My husband travels a lot for work, sometimes for weeks at a time. When my kids were babies, his travel schedule was a total drag. Being left alone with an infant for a week or two is challenging. From the moment he left on a work trip I’d count the moments until he got home just so I could get a much needed shower or have a moment to myself. Not only did I miss his company, but I also missed his help.
Now that my kids are ages 4 and 7, taking care of them isn’t quite so grueling and my husband’s work trips don’t cause me so much anxiety. And so I don’t dread my husband’s work travel the way I used to when the kids were smaller. In fact, I sometimes enjoy the time apart. It’s not that I’d ever want to live life without him, but a week or two with the house to myself isn’t so bad.
So when my husband calls from a business trip, I make sure to sound as haggard as possible just to make him feel missed. But the truth is, it’s actually kind of fun. That’s because I secretly let go of everything, from my kid’s schedule to my bra….
1. I stay up way too late reading celebrity gossip websites. Once the kids are asleep, I waste at least three hours every night catching up on the lives of my favorite celebs. Sure I don’t know who half of these young celebs are, but without the husband around to laugh at my celebrity obsession I’ve got time to catch up.
2. I have wine for dinner. I love not making anyone dinner but my kids when my husband is on the road — and sometimes a nice glass of Pinot is the perfect dinner! If I’m hungry I’ll throw in a bowl of cereal.
3. I scream at the TV. When my husband’s around, he hoards the remote control and hogs the good TV. But when my husband’s away, the TV is all mine. I’m not proud of my reality-TV obsession, but I do enjoy watching a good cat fight on TV. And with no one in earshot, I’ve been known to scream at the TV and tell those Real Housewives what I really think of their behavior.
4. I break up with my bra and my shower. I can’t honestly say I look my best when my husband’s away. And while I’d like to attribute my un-showered, bra-less look to my busy schedule as a solo parent, it’s actually just because I’m lazy. But being a slob is kind of fun, especially with no one around to notice.
5. I eat in bed. I hate when my husband eats in bed when he’s home, but I secretly envy him when he does it. So when he’s away and the kids are asleep, I get comfy in bed with my bad TV, glass of wine and unhealthy snacks.
6. I let the kids eat ice cream for breakfast and watch TV at dinner. I know how much it is for me to break the rules for a few days so I let my kids do the same. Plus when I’m solo with the kids, sometimes it’s easier to keep them happy than to keep them on schedule. We can live by the rules another day.
Now before you go thinking all hell breaks loose when my husband is away, think again. I let myself go for a few days while he’s away and clean up my act when he returns. Being a slob is fun for a few days, but gross for anything longer. There’s only so many times you can yell at the TV before you start to wonder why it’s not yelling back. And of course nothing is more fun than when my husband returns. Life’s more fun when he’s home!