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Philosophical Monday: The Division of Labor on Vacation

bettyCHhawaiiOne of the most interesting aspects of going to Hawaii with a baby has been splitting the baby work w/ my husband. Since I’m a write-at-home mom, it’s usually my MIL and I doing the majority of the work, with CH taking care of Betty in the mornings — she’s asleep by the time he gets home.

But since it’s understood that when I say “Yay, vacation!” I mean “Yay! More time to write!” CH has taken on more of the Betty care and we’ve fallen into a bit of a rhythm. CH makes most of the bottles, but I always feed Betty her first and last meals of the day. CH loads everything into the car, while I put Betty in the car seat. I carry Betty from the car at the end of the night, while CH pushes the stroller. I put usually put Betty down for naps,  but CH is there when she wakes up. And I write while the baby sleeps, while CH watches episodes of Angel — which he shockingly didn’t watch first-run like I did. He’s also been taking Betty for walks between her first and second naps, so that I could finish working on that day’s chapters.

Consequently, I got the sci-fi novel rewrite done two days ahead of schedule. Amazing.

It’s been so nice, and we’re both a little sad about going back to the regular schedule on Tuesday. But like my friend, Kalimba, once said right before she decided not to move out of LA and settle down in a less complicated city, “I’m not sure if I love it here because this is how I want to live or if I love it here because I’m on vacation.”

Of course, it would be awesome to write all the time, with someone else making the bottles and getting the baby when she wakes up early from naps, but then CH would go crazy, just like I would go crazy if that was my only job. Ah, well. Vacation over. And I’m happy as always to get back to my beloved LA.

Still, this has me wondering, how do other mothers divide up the baby care with their husbands, and how does that change when you’re on vacation?


Ernessa T. Carter is the author of the novel, 32 CANDLES, which will be released by HarperCollins/Amistad on June 22, 2010. Pre-order your copy on Amazon here.