Tuesday, August 21, 2018

When Lisa Brings Up This Tempting Offer, Two Things Happen.

Several times a year, Lisa offers to book me a luxury hotel room complete with services. Alone. Usually, this happens around Mother's Day, my birthday, or towards the end of the Summer season. As a Work at Home Dog Mom, I don't get a break from our 5 kids. Ever. Each time Lisa brings up this tempting offer, 2 things happen.

The first...

My entire being floods with gratitude. Although Lisa doesn't entirely understand what it's like to be a Work at Home Dog Mom, she has gotten a decent taste of my daily struggles.

For example, when Lisa sits at her desk to check emails and skim Facebook, all 4 pup kids are at her feet. Coco barks. Lobo barks. Sophie lays across her feet. Willa drops the ball at her feet because she wants to play fetch.

On more than one occasion, Lisa has said, "I can't imagine trying to get work done. I don't know how you do it."

She gets it. 

Other times, while Lisa is helping out with housework or trying to get an indoor project done, she'll trip over chew bones, the multitude of fetch toys, or she'll try not to fall when one of the kids runs under her feet.

Again, little by little, she gets it. 

Over time, Lisa has grasped the endless amount of challenges I face on a daily basis. She also realizes what she has experienced is just the tip of the iceberg.

Her work life and my work life are completely different. Aside from the obvious of her working outside of the home and me working at home, a lot of what Lisa works on here doesn't involve the kids.

When Lisa is working on DIY Dog Mom Projects in her woodshop, the kids are upstairs with me. When I'm working on DIY Dog Mom Projects in my workshop, all of the kids are with me. When Lisa mows the lawn, the kids are inside with me. When Lisa runs errands, the kids are home with me.

You get the gist of it.

Being a Work at Home Dog Mom is a 24/7 thing. Regardless of what I'm doing, the kids are surrounding me.

When Lisa offers to book me a luxury hotel room for a night or 2, that's her way of letting me know that she understands. She gets it. She acknowledges that I may need a break from the kids.

For that, I am grateful. I have no shame in admitting, it's tempting at times. No kids. Soaking in a hot tub. Room service. Writing blog columns without the interruptions and having to get up 3-4 times an hour to see what the kids are doing.


And this is where I insert the second thing that happens...

When I think about being away from my kids for a night or 2, I start feeling sad.

I remember all of the overnight trips Lisa took to NH to visit her parents. Our kids didn't know what to do. They didn't know what was going on. They acted out of sorts because they didn't understand why their other Mommy wasn't home.

Our kids don't like change. They know when something is off. Even when Lisa left for NH early in the morning and returned home late at night, the same thing happened. When Lisa goes to baseball games with our neighbor friends and doesn't get home until 11 p.m., they have a hard time.

If I left for a night or 2, our kids would experience the same thing. They wouldn't understand why I wasn't home.

Those thoughts crush me to tiny bits.

At that point, I always graciously thank Lisa for her offer, but I decline.

I. Just. Can't. Do. It. 

In the past, Lisa used to be quite persistent. However, in early 2017, Lisa took a trip to NH to visit her parents. Overnight. One of our family members was ill and didn't have much time. She left early in the morning. We were on the porch. She got teary-eyed. I was too.

"I don't want to leave you and the kids overnight."

"I know you don't. But, you need to."

"I know, but it's so hard."

Lisa sat in silence for a few moments. I could tell she was struggling. It took every ounce of her being to get in our vehicle and drive off.

Since then, when she offers me a luxury night or 2 away from the kids and I decline, she simply just says, "Okay, but if you change your mind, the offer is there."

I've never accepted her offer.

I never will.

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