I just got back from a weekend in Santa Monica with my girlfriends. A rare get together with two of my college friends, one living in Toronto and the other in Melbourne, Australia and me in Chicago. The three of us at some point have all lived together and though oceans and borders separate us now, getting together again was like we had never been apart. A work conference brought my Australian friend stateside and when she got in touch to see if we were available to meet up I jumped at the chance. I love southern California and I love my friends.
Jumping on a plane and flying to LA for the weekend 4 years ago would have required little more than tossing my clothes in a bag and heading to the airport. Now the game has changed and I feel like I’m air traffic control organizing the landing and take off of all of my babysitters in order to make it all possible. The only reason any of it worked at all is because my husband was not only willing but offered, to pick up the slack. Over a four day weekend I patched together hours from 3 different babysitters to get us through my husband’s work days Thursday – Friday and then an event he had to go to Saturday morning. My list of babysitters is deep for just that reason, we don’t have family in town that we can call to help us out so we make sure that we use a lot of babysitters frequently so our kids are always comfortable with whoever is coming over.
Pre-kids my husband and I both had a strong connection to our friends and loved to go on weekend trips to see them in their different cities. Now that we have kids I feel like we’ve done a good job of keeping that up, obviously not as frequently as before but maintaining our friendships is really important to us both so we do what we can to cover while the other is away – or find someone to cover for us if we go together. The kids are quite happy to have a fresh face entertaining them for a few days while mom and dad head out of town. They love the caregivers that we have and it is really important for me to have them realize that their mom and dad love them to pieces but a lot of other people love them too.
I feel really fortunate to be raising kids in this time, it is so much different than when I was growing up. My dad was often gone for 3 weeks at a time (not his choice) on business trips leaving my mom to try and not strangle 3 kids that were all within 4 years of each other. No cell phones, no computers, no internet – no voicemail! So if you needed to vent to your friend and she happened to be on the phone, all you got was a busy signal! Can you imagine! I never would have survived!
Our house runs well because my husband and I really have the team thing down. We both accept that some days it’s a freak show around here and some days are awesome. The bad days you just have to wait it out and know that an awesome one is right around the corner.