Mama’s Day Off

Knowing he would be out of state most of this week (he’s visiting family in Alabama), my dear husband decided last week that I needed a day out on the town.  Beau surmised correctly that in his absence I solely would be in charge of rearing our four hellions, and he thought I might need a few hours of quiet to find my center before I jumped into that particular marathon.

So he sent me to Billings with his work pickup and the flatbed trailer.

I followed his itinerary for the day, which went like this:

1 — Big Sky Steel in Lockwood for various pieces of steel

2 — Billings Machine & Welding, near the Metra, for bushings

3 — Harbor Freight on Grand for a welding helmet

4 — Costco for lunch, because it’s easy to park a trailer there and also because my kids have me trained:  what else would I desire for lunch besides a $1.50 hot dog?

5 — RMI Pipe on the South Frontage Road for sucker rod

6 — Truth North Steel on Gabel for a culvert

7 — the last stop of the day, Shipton’s on Gabel for… for… (this is where I ran into the elderly gentlemen with thick gray sideburns down to his jaws who much to his frustration quickly discerned that I do not speak the language of discharge hose, female quick couplers, and gaskets)


By the end of the itinerary my load looked like this:


I pulled it home in the wind.

And that, folks, is my husband’s idea of a Mama’s Day Off.

To be fair, it’s more apt to say that this is the kind of Mama’s Day Off that is achievable for us at this stage of our lives… in what I believe is this particularly crazy life we’re leading.

The relaxing part of the day was that I didn’t have kids with me for most of it.  Initially Beau swore he could keep the kids as I journeyed to town.  But then his to-do list for that day grew from desk work to Oh, you know, building a new lead-up alley at the Froze-to-Death Corrals.

Let’s be realistic, I had to say.  I have a hard time getting the laundry done with our kids helping.  Me going to Billings to run chores for you isn’t going to save you any time if you’re at home with the kids.  We’re going to have to divide and conquer.

So I talked my sweet cousin, God bless her, into babysitting our children that day.   By the time I got back to her house to pick them up I could barely squish them into the pickup cab… because while I was eating my hot dog at Costco I might’ve done a little Christmas shopping!

What really made that day worthwhile for my weary Mama’s heart was the silence in the cab between dropping the kids off and picking them up.  Gave me time to clear the cobwebs… to hear my own thoughts… and then to listen to podcasts!  Podcasts — which I play through my iPhone on the vehicle radio — are my new thing.  (I know!  I’m becoming such a techie!)  The particular podcasts I listen to provide a reliable source of encouraging words for my life stage.  Some of my favorites are…

– Family Life Today

– Focus on the Family

– Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk

– the Crystal Paine Show

– Read-Aloud Revival with Sarah Mackenzie

– What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bogel

– Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

– the Dave Ramsey Show

– the Trim Healthy Mama Podcast

– Famous at Home

– FlyLady and Friends


The encouraging words I heard that day gave me needed strength to get through the solo-parenting week I’m in now.  Ah, these Blake kids aren’t too tough to handle… especially when they’re sleeping like they are now  : )

© Tami Blake

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