It was all arranged. Babysitters were sorted for a kid-free weekend, but a dramatic increase in airfare meant the only trip I’d be taking to the airport was to pick someone else up.
I wasn’t asking too much, just a little break. You see, I’m a stay at home mom (SAHM) and the ironic thing about this job, is that we (meaning me) take whatever opportunity we can, to fly the coop.
It’s not that being a SAHM is all bad. Most people don’t even think of you as a housewife, at least not until the ankle-biters hit elementary. Plus you get to acquire certain skills that will always be useful, like learning what a Dyson is and that anything from the freezer most certainly wouldn’t have thawed in the fridge overnight.
Whatever you call us, we’re still don’t pick up anyone’s socks. We may have given up our careers to raise our kids, but we didn’t agree to be the maid, cook and personal shopper. Why does everyone think it’s now our job to buy men’s underwear? Or that we have impeccably behaved children and want to scrapbook? Where in the parenting manual does it state we’re supposed to give up the housecleaner the minute we go on maternity leave?
I often hear people (read: cheap dads) arguing, “well, my mother stayed at home and did it all…” To which I counter, “dude, how happy was your mother?” Me and my friend’s husbands shout back and forth until, summoning my grade seven debating skills, I close with, “and how much marital satisfaction, if-you-know-what-I-mean-and-I-think-you-do, did your father get?” Yeah, I’m really popular with those guys.
So what do we do with all this “free time?” Well, for starters, we get man-chores fobbed off on us, like getting the oil changed and trolling Home Depot. And we’re often stuck with the crap car (or the one lowest on gas) in which to do all this running around. You’ll be happy to know we celebrate small victories such as setting out the garbage where our partners are apt to trip over it and passing off prepared foods as our own.
But back to my dirty weekend…Despite the misconception that because I don’t “work,” I think carnal thoughts all day long, I really was looking forward to it. “It” obviously being sleeping-in.
In the end we still took that weekend, choosing a spot closer to home. We got our rest and I’d like to think, are better parents for it.
What about you? Do you feel guilty when you go away without the kids for the weekend?