Next Wednesday, March 8, also known as International Women’s Day, the same people who brought us the Women’s March on Washington in January plan to give the world “A Day Without a Woman.” In theory, you should see no women at work. They won’t be in the cubicle beside you or in the office next door. Their desks will be empty, their phones unanswered. They won’t even be seen picking up children at school, shopping for groceries at the store or taking children to the pediatrician.

And they certainly won’t be cooking dinner for their husbands.

That is, of course, unless they are part of the demographics of women the movement appears to have unwittingly overlooked: military wives and single mothers.

Trust me, in my almost 18 years of marriage, I’ve dreamed many times of walking out at 5 p.m., right when the kids are hungry, demanding and ornery, and showing my husband what an evening without my help looks and feels like. I’ve scrubbed scorched pans in hot soapy water and muttered under my breath about “what a mess this place would be” if I wasn’t picking up everyone’s shoes and hanging up wet towels. I have groaned and complained, sometimes quite loudly, about having to leave MY work to get a sick child at school while my husband stays at his.

Oh yes, I have fantasized many times about giving my husband a “Day Without (His) Woman.”

There’s just one problem: My husband is in the military.

More often than not, my husband has been out of the country or out of the state while I was complaining and muttering under my breath. And although my husband wanted to help when, for instance, the basement flooded with sewage in 2012, Uncle Sam wasn’t going to send him home from his deployment in Djibouti, Africa, to do it.

In 2006, when I was 8 months pregnant and our two older children both had pneumonia, Uncle Sam didn’t send my husband home from training in another state to help. I took one of the boys to the emergency room with a 105-degree fever, and when the doctor looked at me, so obviously and uncomfortably pregnant, he said, “You should not be around these children right now. If you catch their pneumonia while pregnant it could be very dangerous.”

I laughed at him and said, “OK, then who is going to take care of them?”

In part, it was a serious question: If I’m not supposed to take care of my children, who will? Outside of occasional babysitters, I’ve never had a nanny. My family doesn’t have a cook, and half the time, my family is missing the “Dad” part, too. I’ve never had the luxury of taking a day off.

Not even during a natural disaster.

In 2004, when Hurricane Ivan was barreling toward us in Pensacola, Florida, my Navy-pilot husband came home and said he and his squadron-mates had to fly the aircraft to safety in Tennessee. My husband battened down some porch furniture, and then he was gone. I loaded up the kids and the dog and drove to my grandmother’s nursing home in another state, where we lived for the next two weeks.

These anecdotes might lead some to believe that I — and my career and choices — have been oppressed by my husband’s inflexible job. For the most part, I see it differently. One of the most progressive things I’ve ever done is keep a family together (and fixed a dishwasher or two!) under what has sometimes been extraordinary circumstances.

Part of the desired outcome of a “Day Without a Woman” is to prove how important women are to the economy and society. I get that. I really do. It’s the same reason I fantasize about leaving at 5 p.m. and letting my husband handle dinner and homework. But can we really show our greatness and worth by shirking our responsibilities and dropping the ball for the other 50 percent of the population? If we women truly are indispensable — and I think we are — how do we reconcile leaving others to suffer and struggle in our absence? And what about the women who have no choice — no nanny, no substitute, no backup option should they be fired for abandoning their shift?

Indeed, on March 8, despite a “Day Without a Woman,” millions of women will in fact be at work. They are pediatricians whose patients need them. They are teachers with a roomful of children waiting. They are single mothers whose family depends on their income. They are military wives who, when the school says a child is sick, are the only ones available to take the call.

And march or no march, they will also prove how vital women are, so vital that they have no option but to show up, and so courageous, they do it no matter who thinks they are important or not.