“Honey, I’m feeling a little nauseous.”
That’s how it all starts, and it sounds innocent enough. Your wife complains of a little “rumbly in her tummy,” and you think she’s most likely being over-dramatic.
So you say, “You’re feeling nauseous, eh? Sounds like something I’ve dealt with my entire life. By ‘dealt with’ I mean haven’t missed a day of work AND haven’t bitched about it to anyone.”
Ok, so if you actually said this out loud to her, I commend you on your honesty and transparency in the most important of relationships. But unfortunately, I won’t be able to help you move all your stuff into the new studio apartment you were forced to rent after she threw you out of the house. I already have plans that weekend.
However, assuming your above-listed and entirely logical response was given in the inaudible and completely non-judgmental arena of your own brain, you’re probably still sitting in your recliner and feeling pretty good about yourself.
You’re thinking, “What’s the big deal? Why are you telling me about this?” You think back through every cold and flu season for the past decade, or at least the parts you can remember through the haze of DayQuil and NyQuil binges.
A few minutes later you go back to watching the game, entirely forgetting about what she said, until two hours later, when it happens. When IT happens. Yeah, that IT.
You’ve fallen asleep in front of the TV and are rudely awakened by the sound of a fully pressurized fire hose being intermittently unleashed directly into the bathroom toilet. It is accompanied by what could only be the dying groans of a long-extinct reptilian species.
You wonder what on earth an injured dinosaur is doing in your bathroom with a fire hose. So, as one is prone to do after being suddenly awoken from a bourbon-induced late-night nap, you get up to investigate.
As you near the bathroom door and are able to see inside, what you witness is too much for words. There, on her hands and knees, with her back to you and her head directly over the ol’ porcelain poop trap, is the love of your life.
“My god, this dinosaur is being such a dick. Forcing my sweet wife at hose-point to lick the inside of our toilet as a protest to the Trump administration. So that’s where all those YouTube videos came from! I knew people couldn’t be that stupid!!”
After a few moments of introspection, you decide there probably is some sort of marital-duty to save your wife from this liberal madness. You also factor in that this dinosaur sounds obviously injured. Your wife has most likely softened him up, but run out of steam in the process. All that’s left for you to do is rush into the bathroom and finish kicking his Jurassic ass.
Once the decision is made, you act decisively. But upon bursting through the bathroom door and letting out your enraged war-cry, the dinosaur is nowhere to be found. And the fire hose, where the hell is that fire hose?
It’s about this same time when your wife turns her head and says some gibberish about her hair. Her hair? Why on earth is she worried about her hair at a time like this?? We have a liberal dinosaur on the loose with what must be a stolen fire hose!
Then she says something to the effect of, “You freakin’ idiot, hold my hair so I don’t get puke on it!” And that’s when it dawns on you. There is no dinosaur. There is no fire hose. There’s just your wife. Oh my god…she really IS sick!!
Once you get her cleaned up, sprayed down with the nearest household disinfectant and put to bed, it’s time to face reality. You’ve got to take care of your wife AND kids for the next few days.
I know, I know…your head is spinning at this point. That “in sickness and in health” clause from your wedding vows is kicking in at the worst possible time. Not only is your wife sick, but also there’s little chance you’ll be able to find anyone to take care of your four-year-old and newborn on such short notice.
You’ve got a ton of projects going on at work. You’ve scheduled important meetings with clients for the very next day. Your inbox just keeps piling up. And now THIS!!
Here’s the thing to keep in mind guys: there’s a reason we go to work everyday, and it’s usually not because we think it’s just so much damn fun. We do it for our family, to take care of them, to make sure they’ve got a safe place to live and everything they need to be happy and well cared for.
Sometimes in the frenzy of workplace politics and personal pride, we lose sight of this simple fact. We don’t live life to work. We work to live life. Specifically, to live the family life. Our families should always be our highest priority.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that according to recent studies, American workers currently don’t use up to half of their allotted paid time off each year. How’s that for crazy? Our employers will PAY US to stay home and focus on our number one priority (our families), and half the time, we don’t do it.
So here’s what you need to do the next time the fire hose wielding liberal dinosaur visits your house. Before you let the inbox at work start stressing you out, calm down and remember that your company can most likely function without you for a day or two. None of us are THAT good at our job, no matter what we think of ourselves.
Explain the situation to your boss, and let him know you’ll be back in as soon as possible. Then relax, dig in, and start doing the job that no one but you can do. The job that you actually enjoy. The job of Family Man (and part-time dinosaur slayer).