Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mom's Day Off

Being a mom is the most joyous and rewarding job I've ever had.  But anyone who has ever done it will tell you it can be overwhelming, stressful, exhausting, and thankless.  It's also the only job I've ever had that is literally 24/7/365.  Even though I love my children more than anything and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be their mother, sometimes I'd just like to have a break; a day to bask in "me" time. 
That's why when my last birthday rolled around, I didn't request clothes, jewelry, or electronics.  I just wanted a day off.  That's it - just one day to take care of no one but me.  Yesterday, I was finally able to redeem my birthday gift.
Travis got up with the kids and closed the bedroom door behind him.  I had already been given strict instruction to keep a low profile and let him handle it.
I was supposed to be sleeping in but that didn't really happen.  It's hard to sleep when your baby is wailing in the other room.  I wandered into the kitchen to discover that she had a tray full of food and she was still unhappy.  "I don't know what's the matter with her." Travis utters.  I grabbed her sippy cup off the counter and handed it to her; peace was immediately restored.  "She likes to drink first."  I explain.
So much for me staying out of the way and letting him take the reigns.
I turned to Josie who looked like this:
 Having just given her a bath the night before, I couldn't hold my tongue.  "Are you going to clip her hair out of her face so she doesn't get food in it?"  Travis half heartedly obliged, looking less than appreciative of my input.
Eager to escape my micromanagement watchful eye, Travis decided he was going to pack up the girls and take them on a little outing to Lowes while I sat at home vegging in front of the tv.  He even styled Josie's hair himself:
 I'm pretty sure a brush was not involved with this updo.  He also deemed a bow unnecessary.  Details mom finds essential are considered over-the-top when Dad is in charge. 
You know what else is unnecessary when Dad's in charge?  Arbitrary fashion rules like "Don't wear a striped top with polka dot pants".  Unfortunately I didn't catch this before Merryn appeared in public in this clownish ensemble.
He was kind enough to get pictorial documentation of their outing at Lowes.  I'm pretty sure having a child ride in the rear of the cart without a seat belt violates all of the rules of shopping cart safety but have no fear - he lodged her in securely with Rubbermaid bins:
 Fortunately, this child would never dream of standing up in a shopping cart.  As we've discussed many times in the past, being upright isn't really a priority for her.
Travis returned with this little rag-a-muffin...
...and lunch.  Why cook when there's Chick Fil A? 
 In addition to being the primary child care provider, Travis also assumed all other household responsibilities including tidying, dishes, and even a load of the girls' laundry!  But the absolute best part of the day came when Travis encountered one of Josie's infamous dirty diapers.  Few things bring that man to his knees like baby poop.  I took full advantage of the opportunity to leverage this situation in my favor.  And in exchange for changing ONE dirty diaper, I negotiated another day off!  Just me, my DVR, and a cup of Starbucks.  I made sure and got it in writing:
In case you're wondering what those circles with sticks rising from them are, those are Leanne's signature balloons that she includes on every birthday card.  She always draws them upside down like that so it's become an inside joke. 
I also learned something important from observing Travis being "Mom for the day" - The path of least resistance results in a much more relaxed "Mom".  He didn't stress about hair, clothes, or home-cooked meals.  He assumed his signature go-with-the-flow attitude and things ran pretty darn smoothly.  He's always telling me that I make things way too difficult and now I totally see what he means.  Isn't it amazing what you can learn if you take a step back and observe someone else doing your job?  It's insightful indeed! 
As much as I enjoyed my rest and relaxation, I actually missed mom duty.  And Travis darted out to the garage first thing this morning to do something-or-other to the snow blower in preparation for winter.  I think he'd had enough domestic bliss. 
I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my sweet hubby for making my birthday wish come true!  He's a trooper!


  1. Once again, you made me laugh.
    You're a good negotiator. Did I spell that correctly?
    I'm trying to think of that Michael Keaton movie from the 1980s in which he plays a stay-at-home dad because he lost his job, and his wife got a job to support the family. Hmm. That's rather timely now with the high unemployment rate. Hmm. What is that name of the movie? It's going to bug me.
    Anyway, enjoying your blog. I read it a lot.

  2. always I love your sense of humor. That's so important in raising chilren, relationships, and all other situations!! I know you are both doing a great job! Thanks so much for sharing with the rest of us!!!

  3. I would have no idea what to do with an entire day off!!! I would be a case with the polka dot pants and striped shirt :) People know I have those issues! I have to bag up Addy's clothes and label them "outfits" and "pajamas" for Scott lol. Fortunately Little Man is good in onesies right now, don't have to worry about matching!

  4. I laughed so hard. I have my own mom's day off fantasies. And of course I'd wake up way too early and tell my husband what to do, what to feed her, how to dress her, etc. I'm sure he'd use bins to wedge her into the cart too since she'd surely not stand up either. Hilarious! Glad you had a day off. Maybe I can drop some hints to my husband now!

  5. @Lena: is it Mr. Mom? (I'm dating myself here.)

    What a wonderful day, E.! I love Meryn's clown outfit. ;-) You deserve a day off; you're an inspiration.

  6. Cute post! My birthday is coming up so I'm thinking I might ask for the same thing!