Since I have become the parent who stays at home for the children, there has been something impressed upon me over and over again: you can not be around the same bunch of assholes 24/7.
Doubly so if it’s the holidays.
Triple-ly so if it’s your family.
In case you haven’t read anything else here, or you just can’t remember, this holiday for my family and I was different than all of the others (not because I had the kids do the X-Mas shopping) but because it was the first holiday that we were on our own (e.g We have no relations that live in Florida).
As per usual, my wife elected to be on call this past holiday (she’s a nurse FYI) because the likelihood of her having to go into to work is pretty fucking slim. It’s her way of sneaking a little bit of a break into her stress-addled career.
That being said, everything lined up to where there was no need for me to leave the house at all.
The kids were out of school for two weeks.
The girls (who have gymnastics) were off for two weeks because the people who take our money apparently get tired out from doing just that.
(The wife, in total worked all of 8 hours over those two weeks).
Nice little family togetherness time, right?
Don’t get me wrong, there were nice moments here and there (the kids opening their presents, me and the missus getting out of the house on a couple of dates…) but they were completely dwarfed by the fact that we were all getting at each other’s throats.
A couple of asides: we don’t live in a “social desert” (e.g there’s no one for our kids to hang out with). There’s plenty of kids the same age as our children. Kids palling around with other like-minded kids gets old after a while if it’s the only thing at your disposal.
What our current area can be described as is a “cultural desert” (e.g. their are no museums, no “Little Italy’s”, etc.). Where we live there’s nothing but Urban Sprawl. If you want cultural, you have to drive at least 30 minutes in any direction or else plan extensively.
Additionally, when you are in an “on-call” situation (regardless of the field you are employed in), you’re basically chained to wherever you live because you have to be at work within a certain time frame.
Suffice it to say, these past holidays were rough.
Two days before everyone went back to their usual routine of work and school, I hearkened back to my days of home-schooling (more on that later) the children: I got out of the house, on my own, as much as possible. Bike rides, visiting family, going to one of a kind book stores, you name it, I tried to fucking do it.
Over the two holiday weeks, I did little things (like working out and playing video games) in an effort to take my mind off the fact that I wanted to sneak into my children’s room at night, give them each a reverse mohawk with a set of rusty nail clippers, and then fart on their heads upon exit.
It wasn’t enough.
I suppose I didn’t get out of the house partially out of guilt: I knew that I could be doing more as far as being a part of my family and I knew that if I left my wife at home with the children, things could sour for everyone rather quickly. Additionally, my wife couldn’t go anywhere that would take her more than 20 minutes away from the house.
Should you ever find yourself in that situation, I cordially invite you to give that noise the finger.
If you need to get out of the house, get out of the fucking house. If there’s something at stake, like the sake of your bond between your significant other (or your mental health), just make sure that you communicate your need to be an individual out in the world on his or her own in a way that doesn’t make said significant other feel like shit.
It is that simple.
Have a horror story you’d like to share? Wanna give me my what-fors? Let’s hear it in the comments at the top of this post!