It’s true, sometimes I do. I try very hard not to be resentful of his free time, but sometimes it creeps in anyway. I’m sure there are many other mothers, especially working mothers like me, that feel this way from time to time.
Things just seem so much easier and simpler for my husband than they do for me. For example, he is off work every other Thursday. This means that twice a month the kids are sent off to school, I go to work, and he has an entire day to himself. Alone time, I can’t imagine what that must feel like. Of course, this is not his fault, it is just the way things have worked out with our schedules. And then there is the fact that as the mother, most of my time is spent with my children, who complicate even the simplest tasks.
To illustrate my point, let’s take our weekday morning routines. A typical weekday morning for my husband goes something like this:
He gets up (early, I’ll admit), uses the bathroom, takes a nice long hot shower, brushes his teeth, shaves, gets dressed, watches some tv, kisses me goodbye and is out the door, usually while I am in the shower and the kids are still in bed. He enjoys a nice peaceful drive allowing him to collect his thoughts and prepare himself for the day ahead. He stops and grabs himself a chicken biscuit and a drink before heading on into work, ready for whatever the day may bring.
Now here was my actual morning just this past Monday:
Hubby woke me up once he got out of the shower. I looked at the clock: 6:00 AM. I used the bathroom and got in the shower. I washed my hair, hubby came in and kissed me goodbye, I bathed and got out. I brushed my teeth and checked the clock: 6:40 AM. AAGGHH! How could I have been in the shower that long?! I threw on my bra and panties, ran to my six-year old daughter’s room, and ordered her to get up and go potty. I waited for signs that she was stirring … yep, I saw a definite wiggle… then ran downstairs to fix her a quick breakfast (and by “fix” I mean put the waffle in the toaster). I ran back upstairs with her breakfast… to find her still asleep in bed. After much coercion, I got her up and to the bathroom. I realized I had forgotten her milk, so I left the waffles in her room and ran downstairs to get the milk. My two dogs were standing at the back door so I let them out, grabbed the glass of milk, and rushed back up the stairs. My daughter was waiting in her room so I urged her to eat fast, then rushed back to my bathroom to blow dry my hair. After finishing with my hair, I checked the clock: 7:02 AM. Holy moly, I had to hurry. I threw my clothes on, went to tell my daughter that breakfast was over and she needed to go brush her teeth and get dressed, then went to wake my son up.
This is the trickiest part of my mornings. My three-year-old son is not a morning person, to say the least. I took a deep breath and opened his bedroom door. I took two steps into his room before he sat up and starting wailing, “No Momma, I don’t want to get up yet!” I explained that he had to get up and get ready for school, and that mommy had to get to work and we were running late so I really needed him to get up and go potty so we could get dressed. He continued to wail and exclaim “No Mommy!” over and over again, until my nerves were frazzled. Finally, at the threat of bodily harm, I got him up and on the potty. My daughter came into the bathroom clutching her tummy and complaining of a tummy ache. I checked the time on my phone: 7:14 AM. AAGGHH! I didn’t have time for phantom tummy aches, so I told her to sit on the potty and see if that helped, then ordered my son to go to the sink so I could brush his teeth. He started crying and screaming that he didn’t want to brush his teeth, so I dragged him to the sink, put toothpaste on his toothbrush, and shoved it in his mouth whenever he opened it to scream about having to brush his teeth. After three toothbrush shoves, I gave up, figuring I had at least gotten most of his teeth, and swallowing a little toothpaste wouldn’t hurt him. I dragged him to his room and got him dressed, trying to tune out his protests and high pitched wails. Once I had his socks and shoes on, he calmed down and said he wanted to play with his toy tractors. I breathed a sigh of relief, left him happily playing with his toys, and went to check on his sister. She was still on the potty, so I ordered her to get off so I could brush her hair. She started protesting that her tummy still hurt, but I used my mommy voice to once again order her off the potty and this time she obeyed and came to let me do her hair. As I was combing her hair I realized that she didn’t have her shoes on yet. I told her to go put her shoes on.
As I was going back to check on my son, I heard a dog bark and realized I had forgotten to let the dogs back in. I ran downstairs and opened the back door. The big dog came in, but where was the little dog? I called her but she didn’t come and I didn’t see her in the backyard. I checked the clock: 7:27 AM. CRAP! I didn’t have time to look for the dog, so I closed the door, hoping she would turn up as we were leaving. I yelled for the kids to come downstairs. They didn’t come. I yelled more forcibly and they slowly made their way down the stairs. I told my daughter to get her backpack from the kitchen and told my son to get his nap mat from the laundry room. I realized I had forgotten to brush my son’s hair, so I rushed up the stairs (I really don’t understand why my legs aren’t toner), grabbed the hairbrush, and ran back downstairs. I heard yelping from the front yard, so I opened the front door and was relieved when the little dog came running inside. That was one crisis diverted, at least.
I went into the living room and noted that my daughter had her backpack on, but my son’s nap mat was no where to be seen. I yelled for him to get it, went to the kitchen to grab my lunch out of the refrigerator, and came back into the living room to find him chasing his sister with a booger. He was obviously too busy to get his nap mat, so I went to the laundry room and grabbed it. I went to the garage, put my lunch and the nap mat in the car, then went back into the house and yelled for the kids to come get in the car. They came running toward the garage, but my son veered toward the laundry room, stating that he had to get his nap mat. I informed him that I had already put it in the car and then realized that I had made a monumental mistake.
His face turned red and he began to shake. There was a moment of eerie calm and then he let out a bloodcurdling scream. “NO MOMMA, I WANT TO GET MY NAP MAT OUT OF THE LAUNDRY ROOM! NO MOMMA, NO!!!” I checked the time on my phone: 7:39 AM. I quite literally didn’t have time for this! I ordered my daughter into the car, then grabbed my son and forcibly strapped him in his car seat. I backed out of the garage and started toward my daughter’s school. My son continued to scream about the nap mat. He ordered me to turn around and put the nap mat back in the laundry room so he could get it himself. When I refused, he kicked his screaming up an octave and began kicking the back of my seat. I yelled at him to stop or I would pull the car over and spank him, but he is smart, he knew that there is no time in the schedule for pulling over, so he kicked it up an octave even higher and I was worried the windows would shatter. My daughter put her hands over her ears and I shot her a sympathetic look in the rearview mirror. I gave up yelling and tried to tune him out. I pulled up to my daughter’s school, and my son abruptly stopped screaming. I bid her a good day, she opened her car door, and a teacher helped her out. My son smiled and waved to her, calling “Bye sissy!!” I sagged with relief. The storm was over.
I pulled away from the school and to my disbelief he started screaming about his nap mat again. He hadn’t given up the battle, he just wanted to look good in front of the “big” school teacher. He continued screaming and kicking my seat the entire way to his preschool. I started to feel like I might start crying. When I pulled into his preschool’s parking lot, he once again abruptly stopped screaming. I got out of the car and opened his car door to find him dolefully wiping the tearstains from his face. I got him out of his car seat and he sweetly took my hand and led me into the preschool.
As I signed him in, he ran to give his teacher a hug and she smiled, exclaiming that he is such a good and sweet boy. She believes this to be true, she doesn’t know that he is stealthy like a ninja. I watched my son walk to the breakfast table and politely pull out a chair for a female classmate. I began to wonder if I had hallucinated the events in the car. I glanced at the clock on the wall: 7:55 AM. AAAHHH!!! I had five minutes to drive fifteen miles to work. I quickly kissed my son goodbye and ran to my car.
On the way to work, I applied my makeup at each red light and quickly finished it up in the parking lot. I ran inside, wished everyone a good morning, and slumped into my desk chair. I glanced at the clock on my computer: 8:09 AM. I grabbed a pack of grits out of my desk drawer and checked my email. There was one from my boss saying were having an 8:15 meeting that morning. I sighed, put the grits back in the drawer, and grabbed my notepad. On the way to the meeting, I realized I hadn’t brushed my son’s hair.
So yeah, sometimes I wish I were the husband, if only for one morning.
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