Blessed are we
At long last
Whence we came.
In honor of my father…
And those who ventured before him.
With fridge stocked, laundry folded, sports gear organized and diorama complete, I am outta here! For the next four days my husband is tackling everything from bedtime routine to poop patrol (canine and otherwise). Meanwhile, sweet visions of alone-time dance in my head…even if it is on an airplane. So long as nobody around me barfs, I am in for a solid few hours of relative relaxation.
Tomorrow, as I curl up on the plane with my long-awaited library copy of Reconstructing Amelia, I’ll suppress thoughts of the inevitable piles of dishes, clothing and dog fur that will welcome me home. My husband has made it clear that his definition of a successful mom’s reprieve is that the kids are returned to me 1) alive and 2) happy. Nothing else matters. Literally.
I’ve organized the weekend for him the best that I can. Now it’s up to him to handle hockey gear and t-ball tears. He will have to venture into lunch-box packing, but it’s always good to dabble in something new. If he’s lucky, the school lunch menu will be in his favor and he’ll have to create only one.
They’ll have fun. After all, certain little birdies revealed that there will be treats at Starbucks and ample television viewing. Not to be outdone by them, I just might go a little nuts myself. Imagine– me noshing on a pack of M&Ms and not sharing with ANYONE?!
Mother’s Day truly cometh a few days late!
Sheryl Sandberg of Lean In wants to see a world where women run half of all businesses and men command half of all households. That’s equality, she says. Clearly she hasn’t met my husband. I shudder to think of the disaster we’d face if we turned the household over to him. He’s the first to admit that he couldn’t do my job.
Sometimes I think my darling husband plays dumb just to get out of the mundane tasks. It’s remarkable that he can’t tell the difference between clean and dirty dishes in the dishwasher. His solution? Don’t unload those in question and just stick the newly soiled items in, then rerun the machine. Imagine this Harvard grad with a Master’s degree unable to discern washed from unwashed? He earns the big bucks for solving tricky business quandaries and yet he is stumped by the dishes.
My gender doesn’t make me more qualified for this role. My efficiency does. I have always been able to multi-task. And I’m pretty darn good at it. I work from home so that I can tackle everything that needs to be done: client calls often happen while laundry is folded; emails are sent while the sheets are dried; medical appointments are scheduled while aforementioned dishes are sorted. And my loyal companion, Roomba, roams all the while. Meanwhile off the deck in my home “office” I gaze out towards all the things I’d rather be doing.
So, unlike Ms. Sandberg, who suggests that women are filled with self-doubt about whether they are good enough to succeed in the work place, I question why someone–namely me–who has so much potential isn’t enjoying promotions and paychecks?
The path that I have selected is far from lucrative. And needless to say my sabbatical isn’t contributing much to the household’s funds–yet. I am currently dabbling in several projects–some may pay off, others not so much. My latest labor of love is trying to entice agents with my children’s book creation. It’s a quirky story that celebrates unconventional dreams and plays with traditional gender roles. Thus far it hasn’t fetched any takers.
Doesn’t anybody realize that if we want to affect change we have to engage conversation with the youngest audience? As the leader of the household I see this—not the omnipresent chores–as my real job all day, every day. It would certainly be nice if the COOs rolling in millions would capture the attention of youth instead of aiming to teach old dogs new tricks, like doing the dishes.