Opinion: Parenting trifecta


Why does the poop always hit the fan when my husband Doo is out of town? I suppose it’s my own fault, as a not-so-small part of me was kind of looking forward to his trip. Let’s face it, husbands can be demanding, especially ones who seem to sabotage all plans for a clean house and on-time living. But I shouldn’t have admitted the sentiment! That was just plain stupid, a total rookie mistake. I basically delivered a handwritten invitation to the gods asking them to send me one difficult parenting moment after another. Their reply? Game on!

The week did actually start out lovely. But then my first challenge arrived in the form of an email from one of our kids’ teachers, and I was forced to take over Doo’s role as Chief Disciplinarian. This meant not only having to ground our precious little slacker, but also having to enforce said grounding. By myself, all alone. Easier said than done, as those of you with teenagers can attest. Between his incessant complaining and obnoxious loitering, I felt like I was the one being punished. “Fine! You can go to the Super Bowl party; just get out of my hair!” Oops. This is why Doo always handles the punishments. Annoyance trumps my resolve every time.

One whole day passed before those haughty gods mocked my sabbatical from wifedom yet again. Our youngest twisted her ankle at tumbling practice, walking, of course. I spent four hours consoling a child in pain, questioning my amateur diagnosis of a sprain versus a break and performing logistical magic to arrange daycare, crutches and a potential ER visit. Thank goodness my in-laws were around. All hail Grams and Pops! I really could have used Doo though, not only to support my Dr. Quinn, Medicine Mom, call, but also to assuage the guilt I experienced from pawning our hobbled ten-year-old off on the grandparents. Sometimes I hate being a working mom.

The trifecta of parenting trials completed itself that same night: As I searched my daughter’s room for “comfort items,” I discovered her beloved pet lizard in a semi-shriveled, but definitely dead state of now non-existence. When I broke the news to Maddie, already exhausted from her traumatic “walking” injury (seriously, just walking!), she simply said, “I need a moment to myself.” The next thing I know I’m sobbing uncontrollably in the garage holding a tampon box turned reptile coffin and begging for the early return of Doo.

I am not cut out for solo-mommyhood. Despite the brief respite that comes from having my husband out from underfoot, I prefer him here, with me, partnering in this parent thing. Lesson learned, gods. Lesson learned! Peace out.

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