So, this year, it just so happened that a long overdue bff girls trip fell on Mother's Day. That didn't stop us from going. Last time I checked, Mother's Day was about the mother, last time I checked a 9 am no alarm wakeup, a kid free brunch and an afternoon at the ballet is the perfect definition of Mother's Day....did I mention none of the humans that made me a mother were invited. I could be dubbed the smartest mom or the meanest.....good thing I don't care!
Here's the thing. EVERY SINGLE time someone asked what brought us to NYC or EVERY human that saw Clay with all five kids had almost the same reaction. Shock. "Your wife left you with all those kids. I've never seen such a thing." "Your husbands let you come here and leave all your kids with him. You are so lucky!" "You are so brave to take all of these children out by yourself." Between us I'd say we had at least 30 conversations with people in regards to our Mothers Day weekend activities. ONE. I repeat I had ONE positive conversation with two trombone players from the Carnegie Club who said, "wow, that's amazing. You totally deserve this. Mothers have the hardest job on earth and it's awesome you take a break for yourself." As it so happened, Bailey Kate's birthday fell on the day I was getting home. Clay planned, prepped and executed the PERFECT Birthday party....as he should have.
Don't get me wrong. I'm so grateful for my husband. I understand he is, in so many ways, the exception to the rule. He knows I'm grateful for him without me posting a 3 paragraph homage to him on social media for making the bed or brushing his teeth. HE'S A GROWN ASS MAN. The last time I checked he was there when we created these humans (or in front of the judge with Cooper when we promised to be his parents). When we signed up of this parenting gig I'm pretty sure their wasn't some rider that said I was solely responsible for the care of all the children and if Clay happens to help I must bow at his feet, in gratitude, for my undeserved time off. Um. No. (Poor guy, he knew that wasn't a thing the day we said I do.)
While most would probably think all those comments were cute or endearing they grew increasingly more annoying (for Clay also). To be in what could be described as the most liberal/feminist city and told over and over I was so lucky to have a man that could handle my children seemed absurd. Here is the thing. We as moms (stay at home or working) are inundated with news of fights over sexual equality, getting paid equally in the workplace, male discrimination against women, blah blah blah. Here is the thing. Being a mom is an enormous job, and as evidenced by all the comments, it is still a rarity that help from the man is the norm. Friends. if they helped make them, they should be fully capable of caring for them without the oversight of a woman. Granted. We own a business in town. Clay had to work. We have an AMAZING sitter that is like family to help us out, but he was responsible for a giant chunk of time and I didn't write lists of how to take care of the kids....he can wing it just like I do. He did an amazing job.
Ironically, Clay was just as annoyed as I was. He is a very smart, capable man that runs a very successful business. To be told, constantly, that it is shocking that he can care for and manage HIS OWN children was rude. He's not an idiot. We are and have always been a team. In team sports when a player is tired, he or she can tap out and have a period of rest and time to refuel for the rest of the game so they can finish strong. This is just the same for parenting. I needed a break. I needed a time of rest and refueling so that i can be a better mom to my kids and a better wife to my husband. I also didn't feel guilty. Clay didn't make me feel guilty. We are a team. We work together to make each other successful.
I hope as I raise my boys they see their dad pulling his weight at home. I hope my daughters watch their dad and see a man they should look for when choosing their life partner. I hope that as we fight for women's rights in this world the moms aren't forgotten. The stay at home moms who don't get a paycheck, who many assume are uneducated (many people are shocked when I tell them I am still a licensed nurse and choose to stay home), who don't have a clock in and clock out time, who never get a sick day, who work and work and work, don't deserve the same time off and support as the women in the workplace. I hope when my boys are taking care of their kids when they are older, because their wives are galavanting around the world with me, they aren't met with shock, but the response of my favorite trombone players, "well done men, your wives deserve it." So, yes. I left for Mother's Day and Clay ran the house and kept all the kids alive....as he should have.