I like my job, I love my boss, but it’s still work. And work sucks! Especially when the alternative to work is a hanging with friends all weekend, or being on vacation, or enjoying retirement, or simply lying on the couch binge-watching TV shows.
But when the alternative is staying home with the kids all day? Work is the great escape.
Earlier today, I shared a long post on Facebook about how much better Mom and Buried is at domestic duties.
In the post, I emphasized that she’s not better because she’s a woman; she’s simply better because she’s her. Gender has nothing to do with it. Regardless, she’s better, and she knows it. And right now, with the circumstances of our lives, it makes sense that she’s the one handling those things.
It also makes me ecstatic. I love that my wife is not only better at doing those things but that she also wants to do them, at least right now while The Hammer is still so young and she hasn’t yet gotten burnt out by the whole thing. (Although she had to drag them both to the doctor’s office and the gym today, so ask me again around five PM…)
I’m happy to hop on the train and head to work every day. Work is my escape from my kids. And believe me, I need it.
I love my kids. I like to think I’m a pretty good dad. But I’m nowhere near as good a dad as Mom and Buried is a mom, both in terms of fulfilling my daily parenting duties and in terms of managing to keep my composure and manage the mindspace that parenting requires. I get fed up much more quickly, and that can manifest itself in ways that are detrimental to my relationship with my kids, my relationship with my wife, and my own mental health.
Despite how much I “hate” my kids, I don’t want to actually hate my kids. Or hate parenting. And, like everyone else, in order to handle the stress of the gig and keep my demons at bay, I need to get away from my kids, and from parenting, sometimes.
(Please note that when I say “get away,” I do not mean “go on vacation.” When I go on “vacation” I bring my kids, which, as everyone knows, means it’s a trip, not a vacation.)
So work becomes my escape, because it’s the only place I go where my kids can’t follow. (Except on Take Your Kids To Work Day, thanks a lot, psycho who invented that!) I get to sit at a desk without someone climbing all over me. I get to talk to other adults about things unrelated to child-rearing. I get to go to the bathroom without someone trying to get in. I get to open a snack bag without their bionic hearing alerting them and their grabby little hands reaching in and eating my precious chips!Believe me, I know.)
Obviously, there are other things I can do to get the break I need, such as go out for a guys’ night, or a date night, or leave the kids with Grandma and Pop-pop and rent an Airbnb for a weekend, or disappear on a three-day bender by myself somewhere. And I do those things occasionally, but they are expensive, and logistically challenging, and so I don’t do those things frequently.
The only thing I do frequently is go to work, and I’ve learned to really appreciate it. After all, when you’re a parent, sometimes it’s the best you can get.