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My Husband Left for a Week and Here’s What Happened

I travel frequently for work. My travel ebbs and flows, but when it picks up, I might be gone 2-3 times in a month. I hate leaving my family, but I take it for granted that everything is fine at home. I plan in advance, making sure that meals are handled, that school and daycare knows—basically I micromanage in advance so that when I’m gone my husband can smoothly sail through my absence.

Until now, I thought that I was the reason that things went well while I was gone. This week? I realized that it takes teamwork to make our dream work.

My husband travels one week a year for work. The rest of the year, he works a 9-5 and is home in time for dinner. That one week, though? It’s enough to make me appreciate him for the other fifty-one.

Here’s what I learned this week:

  • As much as I want to, I can’t start drinking before noon on a Saturday. I say this in jest. Mostly. Kind of? But man—these kids are no joke. It’s one thing when it’s two on two, but when it’s two on one they find my weak spot and go in for the kill. It’s like they know that my coffee is decaf, and I will judge myself harshly if I slip some vodka in.
  • I may coordinate the chaos, but he calms it. I micromanage everything. I handle the family calendar, the shopping, the appointments, the meals—all the day-to-day. But when it comes to keeping a little bit of namaste in the joint? He’s your guy. At the end of the day everybody wants mama, but it’s dad to keeps things zen.
  • We make a good team. On a daily basis, sure—I do more. But at the end of the day, we are a team and somehow it all evens out. While I may put in more sweat equity, he does his fair share.
  • Being Mom and Dad is tough. When I have to be both—it’s hard! I know some parents have to act as mom and dad all the time—my mom did, and she did it pretty damn well. But I don’t. My husband and I are so different, and we balance each other out well. Generally speaking, I’m the hard-ass and he’s the calming force. This week I’m trying to tow the line between being myself and trying to fill his shoes and it’s not easy.
  • I could probably stand to bitch a little less. He’s reading this right now and saying, “see? I told you so!” And it’s true. I work my butt off. But so does he. We may do it in different ways… and often struggle to see eye to eye, but he does a lot and I should take a step back and quiet down.

As I’m typing this, I’m at the end of day 3 of 7. It’s possible that by the time you read this my kids will have tied me up and left me to survive with a pile of stale Goldfish and old applesauce pouches. More than likely, though, my husband will be back home, and I’ll be thanking my lucky stars that he’s mine.

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