I recently went out of town for work. I intended to be gone for a week, but that week stretched into a month. My husband and kids came to visit me twice during that time, but for a solid three-and-a-half weeks, they were an entire state away, on their own.
Things don't fall apart
My husband is a very competent father. He's always been extremely hands on and involved in our kids' lives. While I stayed at home for the first few years and he worked (making me the "primary caretaker"), he always did 50 percent or more of the parenting when he was in town. Now that I'm working, we're both responsible for all things mom and dad.
However, I'm a mom and I'm also a little, um, obsessive compulsive -- so in my mind, the ship sails much more smoothly when I'm running it.
After I returned home, I stood (mostly) corrected. Sure, the kids' clothes weren't put back where they belonged, the laundry basket was much fuller than usual and the floor was dirty -- but the kids got to school every day, my husband packed their healthy lunches, they were extremely happy and, well, everything was fine!
Dads do some things better
The best part for me was that my kids had bonded even more with my husband. As I integrated myself back into their new routine, I saw sweet changes that I loved. Nightly, my 3-year-old daughter got out her play hairstyling tools and spent half an hour making my husband pretty. My 5-year-old son helped him make dinner.
And the thing that used to make me insane before bed -- the rowdy, physical play that I've been certain since the beginning of parenthood would keep the kids up all night -- turned into a routine that they enjoyed... and that didn't interfere with sleep enough to matter.
High five to dad
Sure, it took me a full weekend to put the house back together, but what's a little disorder -- by my standards -- when bonding and happiness were the result? It was certainly a good reminder to me that it never hurts to step aside and let Dad do his thing, even when the sacrifice is my version of order.
Happy Father's Day to my husband and all of the great dads out there. And moms, let's remember to give the guys in our lives space to do their thing -- because we have to admit, they do some of the parenting better.