Posted by: workforcookies | May 5, 2010

Dads Gone Wild

Two nights, three days, five kids (under the age of five) and three…dads!

A dear friend of mine and I recently went on a business trip to Napa. I was excited to go because I knew that not only would there be good food, good wine, and my good friend, but also cooking classes at the Culinary Institute of America. At the same time, I dreaded going because I would be away from my kids. I guess you could call it “Mommy Guilt” because among the parade of images that marched through my mind was one of my children asking for me  then looking confused when my husband told them Mommy wouldn’t be home that day…or the next. But too, there must have been an element of plain selfishness. I say this because of the other images of me sitting in a hotel room—too far away to wrap my arms around either of my children when I needed to. The emotional tug-of-war left me feeling somewhat ambivalent about a opportunity that might have otherwise excited me four years ago. (Funny how this also accurately describes how I feel about any opportunity for promotion at work these days!)

The rope tugged a little further in the direction of me actually enjoying a glass of wine in Napa when my dear friend had the brilliant idea of setting up a trip for our kids and husbands. Not to Napa—actually to a cabin nestled in the woods about a three-hour drive from our house. Of course, this meant our husbands (gasp!) would be taking the kids. (In all fairness to the men, my friend’s husband made this same trip last year with another dad and it was HIS idea.)

With my Mommy Guilt assuaged, I packed a bag and joined my friend on a flight to San Fran. Over the next four days, we crammed in as much good food, good wine and—of course—work as we possibly could. I also managed to make a few—okay, 10 or 15—phone calls to my husband. Just to check in. During each call, my usually cool-as-a-cumber husband uttered about 20 words total, most of which were some version of “Oh no! I gotta go!” I told my friend it reminded me of the phone conversations I had with my husband when he called me from his office while I was on maternity leave at home with the kids. It occurred to us both that dads are way more involved in parenting these days. Do you think 20 years ago—or even 10—three dads would have willingly taken five kids under the age of five on a weekend trip while the moms were away on business? I wonder…

In case you’re wondering, no children were harmed during the Dads Gone Wild production. In fact, by all accounts—and as evidenced by still shots and video images—everyone seemed to have a fantastic time!

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