By Karen Green
This week, I am in Toronto attending a writing course and my husband is at home in the cornfield with our two kids. My husband works full time and the kids are going to be in day camp for the first time ever. He will be responsible for getting the kids, their lunches, their bags and their clothes ready for camp, while at the same time taking care of the daily responsibilities of the house as well as preparing meals.
If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. For both of us.
My husband is extremely capable, smart, present, responsible and has good coping skills. But this is the first time that he will be responsible for the children, their daily schedule and the house in its entirety for such a long period of time. So I tried to help prepare as best I could.
Lunches, perhaps the most daunting of tasks for him, I made simpler by first stocking the fridge with all of the food my brood would need, then making a table to help the huz put together something quick, easy and nutritiously sound each evening.
Column A: proteins. Choose one item from this list. (e.g. veggie dog, edamame, hummus, etc.)
Column B: fruits and veggies. Choose two or three items from this list. (e.g. strawberries, grapes, carrot sticks, orange segments)
Column C: carbs. Choose one or two items from this list. (e.g. 1/2 bagel, crackers, popcorn, etc.)
Dairy products were taken care of at breakfast and a later snack. Voila!
I also listed the items that must be in the girls’ backpacks every day, set out the sunscreen, hats and water bottles where they would not be missed, and wrote out the drop-off and pick-up times, as well as the names of each of the girls’ counsellors and the phone number for the camp.
The freezer was stocked, the laundry was all caught up and labels were placed on all towels/clothes/shoes/bags/lunch boxes. And still I call almost nightly for a chat with my babes and a check-in with the huz. Yesterday he told me that he was sitting and reading a book, and the girls were playing.
“You have nothing to worry about, Karen,” he said. “This is a piece of cake.”
Of course it is, I thought. I shopped for the ingredients for the cake, baked it, iced it and left it on the counter where I knew you would find it.
But if it means that everybody is happy and taken care of while I pursue something important to me, I’m happy to be the baker.
Have you ever left your kids with your partner for an extended period of time? Did things go well?
Karen Green recently traded life in the biggest city in Canada for life in the biggest cornfield in Canada. Freed from her full-time job as a writer and editor, Karen now spends her time…writing and editing. And frolicking in the leaves with her two small girls. Karen is a speaker, the founder of Mom The Vote and the author of the blog, The Kids Are Alright, where she has been writing about the humorous and poignant moments of family life since 2005.