A Gold Star

by Jen Mitchell
Originally Published: 

My husband and I have four children.

Included in these four children in a set of triplets. So we have one older child (6) and a set of triplets (3). Yes, our life is as crazy as you think it would be.

Thankfully, my husband and I are a very good team. When you are given, er blessed, with a set of triplets which bring the number of kids you have from 1 to 4 kids ages 2 and under, you need to come together and work together to survive.

It is simple as that.

I know that this is not as the case because after all, parents of multiples have a 75 to 80% divorce rate.

Jeff, my husband, and I pretty much share the parenting duties as much as we can. But since I only work two days a week, more of my time is spent with the kids. So more often than not, I am the one meeting the needs of the kids.

I take them grocery shopping with me. I fix all the meals. I make sure that everyone gets to school, clothed and fed. I make sure that everything is done in terms of keeping them healthy. I make sure they are wearing appropriate clothes for the season. I make sure they are clean. I wake up with the crying in the night.

Jeff helps out when he is home but most of the time all tasks kid are completed by me.

That being said, there is one weekend a month that I have to work. I am an RN and I work 12 hour shifts, 7am to 7pm. So on Saturday and Sunday once a month, Jeff and the kids are without me.

On the last weekend that I had to work, Jeff decided that he should take the kids to church since we recently got back in the habit of going and had just overcome all the kid’s fears of being left in Sunday school

I agreed with him and since the kids were awake before I left for work, I laid out their Sunday clothes and did Claire’s hair, just to help him out a little.

To be honest, I had my doubts that he would be able to pull this off because normally on a Sunday morning when we are getting ready, I am the one that feeds the kids, gets them dressed, packs snacks, and dresses myself in the time it takes him to shower and dress himself.

When I called Jeff later in the day, I found out that he not only successfully took the kids to church but he also took them to visit his Grandma in the nursing home and took them out to eat for lunch.

I hung up the phone with him and began to sulk.

“What’s wrong?” a co-worker friend of mine asked.

“Oh nothing. I am just in a bad mood.” I replied.

“Why?” she asked probing for more information.

“Oh, Jeff took the kids to church and his Grandma’s and out to lunch and nothing happened,” I answered.

My answer was met with a blank look from my friend so I went on, “He took the kids out all by himself and it was no big deal. The kids all behaved. There were no melt downs, no peeing in the store, no fighting, no begging, nothing. His outing went off without a hitch.”

My friend looked at my sympathetically.

“And you know what is worst of all?” I said. “Now he will give me that look when I tell him of the terrible trip to the store I had with the kids. You know the one I am talking about, the look that says, ‘I don’t know what you are bitching about, taking the kids out is not hard’ Oh man, I hate that look.”

“So what did you want to happen?” she asked.

“Well for starters,” I said, “they don’t have to get on so well without me. Maybe a phone call or too asking me how to do stuff or something going wrong like a kid pooping their pants. You know the stuff that happens to me.”

My friend just looked at me, “You wanted him to fail?” she asked with a tone that said I had lost my mind.

“Well, no. That would be kind of mean,” I said, “But I just don’t want to have to go to church next week and hear from all the other woman about what an awesome husband I have. I don’t want them to tell me that he is a ‘super dad’ and ‘should get a big gold star’. He just took the kids out, something that I do almost daily. It really is no big deal.”

“So basically,” she said, “You want a gold star too?”

“Yeah.” I said, “where is my mother effing gold star?”

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