Trip preparation…the great unequalizer

I like to think of my marriage as an equitable one for the most part. My husband works full time (which means anywhere from 50-90 hours/week), and I work part time (anywhere from 10-15 hours/week). So naturally, many of the household duties fall to me. And I’m fine with that. Where the fair and equitable division of labor really starts to break down is when we prepare for a trip. Carter may go so far as to book the airline tickets, but beyond that, it’s all me.

We’re getting ready to take our daughter to New York tomorrow for her big sixth birthday extravaganza. In order to make that trip happen, I have to pack her bags, pack my bags, pack my husband’s bags, pack my son’s bags since he’ll be going to Aunt Paige’s for the weekend, arrange for someone to feed the cat and the fish, arrange for the dry cleaning to be dropped off, charge the camera batteries, print the itinerary, write up the list of things for my mom to do for us since she’s taking care of our son on Friday and Monday, pay all of the bills before we leave, get cash and snacks, pack my daughter’s backpack of activities for the plane, call the painter who will begin painting our house while we’re away, write the letter to get an excused absense for my daughter for one day of school, water the plants, straighten the house (because really, who wants to come home to a dirty, trashed house?)…you get the picture.

My friend, Mojo Mom Amy Tiemann, has a saying that I love…”Make the invisible work visible.” I try to live by this–often running through a monotonous list of “to-dids” for my husband at the end of the day. (I suggest that my clients create a “to-did” list of all the things they accomplished during the day–even down to the nitty gritty like “Put gas in car”–to realize how much they DID get done, regardless of any overly ambitious to-do lists). Trip planning is no exception. I’ll probably spend the first 20 minutes of our plane ride recounting all that I accomplished today to get the 3 of us out the door, on time, and ready for a fantastic long weekend. After I get it out of my system, I’ll sit back, relax, order a cocktail, and be ready for an amazing weekend with our six year old in one of the greatest cities on earth.

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3 Responses to Trip preparation…the great unequalizer

  1. MojoMom says:

    Have a good trip, Perri! Once you are on your way I bet you’ll have a great time. Getting out the door can be such a hassle though!

    Don’t forget the second half of my saying: “Make the invisble work visible, and then divide it fairly!” This includes kids pitching in. My daughter can at least load her laundry if not fold it and put it away.

  2. Mary says:

    Love that saying and I often do just that. You are so right that it makes you feel better to see that you actually did accomplish many things throughout the day. It’s also a great way to get hubby to realize all that you’ve done as well. He is always amazed that I can manage to get anything at all done since our Baby Dear can be quite a handful.

  3. emily says:

    have a great trip. You’re a better woman than I because I still make my husband pack for himself. He also whines because I make him put his clean, dry, folded clothes away. I’m such a harsh taskmistress.

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