When the cat’s away, the mice will play
I am missing my wife and baby terribly right now. They are both away on a trip, so my wife can visit her sister. They are gone for an entire week. Before you imagine me playing video games late into the night in an empty house, let me remind you that I have four other children...
I am missing my wife and baby terribly right now. They are both away on a trip, so my wife can visit her sister. They are gone for an entire week. Before you imagine me playing video games late into the night in an empty house, let me remind you that I have four other children who did not go on this trip. That’s right, I get to spend this week with my four oldest while also maintaining my full time work schedule and keeping the household going.
It’s common to chide bachelor dads about how they are ordering pizza every night and letting the kids stay up late, as if the mice will play when the cat’s away. That’s not happening for us though. The reason is that my wife and I work as a team to craft the culture of our home. We work together to design all the rhythms and systems of our home, and we execute on them together. There isn’t “mom’s way” and “dad’s way.” There is only “our way.” We live our way whether mom is in the house or dad is in the house.
Having said that, I’d be lying if I told you that we aren’t going to skip a beat while mom is gone. We are skipping a few beats simply because the human resources are not available to do everything we usually do. Fewer books will be read aloud. Dishes might pile up longer before washing. Same with laundry. But all of the essentials of the household will be attended to as best a dad can do when working full time from home while caring for four kids.
Thankfully, I am not without help in this endeavor. I have the great benefit of having my in-laws in town. The timing of their visit couldn’t be better. Also, I’m able to work from home this week, so I’ll be able to be around the house at all times to keep an eye on things.
I miss my wife and baby—not because of what services they can perform while existing at the house—but because they are a part of me. They are irreplaceable members of this family. Our family feels whole when they are around. There is a noticeable gap in our daily life without my wife’s singing and my baby’s smiling.
It might sound like a welcome reprieve not to have an infant in the house for a week, but I am counting down the seconds until they return. Sure, mealtimes are quieter and sleep isn’t interrupted by wailing in the night, but I’d very much prefer to have those things if it means that I also get to hold him and make him giggle by tickling his feet. Only 475,200 more seconds until I can hold them again.