Living My Life... Sort Of

Next week I'm leaving Alfie and the kids to go on a business trip. Okay, it's not actually a business trip. I'll be learning and networking and partying at the BlogHer '09 conference in Chicago. But the longest I've been away from my family prior to this was just one night; this time, I'm gone from Wednesday night till Sunday morning. It's going to be just Alfie and the kids, at home together for three days and four nights. He's going to get his first chance to live my life and see what it's like being a stay-at-home parent.

We're pretty lucky that Alfie can work from home whenever he wants to. It's a lifesaver (and moneysaver) when I have to run a solo errand or have a blogging event or a doctor's appointment. But Alfie is the most honest chap I know, and he's careful not to slack off when he works from home (other than occasionally taking a long lunch with me or taking a couple of hours to watch a soccer game, but people do that in the office anyway, and he makes up for it in the evenings). So we've always told the kids to pretend he's still at the office, so he can get work done. Other than leaving the kids playing downstairs and Alfie working upstairs for an hour or so to run said errands, we carry on with our day almost as if Alfie isn't at home.

Which means next week -- working from home and taking care of the kids -- is going to be a bit of a challenge for him, as it would for anyone -- single parents who work from home, I don't know how you do it!

So I'm preparing for my departure with all the deliberation of a general planning an invasion (or in my case, withdrawal). I deliberately avoided scheduling any camps or classes for the time that I'm gone so Alfie wouldn't have to deal with the dropoffs and pickups. I've got some at-home activities and crafts lined up so the kids don't or whine for daddy to take them to the park. I'm considering offering a small bribe reward if they make it to Sunday without any major arguments that Alfie has to mediate. I'm making and freezing a couple of dinner casseroles, and writing up a lunch and dinner menu so he won't have to think about what to feed them (or himself). I'm stocking up the fridge and pantry with food so he won't have to go shopping. I'll probably stay up late on Tuesday night giving the bathroom an extra swipe, and doing laundry so I won't have a huge pile to greet me when I get back on Sunday morning.

Uh, so maybe he won't be living my life exactly. More like a stay-at-home parent who works from home with a full time job but has a great personal assistant, housekeeper and child-activities coordinator.

I'm beyond grateful to Alfie for stepping up and making it possible for me to attend the BlogHer conference -- so of course I want to streamline next week as much as I can for him. But he'd better not say "That wasn't so bad -- you've got it easy!" when I come back on Sunday!

This post was inspired by What Happened to the Girl I Married by Michael Miller, July's featured book on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog book club. Click here to read how this post inspired our other mombloggers.

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8 comments, leave yours here:

justprecious said...

So jealous you are going! Have fun! And don't make the week too streamlined. 5 days in the life won't measure up as it is!

WkSocMom said...

Have fun. I just ask Brian to get rid of the In N Out burger evidence. My friend said she left menus for the meals when she was away, and then her husband called since she did not leave exact locations for each food item :) I'm sure they'll have loads of fun.

Silicon Valley Diva said...

WAH, totally envy you! That is SO great your husband's employer lets him work from home. I wish all Silicon Valley companies did that. I used to work from home once in awhile, but that was pre-kids. I would think it would be a challenge, but luckily it sounds like you have all your bases covered. Looking foward to your follow up post--on how it all went & hope you all have a blast.

Linsey K / Krolik Legal said...

That's so nice that he can work from home. We had that situation for a while - my husband has started a couple of companies in our garage, so could run in if I needed something or cover for me from time to time. When he was in the garage, he was working and it was understood that the kids couldn't go bother him. Now that he's working at an office again and commuting...ugh...it is much tougher. He has longer work days, which makes for longer work days for me too (which is why I'm up at midnight, doing MY work, every single night!). Let's see how he does - a taste of the life you lead, in any case!

See you in Chicago, roomie :)

Teresa said...

Have a great time at BlogHer! It'll be great for your hubby and kids to be on their own for a few days...at the very least I'm sure it'll make them appreciate all that you do!

Connect with your Teens said...

I am also going to Blogher next week but now that my kids are grown, my husband doesn't have to do much. However, I did go to conferences for past jobs and businesses when my kids were younger and it is amazing the detailed directions I had to give. You would think that my husband was a stranger the way I had to write every thing out and leave him every possible phone number, etc. But once I was away, I had a great time.

melanie said...

i'll be at blogher too--i think you are doing more than i am for my husband. i'm just looking forward to getting away from the responsibility for awhile...

Roxane said...

I suggested that my husband invite his mom to visit while I go to BlogHer. My (not so) secret intention is to not have to deal with that high-maintenance visit... He, on the other hand, will be babied and will have the up-side of having a hand with the kids. It's a win-win. I left him totally alone with the kids for plenty of long weekends last year as we were house-hunting (we lived in NJ and were moving to CA), and he did fine -- including an ER visit for a kid with a 105 fever. Knowing that he can do my job (and knows that it's hard) gives me a certain piece of mind. I won't be leaving anything prepared for him this time around though... He and his mama can take the kids to McDonald's for every mean for all I care because I'll be ALONE at BlogHer! SEE YOU THERE!