Do Not Give my Husband a Gold Star


As a working mom, weekends are precious, protected time with my family.

I look forward to the mornings I don’t have to rush around the house, trying to get everyone dressed and packed, and to limitless possibilities of playing outdoors, meeting up with friends, or just relaxing at home.  There are plenty of Saturdays where it’s just the kids and I while my husband is working overtime. It is fairly uncommon for it to be the other way around – me having to give up time on the weekend to work, while my husband takes care of the boys.  But recently I had two Saturdays in a row that contained full-day work events. So, I kissed my family goodbye and went on  my way, knowing that my husband could manage the boys.

collage dad with boys
What a day with dad might look like

What I didn’t expect was the response I got when I mentioned that my husband was home with the boys. People at the event were aghast! Your husband is home alone with the kids for the ENTIRE DAY?!  What a terrific dad.

Well, yes, he is a terrific dad; but he is also an adult. perfectly capable of caring for his children for an afternoon. Heck, I do it all the time and I doubt my husband hears how much of a saint I am!

I’m not sure why, but I added into the conversation that he was taking the boys to a birthday party. Now, if the idea of my husband home alone with the kids wasn’t enough for him to earn his Dad of the Year award, this tidbit of info was!  You would’ve thought my knight-in-shining-armor was teaching our kids a second language while building homes for shelter puppies by the looks on these people’s faces! And here I was, thinking that sending them to a party would make my husband’s day easier by keeping the kids busy and tiring them out. I know that’s been the case when I’ve taken my kids to one of the dozens of parties we’ve gone to over the years.  Me:dozens, hubby:1

I really do appreciate my husband, and all the work he does in and out of the home; but does he deserve a gold star for wrangling the boys for a day in my absence? No. If I can do it without a parade in my honor or a badge of courage, so should he.

obama meme
Obama c/o

Am I also a hypocrite because I worry he will have a more difficult time and do everything I can to organize things for when I’m away? Yep, sure am. Prior to leaving that day, I packed a backpack of snacks, diapers, a change of clothes and a gift bag for the present. So I guess I am also a part of the problem.

I’ve come to realize that in our house, I am the planner, and before I can comfortably leave my family for the day I do whatever I can to prep for their activities. Also, my husband is a great dad, and will do his best to take care of the kids. It may not be exactly what I’d do with them (and certainly doesn’t merit a gold star) but by the time I get home, they will have survived the day without me.

Previous articleOh, The Tiny Things!
Next articleHappy Mother’s Day!
I am a native Vermonter, and even though the winters nearly drive me away each year, the beautiful landscape, supportive family, and wonderful communities keep us here! I’m also very fortunate to have a job in Clinical Research that married my love of organization with my fascination for science. As much as I love my job, our family is by far the greatest joy in my life. My husband and I have three boys and we have lived in Milton for five years. I also love running, cooking, and being outside with the boys hiking or hitting the beach!


  1. I feel like I could easily have written this article! I do the same thing, planning ahead for my hubby to be home with the kids, bathing them in advance, etc. even though I know he could handle it. We also regularly here what an “amazing” dad he is for wanting to do things with his own children and it annoys him too. It seems that dads are regularly portrayed as bumbling idiots, which is maddening and then on top of that when they perform the regular functions of a parent they are heroes! Definitely an unfair standard to set!

    • Krystal, thanks for the comment! It can be hard to fight the urge not to get everything organized and planned, even for another very capable adult! I think that’s just the mom (and possible type-a) personalities we have. It sounds like your husband is a great partner and dad!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here