My Divorce Diary

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Two and a half years ago, we took a family vacation to Florida. We spent about 13 hours in the car (each way) with a 3-year-old, 2-year-old and 8-month-old.

I was so full of joy to be with our family in the minivan.

No – seriously – I was giddy with excitement. All of a sudden everything seemed like it was getting easier, and the sun was shining, and VACATION!

I even spent most of the drive there and back documenting our trip – with minute-by-minute updates of cute things the kids said and how much we paid for gas and when someone flooded the gas station bathroom. You can read more about that trip here.

So when we ventured out the day after Christmas for another drive to Florida, I was equally excited. Our kids were older, so I figured it would be even easier. We were going further south, so I figured it would be even warmer.

And just like last time, I brought my notebook and a pen and planned to take notes on all of the magical things that happened on our 18-hour (one-way) road trip.

But I spent most of hours 1 and 2 stopping at gas station and fast food bathrooms so that Alice could throw up.

And then on hour 4, I came down with a fever, headache and terrible aches and chills.

And then at some point, the 2-year-old also came down with a fever and chills.

Oh – and guess what – just because mom has a fever on a road trip doesn’t mean that anyone is less demanding or whiny or needy in the car. You know?

So, naturally, what was supposed to be my sweet diary of our trip and a place to record all of the fun and sweet things that were going to happen on the 18-hour drive became a diary of all of the reasons that I should divorce Even Steven.

(A quick hello to my mother-in-law. Don’t worry – everything’s fine. We’re still married!)

But – seriously – nothing is more annoying than Even Steven on a family road trip.


Even Steven

First of all, he’s all chipper and excited and full of energy. He’s got his coffee and his cruise control, and guess what happens when you’re driving? You get to ignore the kids.

Which is usually great – but not when I’m struggling to survive.

Okay – that’s a little dramatic, but still, I had a fever! And my heated seat wasn’t quite hot enough to combat the chills. Total misery.

My divorce diary had several entries by the end of the trip, but these were the highlights:

1. I would work hard to get all three kids happy at the same time. One would be using the Rainbow loom. One of them would be eating a snack. Another would be coloring a picture. I would turn around, close my eyes for a minute – and all of a sudden Even Steven would start excitedly yelling for everyone to LOOK AT THIS OBSCURE THING THAT I CAN BARELY SEE AND YOU DEFINITELY WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE IT BUT WE SHOULD ALL SEE IT.


He would interrupt happy kids and a sick and tired mama to make us try to see a random building that we had already passed and that had no meaning to us.

And then the kids would whine and cry because they couldn’t see it. And then someone would drop their snack and someone would kick someone else, and I would have to make another note in my trip diary / divorce journal – and press really, really hard with my pen. Because that helps sometimes.

Even Steven

2. I would work hard to get all three kids sleeping at the same time. There is very specific music involved in this. Special blankets. Stuffed animals. Window shades. Rubbing of ankles and feet. And without fail, within 20 minutes of all three kids sleeping, Even Steven would need to stop for coffee.

Like – it’s possible that he would die if he didn’t get his coffee right then.

Guess who has kids that wake up when the car stops?

Well – pretty much everyone in the world – and me.

Even Steven

3. If he didn’t need to stop for coffee, he needed to listen to the radio. I would work hard to get all three kids asleep at the same time, and despite our vast CD collection that is literally SAVED into the internal memory of the minivan – Even Steven would wait until the kids were sleeping to decide that he wanted to listen to the radio.

The radio in the random town that we’re driving through so we don’t know a single station. That radio.

So we’d all get to listen to static, random channels and more static for about 3 – 5 seconds each as he scanned through stations.

Guess who has kids that wake up when static, people talking and more static are blaring in their ears?

If you guessed my kids, then you are the great big winner. You’ve won a road trip vacation with Even Steven! Woo hoo!

Even Steven

4. It has always been our vacation “tradition” that when we stay overnight in a hotel room, I get the kids ready the next morning while Even Steven loads up the car.

And – without fail – on the way to Florida and the way home – Even Steven would pack my purse deep into the back of the minivan. Like – need to stop the car, unpack several items, find the purse and then repack everything – while looking like this the entire time:

Even Steven

And I would like to add that I even tried to hide my purse the second time, but he found it and then later bragged about finding it and still insists that I would have forgotten it at the hotel.

Me: I was hiding it from you. So that you wouldn’t PUT IT IN THE BACK OF THE MINIVAN.

Even Steven: Whatever. You would have left it at the hotel. You should be thanking me.

Me: What kind of an idiot thinks that a PURSE doesn’t need to be in the front seat? A purse that holds my cell phone and every single thing I need in order to survive this trip?

Huh – I guess now I remember what we were arguing about that prompted this response from Simon.

5. And – probably the biggest offense of all – we were all starving. Like – so hungry the kids were crying, but we’re in the middle of nowhere and can’t find a place to stop kind of starving.

When we finally found a Chick-fil-A – Even Steven decided to go in and order to help save time.

And you know what he came out with?

GRILLED chicken nuggets for the kids. With apple slices instead of fries. And water instead of milk.

Are you kidding me?

Tell me who decides on hour 13 of an 18-hour trip that we should start eating healthier?

That would be this guy:

Even Steven

Ultimately, I’ve decided not to divorce Even Steven for these (major!) road trip offenses for two reasons:

#1 – He drove the entire 18 hours there and back.

Well, I drove for about 30 minutes in Georgia, but we ran into construction, and it started raining, and then I started crying and made him drive instead. So he basically drove the entire way.

#2 – This is a biggie – how could I divorce someone that is this freaking hot?

Even Steven's Favorite Color

Pretty much makes up for all of his offenses (except for #5. There will never be forgiveness for #5.)

Have you ever thought about divorcing your husband on a road trip? Have you ever surprised your hungry kids with a “healthy” fast food meal? Have you ever thought that 18 hours took at least 20 years to pass?


  1. Bethany Bauer

    January 23, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Along around 4pm, daily, I start thinking I want a divorce. Every single time we make the THREE hour drive to my in-laws’ in PA, I start thinking I want a divorce. Any time I do baths and he does KP…you got it…I start thinking I want a divorce.
    But then, the kids go to bed, and I realize I don’t really want a divorce, I just want a wife. Wives are such USEFUL creatures.

    Thirty six hours in a car…you need a halo.

  2. Thersea

    January 23, 2014 at 7:54 am

    We drove from Alabama to Michigan (like almost Canada Michigan) this summer and I can totally relate. It was 20+ hours one way and we didn’t stop over night. We have 3 kids- ages 3, 4, and 8 and while it certainly could have been worse if fevers and vomiting and Even STeven were involved- it still is a trip that I have nightmares about having to make again.

  3. Sarah

    January 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

    The key for me is to be the driver. The kids don’t pester their dad in the passenger seat, it is mind boggling. If I sit there for 30 seconds, each kids has 10 requests, but if I am driving, they ask for nothing. Plus, I am a much better driver.

  4. Lisa R. Petty

    January 23, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Oh, where do I begin. First of all, I HATE planes. HATE THEM. I have to take medication to avoid having panic attacks on them, but I hate car trips more. I have IBS, so I would also be stopping at those bathrooms on a normal day. Nothing makes me have to go more than a sign that says “Next rest area 50 miles.” I have to GO instantly then.
    I only have one kid, and he is 16. Literally, he could have driven part of the way. It will get better. When your kids are teens, they will ignore you. It will be blissful and sad all at once. Just focus on the bliss.

  5. Elizabeth

    January 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I have an only child and our best friends have an only child. We take 90% of our vacations together. Best decision ever is leaving husbands at home!!! We have the mom/kid trip down!!!! I drive, she deals with the perfect little angels;) We don’t argue about when to stop (because we only stop when someone actually NEEDS to stop), we don’t argue about food (because we eat good on vacation), we don’t argue about purses (because we know what the other one needs in the front seat because we are both female and actually USE our brains), and we save a fortune on gas and hotels by splitting everything. The best part is that we can bitch to eachother about the kids and we “get” why the other is bitching and we don’t have to hear men gripe more than kids!!!!

    Some trips are forced husband trips. They do have their perks. Like leaving the kids and just happening to be gone all day shopping and eating while “going out really quick to pick up the rental car.” Oops:).

    We haven’t taken a plane trip with them by ourselves yet. That may prove to be a mistake when it happens. We need help carrying all of our crap that we can’t live without.

  6. Kim

    January 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

    You just described a road trip with my husband exactly! He does all of the same things and then some… being grouchy because he had to pull over so a kiddo could pee. Yet he’s the one that set up same kid in the back with 3 juice boxes before leaving. Right, like a 4 yr old has any self control!

    My parents live 4 hours away and we visit 4-5 times a year with our 3 kids (1,4,6)

    He too loads the van and he grumbles that I’m being too controlling when I repack the van so my purse and the diaper bag are within arms reach instead of in the far back buried under luggage. Did I mention we live in Canada and half of our trips take place in the winter?

    Yet I refrain from saying “OK Genius… get out and dig around for a diaper bag at -25 Celcius in the middle of a snow storm when the baby has had a blowout poop and needs not only a new diaper, but new cloths!”

    Nice to know I’m not the only one who puts up with this stuff from their ” better half”. I love him to death, but you ‘d think after 13 years together and 3 children he would have this road trip thing figured out.

    Maybe it’s a man thing.

    Thanks for the post. It made me laugh and I feel better knowing its not just my husband, but perhaps ALL husbands

  7. Shannon Hobock

    January 23, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I think about divorcing my husband every time we have to clean house at the same time for an event at our house. We both yell and think the other isn’t working hard enough. I consider assault with a broom. It’s rough. Then we finish and we’re back to normal.

  8. Jayme

    January 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    We have serious discussions about divorce as we are packing up our camper for our trips in the summer. EVERY. Single.Trip almost leads to divorce. My husband is guilty of not stopping enough for bathroom breaks (“We’re in the middle of nowhere”) and it causes major outrage because we have a bathroom strapped to the bed of our truck! Gah!

    This was a great post, thanks for sharing!

  9. Jenni

    January 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Who decides to eat healthier on hour 13 of a 18 hour road trip:) lol. That made me just blow pop out of my nose. The purse thing happens to me every.single.time!!! I’m glad I’m not the only one!!:)

  10. sparkling74

    January 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Awesome post. How can someone be so oblivious just because he’s in the driver’s seat? I dont’ know how you dealt with all of it with a fever!!!

  11. danee

    January 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I had no idea…..the “grilled chicken nuggets” made me throw up in my mouth a little. I am totally terrified of what they look like. I like my nuggets breaded to within an inch of their lives so I don’t have to see the weird colors variations and odd texture changes.

    Vacations with kids are tough regardless of what age and who what when where. In fact, after we’d been to Disney twice, we tried to go somewhere not categorized as a theme park. About 12 hours in, I declared I had solved the age old mystery of why people continue to go to Disney year after year- well besides the fact that it is Disney and who doesn’t love the mouse? The reason is because the kids are happy at Disney. If the kids are happy….mom and dad are happy. If the kids are “bored”….everyone is miserable.

    It’s funny that you drove to FL. See we lived out of Michigan (I still count you as a MI-der) and I can t understand that nobody else drives to FLorida. We lived in NC and flew to FL. Something about Michiganders….they love to drive to FL even though the trip is 10,0000 miles and takes 3 days each way nonstop. Add a few kids under age 5, some Schuler’s Bar Cheese, and you have a party.

  12. Marya

    January 24, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Why is it that husbands always put your purse with every single important item in it in the trunk? Makes NO sense! My Dad does it too!

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