My husband is preparing to go on another week long business trip. Have I mentioned how much I detest those trips? I have been very spoiled to have a husband who works from home and has for the past 15 years. In the recent past, he has been required to travel more and more. Upon taking a new position with a new company I find that he is traveling more now than ever. Preparing for his absence looms over my head like an ominous black cloud.
I go to the grocery store and plan for fast and easy meals. I finish all of the laundry. I clean the house top to bottom. I have to sike myself up if you will. Preparing myself mentally for the game I am about to enter. Parenting four children alone – it’s a rough sport…it isn’t for the faint-hearted.
When he is gone things happen. We’ve been over this before in past blogs. Someone gets sick…really sick. Someone ends up with a broken something or other. Someone needs to go to the hospital. It could be comical if it were not the truth. But there are certain things that also come into play.
The following is THE TOP TEN LIST of things that I don’t ever think about or take care of when my husband is home:
Garbage. It dawns on me every business trip that I truly have no idea which days the County comes for trash pick up. I rely on my neighbors wheeling their cans down to the street to remind me.
Dirty Dinner Dishes. It has been this way for so long that I don’t even think about it anymore – until he is gone. If I cook – he does the dishes. But when he is gone – after I have fixed dinner – I have to do the dishes. UGH. (I better make sure I get paper plates today.)
The Dogs. My husband is awesome about taking the dogs out. I never have to think about the dogs going out until he is away. Then I have to pawn that job off on the kids. Come on - you didn't think that I'd go that far, did you?
Answering incoming phone calls with unknown numbers. My husband does this. With caller ID – I look at the display, if I don’t know the number – guess what? You will just have to leave a message. Not my husband – he will answer every phone call, every time then report to me who it was and what they wanted. When he is not here and I don't recognize the number - it rings and rings...
Technology. My husband is in charge of ALL things technological in my home. If a computer craps out – well we are just out of luck until he comes back. So if I am not on the computer this coming week, you will know why.
Emergency Walmart Shopper. This is my husband. When one of the kids informs us that there is no dog food that morning (because apparently they don’t realize it is low – just when it is empty) my husband is the patient, willing person that will jump into the car and run to Walmart for some of that good Ol’ Roy stuff. Not me. I’ll tell the kids to feed him some bread until I can stop on my way to or from driving to school or dance. Besides they looked like they were putting on a little weight anyhow.
Coffee. When my husband is jumping into the car to go to Walmart to pick up something – I take the time to tack onto his list. “Hey, Babe, on your way back can you bring me a coffee from Dunkin Donuts?” And more times than not – he does. When he is not here - that means I have to MAKE coffee in the coffee maker (so barbaric, really.)
Remote Control. I am pretty sure that the remote is attached to my husband’s hand. At night when we watch television in our bed he is in charge. In charge of what we watch, flipping between channels, skipping commercials…all that good stuff. The only thing I have to concentrate on is falling asleep in the middle of it all. He is like my personal lullaby. But when he is gone – I am in control of the remote. Changing the channel, and needing to turn the television off. It completely takes away the ability to just fall asleep. Being in charge myself causes a great deal of anxiety - and who can fall asleep under those conditions?
Night Watchman. I sleep very soundly when my husband is home. I miss everything. Don’t hear anything. Remember the blog about Son #1 falling down the steps in the middle of night and laying at the bottom of the stairs for 3 hours screaming and I never heard him? That’s right. Hubby was away. Had Hubby been here he would have heard, I am certain. I can’t take the pressure of being in charge of hearing everything all night long as if I am the responsible adult in charge of the four kids. Come on People, that is just expecting too much.
But the worst thing that I have to assume responsibility for is:
Parental Permission. When my husband is gone I lose my greatest power. The power to say, “Go ask your father.” Ultimately all of the decisions are mine. I hate that. There should always be someone else to blame for making a bad decision.
Cross your fingers. Wish us luck. Say a prayer. Hubby will board the plane tomorrow…