When the mum is away the mice will play
Dear Regular Guy,
I've gone away for just two nights with the girls and am spending half my time on the phone telling my husband what to do - he forgets all the kids' routines and I dread to think what's going on so the other half of my time is spent fretting.
What am I to do?
I have two simple, easy to remember, pieces of advice for you.
Stop fretting. Stop trying to control him. Stop being so desperate to be needed, that you forget to actually have fun with your friends. How often do you get away like this? Not very often I'll bet and yet you are so determined to be missed by your family that you aren't actually allowing yourself the quality time you deserve. Stop feeling guilty about doing something for yourself and relax.
Start having a little faith in your husband. Start having confidence in his ability to forge his own path. Your family's ability to survive a weekend without you will not disprove any of your own parental decisions or rules and it doesn't stop the kids from missing you.
Your man might not do the same things that you would, feed them the same food, have them in bed at the same time, or stop them from watching TV while eating breakfast but he can still cope.
He just does it in his own way.
Yes, his way is almost certainly wrong but that is his problem. If the kids get a little erratic on Saturday morning because they've been allowed pizza on Friday night then so be it. This is for him to cope with. All you need to do is chill with your friends and drink wine.
The more you try and control from afar, the more he will rebel against doing what you demand. Let him do it his way. We may not have the ability to 2nd and 3rd guess every approaching decision like a seasoned chess player in the way that you do but we can generally work out how to roll with the mistakes and work through them. Essentially, we may forget to make them wash their necks, but if we take two kids out with us, we generally remember to not only bring two kids back but also to check the name tags in their shirts to ensure they are the right children.
Get back to your mates and try and have some fun. You are of considerably more value to your family refreshed, relaxed and happy than you are trying to smother them while you are away.
I have a question for you. How do you stop the bathroom from smelling so lavatorial? Whenever my own wife goes away for a few days, leaving me in charge of our two boys, the loo starts to take on a public convenience aroma and I just can't figure out how to stop it. What is it that my wife usually does that prevents it? I only know that when she goes away and stops doing it for a while, she gets really cross when she gets back.