Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vacation from Motherhood -- by Cara

My husband and I decided, after much debate, that he could handle taking care of the house, our dog, our rambunctious son, work from home...and do it all really well, all by himself. I said to him, well, millions of Moms do it everyday, why don’t you try it if you want. And he really wanted to. So I said, “Go for it!”

So off I went to stay at a vacant home of a friend I know of, with my dog as my companion, and left him to his desire. The first call came not an hour later, “What are these weird dishwashing cubes and how do you use them?” I told him that they were a new type of dissolving dishwashing soap and to read the back of the package for instructions about how to use them.

Then the first day passed, and I received a call about my son running out of underwear. I decided to pack up my laundry and trudge over to do a load or two because A: I know it took ME, who reads manuals, almost two weeks to fully understand how to use this high-tech, front-loading machine, and B: The last time my husband did laundry, all of the whites turned pink and some of the other clothes looked poorly tie-dyed. So I offered to take care of the laundry.

Then I found out that the fish hadn’t been fed in days! The poor things were staring at me and then looking up at the top of their tanks for some food!! I quickly gave them some food, then wrote a note in bold letters, “FEED FISH EACH DAY!!” My son could easily do that.

The next day there were questions about what to pack for lunch and how do you keep some items cold ( ice pack??)? What does my husband do with school notices ( them??), what does he do with the book ordering form (go over it with our son to see if he would like a book or two??). This went on for a few days. At least he remembered to feed the dog!! (I did have to remind my husband to give her daily medication, though.)

To my delight and amazement, after several days, my husband had gotten into the swing of things and I’ve caught up on a lot of work that had been accumulating and have been completing long overdue continuing education credits.

I must also say, living alone for now is giving me time to reorganize my life; embark on activities I had long put aside, and give me a huge breather from the stressful, hectic pace of everyday life! The only other being I need to care for is my dog. And he sleeps most of the time!

This experiment has also given me a window into what my life used to be like, when I was single or what life would be like now if I hadn’t married or had a child. It’s very intriguing. I try to see my son every day, so I’m not completely removed from motherhood. But I am removed from the daily trials and tribulations. On the contrary, I also miss seeing my son do his math homework in the blink of an eye! Or sharing with me that the reason we stand is because of gravity! I know this way of living won’t be forever, but it sure sheds some light on what my life could have been versus what it actually is. They both have their advantages. For now, though, I am enjoying my little “vacation.” Reality is eagerly waiting right around the corner. And the big question? Will my husband still run and empty the dishwasher once I’m back, now that he knows how to use those “little dishwashing cubes”??

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