If you've perused the RLAM: The Tour portion of this site, you know that Dimity and I have been on the road promoting our book quite a bit this spring. At bookstores, running specialty stores, running races, Title 9 stores, maternity stores, my older daughter's school, you name it. I'd say I've been away from home close to 20 nights this spring, and I'm only about halfway through my tour dates. (Same goes for dear Dimity, who hits the Midwest next week while I'm headed to Maryland.) My traveling has become almost routine to my kids, yet every.single.time I mention a publicity trip to my father, he says, "Oh, Jack is so patient. He's so understanding."
Let me say: I love my own father, but he's an old-fashioned, 83-year-old man (is that redundant?!). He's always had a very traditional view on how families should work--with the father's career and time positioned front and center. Whenever I tell him one of my gal-pals is moving with her family because of her job, he always asks, incredulously, "but what about her husband's job?" not grasping that the wife might be the primary--or, shocker, sole--breadwinner.
He also doesn't seem to grasp that a) I'm not jetting off to Cabo to drink margs with my girlfriends--I'm w.o.r.k.i.n.g; and b) Jack is every bit as much the parent of our three kids as I am. Taking care of Phoebe, John, and Daphne is part of Jack's responsibilities, not just mommy-me.
At the start of my tour, Jack had a bit of this old-fashioned-ness running through him. But I want to take this opportunity to thank Jack immensely and whole-heartedly for how chipper he's been about taking care of the kids in my absence--and to praise him for what an awesome job he's done. Instead of just coasting by, Jack has risen to the challenge, doing activities like flying kites with the kids or bowling with them. And in the process, he's forged a deeper bond with the children that I marvel at whenever I'm home. Before RLAM hit, our son, John, would only snuggle with me. Now, when we're all piled on the bed watching "Up!," John scootches across the bed to tuck in under Jack's wing. Phoebe positions a pillow between Jack's splayed-out legs and reclines like a queen. Only stubborn, mommy-centric Daphne seems largely immune to her Poppa's charms.
These bonds were formed by my absence, whether promoting Run Like a Mother or training for my marathon. Instead of being deprived of their mother, our kids have been gifted with the presence of their father. Have you found your husband's behavior and attitudes have changed due to your running or work schedule?