Working Mom: Travel Required

5 days. 120 hours. 7,200 minutes. Vegas. Possibilities. Not endless possibilities because I am actually travelling for work but for 5 glorious days I will be kid and husband free. Cold? Callous? Maybe, but I’ll be in Vegas so who cares?

Drink 2I will sleep in a king sized bed; ALONE. I will wake up on my own; no one will be yelling for me. I will take a long hot shower; no one will be banging at the door. I will eat hot meals made of anything I want; no one will interrupt me for ketchup or milk or seconds. I will fall asleep reading in silence or with a TV on. I will watch anything I want. I will see a show; it will contain no Disney characters. I will stay up past 10pm. I WILL CONSUME WINE.

I know that I will miss my family. I will call home every night to check in, say prayers and goodnight. I will miss curling up next to my husband at the end of the day and checking on my sweet sleeping toddler long after she’s fallen asleep. I’ll even miss putting the dog out one last time and hearing her trail behind to keep us safe as we settle in for the night. The pillow top mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets should soften the blow.

Sign 2I will also do everything I can to help prepare my family for being out of our normal routine for a few days. I will set out clothes and pre-pack lunches. I will stock up on medicine and dog food, make early drop off arrangements and schedule swim make-ups. I will type up a “Don’t Forget” list which my husband will rely on even though he thinks he doesn’t need it. I will do all this because as the primary care-giver of our daughter and as the one who is leaving, that is the price of my 5 glorious days. Totally worth it.

I don’t waste time feeling guilty that I am gone. More, I don’t FEEL guilty that I will be gone. My family will survive. Truthfully, it’s a good opportunity for my husband to be the primary caregiver for our daughter and show her that marriage, career and family is an equal opportunity sport. Frankly speaking it’s a good opportunity for him to see all the things that I do despite his belief that these things just magically happen.

KidFor his part he will be tired and probably a little overwhelmed since when I am home, we divide a lot of duties but I am the organizer and the one that remembers the details. I sympathize that remembering the details and doing all the work is not easy (I know this because I do it every fall when his coaching takes over our world) but caring for our daughter is not new territory to him, he will do fine. I’ll be honest, the list I leave helps him but it is really so he does it MY way. If I left no list I would come home to a perfectly safe, happy child. To any lay person it might look like Lord of the Flies up in my house but she’d be fine.

This is a work trip and it can’t be helped. Of course not every work trip is to Vegas but the point is the same: I have worked hard for my career for a long time. Through the years I have worked long hours and weekends and vacations for my career. I like what I do. I like to travel. There is nothing wrong with that.

No one ever accused a man of not fulfilling his duties at home or loving his family less for having a career or for travelling for that career. I doubt many have even been asked how his family manages with him away. I am no different than any other parent working for their family. So, I won’t defend my position and I won’t hear any commentary on my choices either. Working and travelling doesn’t make me less of a mom. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my family as much as anyone else. This career helps provide for my family. It will help put my daughter go to college and make her choices to be a career woman, a mom or both! It teaches my daughter she can be anything she wants to be and doesn’t need to be defined by archaic standards. More importantly it’s sending me to Vegas for 5 glorious days!

Of course there is another story, so here’s what the mom with a traveling husband has to say.


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