If you follow my Instagram stories then you know I’ve been traveling a ridiculous amount over the last month. I went to D.C. for a summit, New York to teach a photography workshop, then Dallas, Los Angeles, Memphis and Detroit for a couple series of commercial videos you’ll see soon.
“What do your kids do when you’re away?” Is one of the most popular questions I’m asked when I’m hitting the road again and again. My mom lives a couple of miles away so when we’re in a big bind she’ll step in and help, but most of the time my trips are arranged around my husband’s schedule or he’ll take a day or two off for an important work trip. And when he’s in charge, things go a lot differently.
Some people have some funny remarks when they hear dad is in charge. But the question “Oh so dad is babysitting?” always boggles my mind. Because he’s their dad, not someone I’m hiring to play with my kids. I’m not more or less of a parent than he is. In fact, when our daughter was first born, he was the one at home with her when I returned to work after maternity leave. He warmed up the milk, took her on walks, changed her clothes and diapers, and brought her up for visits on my lunch break. He’s got this thing down. And it’s been that way since the beginning.
So we’ve established that he’s not the babysitter. He’s also not expected to do things exactly as I do. When I’m gone, homeschool is more or less out the window. At least the type of lessons I do with them. If I have some time we’ll FaceTime in the morning and I’ll read some of the books I packed to go over. On this last trip I read some of the Greek Mythology stories while she colored a worksheet, as we’d do at home. We’ll practice her spelling words or she’ll read to me. We might practice telling time. Then with my son I’ll review some letter sounds for a few minutes. But it’s definitely not the two and a half to three hand a half hours we normally spend on school.
Long gone are the days where I try to make a to-do list for him while I’m out of town. Well, not that long gone. But let’s just say I gave up on trying to micro-manage things while I’m away. Now all I do is make a quick grocery run before we head out, make sure the fridge and pantry are stocked with snacks they like, like grapes, apples, CLIF Kid ZBar Filled, and peanut butter crackers. All of the kids activities and addresses are scheduled in our iCalendar with alerts 30 minutes before drop off. So he knows when gymnastics, cheer, piano, and tutoring lessons are. Then I let my husband do his thing.
Whenever I have a break and call home, or we FaceTime mid-day I’m always laughing at some of the things they’re up to.
For example, I left on my husband’s birthday this last trip and the day before we celebrated and he got a new giant piece of workout equipment. So a few times I called they were outside and he was putting them through boot camp.
Other times I called the kids were riding their bikes. He’d either ride my bike with them, or run around the block while they rode. In another phone call my daughter mentioned wanting to ask Santa for an electric scooter and my husband said no way because, hello… There’s no exercise in that.
Then one evening while talking to the three of them my husband said “I think I’m going to take them to the arcade tonight…” You know, just because. Games were half off so why not?
This is why they love him so much. And so much of what I adore about him. He’s such a great dad, and though the kids miss me when I’m gone, and things are a lot more laid back, I don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re taken care of, having fun, or being loved. They’re with their dad and that’s about as good as just being with mom.
I’m passionate about getting my kids outdoors to play, and making meaningful memories together. That’s why I’ve partnered with CLIF Kid for 2017, to share our adventures of being active as a family. CLIF Kid Zbar® Filled is crafted with creamy, delicious nut butter filling and a blend of nutrients for energy to help keep your kids zipping and zooming along. Their products are free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. You can learn more about this product here.