I’ve been a little remiss in my Mommy Track’d writing lately. Let me explain. A major change has recently occurred in my household, namely, my husband got a job. I mean, a job. A real job, where he, like, goes to an office. He’s a freelance copywriter and his work has stepped up lately, especially from one particular company. So they offered him a job. At an age when many men are looking ahead to their retirements, he’s joining the workforce. I am still reeling.
You have to understand, in our twenty years of marriage, he has worked outside the house only a few times. Once for six weeks, another time for – was it six months? I can’t remember, it was so long ago. I have mostly been the working stiff in this house. Sometimes it’s been stressful, but the bottom line is, he’s been the go-to guy for the children when I’ve been working. He’s pretty much always been available for the kids. Not to mention the laundry, the dishes, and the car-pool duties.
This job is a good thing, for many reasons. But now I am the one suddenly faced with, well, the laundry, the dishes, and the car-pool duties. On the exact week I am starting my own job, writing a pilot for HBO.
I’ve got a writing partner for this TV pilot, a good friend who also happens to be a more experienced TV writer, and whose idea it originally was to make my book into a TV show. She gave The Three-Martini Playdate to her fancy agent who gave it to CBS, NBC, Lifetime, and finally, HBO, who wanted it.
So now, when we meet here in my home office, the house is delightfully empty. But when I’m home working, and I make coffee, and possibly a bite to eat -- especially if I haven’t quite gotten to the morning dishes -- those dishes just pile up. Dang! Who knew? My husband did, and never let them. And now I’ve got to either stop my workday at 2:30 to pick up our youngest child, or figure out a deal with our carpool so he can go play at a friend’s house, so that I can get in a few much-needed extra hours of work. And now, suddenly, if I need that can of crushed tomatoes or a couple of red peppers, he can’t dash over to the store before picking up the kids. There will be no more popping off to a late breakfast, or driving to San Francisco for a long weekend when the kids have an odd day off school.
I never took any of it for granted, and I’ve always appreciated all the slack he picked up – especially when I’ve been under a tight deadline or had jobs/meetings/auditions or whatever job-related thing that kept me from being able to retrieve children/shop for groceries/cook dinner. But this is a bit of an adjustment. And if things heat up with the HBO thing, we will suddenly be one of those families with two working parents, just like so many others. Our children may have to occasionally let themselves in to an empty house. My sixteen-year-old will certainly be taking on more brother-caretaking duties. I’m still not ready to hire a house cleaner, but the idea of finding someone who can do my grocery shopping once in a while is awfully tempting.
I am enjoying having the house to myself when I am here working, even if it does come with dust bunnies and dishes that have to be washed by me. Thankfully, my husband still seems to be doing the laundry. Old habits die hard, I guess. I’ll keep you posted.