I’m leaving my husband with the kids.
I know it’s pretty shocking. Last time I left him with the toddler and he had family members calling and volunteering to come in from out of state to help him. He had friends telling him how rough he had it and how amazing he was to take care of the baby after his wife left. But he did so well last time, that this time, I’m leaving him with both kids.
Last time I left him it was for 4 days to take our son to see his grandparents in Florida. This time I’m leaving for 3 days for a work retreat. I would never really leave my husband with the kids but yes, I’ve left him on his own with the kids. Whether for a work conference or for personal travel or just for an afternoon or night out. I leave my husband with the kids all the time.
And honestly, I don’t think twice about it. Do I check the calendar? Yes. Do I make sure he doesn’t have some kind of work commitment? Sure. But you know what I don’t do, I don’t ask permission. I’m an adult, I don’t need permission to go somewhere.
While my husband and I find this to be perfectly normal and dare I say healthy. People seem fairly shocked when he tells them that he’s taking care of the kids on his own for a few days. People lump on praise for how amazing he is and how hard a job he must be doing. They wonder how he does it and even why he lets me leave.
Which is insulting to both of us. When I came back from Florida last week, he was surprised that so many people thought that he couldn’t handle our daughter on his own. That people were acting like he was a superhero for going grocery shopping with her and for spending the weekend on his own with her. And I was annoyed because, well, I take care of the kids on my own all the time, and no one is showering me with praise.
My husband works long hours, and I work from home, so I generally spend more time with the kids. But, BUT that doesn’t mean that my husband isn’t capable of doing the same things I do. It doesn’t mean that he can’t care for a toddler and a 7-year-old to. Or make dinner, pack lunches, go grocery shopping and clean the house. My husband is completely capable of caring for OUR children whether that’s for 4 days or for 4 hours.
We need to stop acting like men can’t parent. We need to stop trying to do it all ourselves and let them help. We need to not leave lists and schedules when we go out and instead let them figure it out. We need to do this early and often. We need to not feel guilty about leaving our husbands with the kids. I’ve never known a husband to say, “man I feel bad leaving her with the kids”. And as a society, we need to realize that men are capable parents too.
So, I’m leaving my husband with the kids and I know they will be just fine.