’t get it. Or maybe he does. As I write this, it occurs to me that he probably gets it just fine. That instead of calling me while he’s in the country music capital of the world, he’s lying on his king-size hotel bed, ordering room service and watching “Star Trek
” reruns with a shit-eating grin on his face. All alone. UGGGHHHH!