I’m convinced you’re either born with it or you’re not.
Some women have an innate ability to never forget what everyone around them needs at all times. And others have a borderline obsession with making sure that everything is put in its place, exactly the way they want it to be put.
So I don’t blame you, dads, for sometimes assuming that we should be the ones to pack for family vacations.
I just want to point out the obvious: It is no walk in the park to pack for a family.
And if it was as simple as a walk in the park, you’d still need to remember to pack an extra set of clothes for the baby; juice boxes and hand-sanitizing wipes for the other kids; a plastic bag and water bowl for the dog; and a cell phone in case of an emergency.
Ugh, I’m frazzled just thinking about it.
My family and I recently went on our annual family vacation. While getting ready for the trip, my cousin texted me to pick up an extra can of infant formula. Two minutes later, her husband texted, “Hey, momaha. Maybe you could have blogged about how to take your kids on vaca! My wife doesn’t know how to pack.”
That was all it took for me to dust off the ol’ soap box and text back, “Why does everyone assume that moms instinctively know what should be packed and won’t forget any of the essentials?”
Clearly, I never read the fine print in the motherhood manual that dictates how moms must assume responsibility for making sure everyone has everything they need to enjoy their vacations.
You forgot your tooth brush? My bad.
You wanted an extra pillow for the car ride? I should have known.
My husband gladly packed his own stuff when he saw steam rising from my head as I zipped up the second suitcase of “necessities” for a simple three-day excursion. He’s lived with my procrastination and grouchiness and has learned to adapt over the years.
About halfway to our vacation destination, he said, “Oh man, I forgot my swimsuit.”
All we do on this trip is drink a few cocktails and swim. He was responsible for packing two things — swimming trunks and refreshments.
Fortunately, he didn’t forget refreshment cooler. So I forgave him pretty quickly and put the soap box away.
Note: I realize this is an extreme over-exaggeration, and I’m sure there are plenty of great dads (AL WATTS!) who are more than capable of packing for themselves and others.
But I still beg the question: Why do men tend to let their wives take on the burden of packing? And don’t say we’re better at it, or I may literally reach through the screen and smack some sense into you.