Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Survey Says?

Over the weekend, I read a fabulous book, Made to Stick. If you liked Blink or The Tipping Point, you’ll like this one, too. One of the things the book talked about was the original Don’t Mess With Texas anti-littering campaign. The goal of the campaign was to get the typical Texan, affectionately referred to as Bubba by the ad exec guys, to believe that people like him didn’t litter. By changing his perception of himself, they were able to dramatically reduce littering across the state.

Over the weekend, Mr. WG spoke to his mother. “Well, I’ve thought about it,” she said. “You shouldn’t take D. or Baby J. on the cruise with you this summer. I’ll buy a ticked and come and watch them for you.”

Now, the problem with this – beyond the obvious problem of, hello? What do you mean you thought about it? You’ve decided? WHO ARE YOU? – is that it doesn’t mesh with my perception of myself. I don’t think of myself as the kind of parent who leaves the kids behind. I think of myself as the martyr, the classic, “No, don’t bother changing the light bulb. No, really, it’s fine, I’ll sit in the dark. You’re busy. Don’t worry.”

That’s stupid, right? If she’s offering to PAY FOR HER OWN TICKET and watch the kids, I should go for that, right? I don’t know, Internet. What do you think?


lisa said...

Uh...yeah! You'll have a much better time managing 2 kids than 4. You are a mother of four children! You need time to recharge and relax. And it won't happen if you're trying to keep four kids happy and entertained.

Dee said...

I say take her up on the offer.

Now...if only I can get my MIL or SIL to make a similar offer for a trip we'd like to take in July (though my ILs won't have to fly, merely drive an hour-and-a-half).

Anonymous said...

I say - take her up on her offer, unless you'll spend the entire cruise
1) feeling guilty
2) missing them
3) wondering every second if they are okay

You know yourself and whether you are the type of person who would do those 3 things. If you think you'll feel guilty for about the first 5 minutes and then you will enjoy a well deserved vacation, well then why not!?!?!

Emily said...

Uh... I don't know you. At all...but, I've followed your blog and I really enjoy keeping up on your life. And, I'd say go for it. The same as everyone above...if you can go and not worry constantly, use the break that she has offered. And then, I think some cruises have daycare and maybe you could even get a break by yourself and your husband......I'm not sure. I don't know your specifics, but I'd say..think about it... and go for it if you can do it without worrying. Good luck making the decision.

Meira (comments AT voirdire DOT org) said...

I have to agress with anonymous -- if you're ok being apart from them, and you feel 90% sure she'll take good-enough care of them, you should probably do it.
Although on a personal level, I don't know that I could do it. The thought makes my insides feel chaotic. Like it's triggering a control issue for me or something . . .

Anonymous said...

My first thought would be how happy you're likely to be in either scenario. If you take all the kids, you have control, and I assume, given your MIL's record, you may not be altogether comfortable with her teaching the kids "bad habits" if left in charge? Plus, being in your house!

If you have all the kids, can you relax and enjoy as much as you'd like? I imagine the cruise would have kidsclub activities, and a creche?

Maybe sit down and draw up a list of pros and cons for each scenario, complete with all your subliminal worries and "what if" thoughts! See if that clarifies things. Also, see which scenario your DH likes better and discuss your concerns with him.

Hopefully things will be clearer then. Oh, and maybe ask the (other) kids what they think? That could have an impact too! They might miss their siblings?

Good luck, and enjoy your holiday, no matter what!