Where are your kids tonight?

Where are your kids tonight?

Performing her award winning show Women Like Us with fellow author and comedian Mandy Nolan, Ellen gets asked one question in particular… 

My husband has been working overseas for 8 months of the year for 25 years now.  Long before our children were born, and he has never been asked, not even once, “So who has your kids this weekend?” Never’

Working in stand-up comedy means working mostly evenings, and couple that with living in a regional area, it also means travelling away from home a lot.  So for the last 11 years, when I head off to do comedy, I have been leaving my kids in the care of someone else, sometimes a babysitter, and sometimes their very own father!  What horror!

My husband has been working overseas for 8 months of the year for 25 years now.  Long before our children were born, and he has never been asked, not even once, “so who has your kids this weekend?” Never.

When I book a gig, I immediately look at my husband’s calendar to see if he will be home.  If he won’t, I then have to organise kid/animal/farm/house stuff.  He heads off to work with his biggest worry being whether it’s going to be hot or cold when he lands and if I have locked the shed so his motorbike won’t get stolen.

Regularly I am working with youngish males who are neither married or have kids and their biggest responsibility is ironing their stage t-shirt, which mostly they don’t manage very well.  Occasionally they notice I’m there and ask me how I am, and I am so tempted to tell them the truth.  Well, I’m a little bit stressed actually.  My dog is getting really old and sick, I had to pull a giant python out of the chook pen before I left tonight and one of my kids has gone to a party in a really remote area where they are towing each other around on the bonnet of a car very close to a fire.  How are you?  Of course I don’t tell them that.  I just listen to them talk about how they ‘killed’ on stage and think about how I am going to kill that kid at home if he hasn’t finished that assignment that is due.

Ellen

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