The title of this blog may be a little bit misleading as I wouldn’t necessarily call travelling from Scarborough to Barrie “Business Travel” as it was literally an hour and 15 minute drive away. But I did have to stay overnight and it gave me an idea of how, we, as a family would handle it should my job require a small degree of travel again. And other than my gut wrenching guilt and missing the little monster, I think it went well.
I used to travel for work, A LOT. I was basically gone for a week every month, and I loved it. I got to stay on the Upper West Side of New York City steps away from Times Square and Broadway; so close I could feel the city breathing. In Chicago I experienced the best shopping on the “Mile”, the best deep dish pizza at Gino’s and Lou’s and the best blues at Buddy Guy’s. I was lucky enough to drink Hurricanes and Hand Grenades dancing up and down Bourbon St. in New Orleans until we closed it down and I went to Las Vegas so many times I think I stayed at almost every hotel on the strip. And I did it all for free; I got to stay in luxury hotels, eating at the best restaurant and the companies I worked for or the partners we worked with paid for it. Don’t get me wrong I worked very hard, but I played just as hard too.
So when I re-joined the work force I made it very clear that business travel would have to be limited as I didn’t want to spend an extra second away from “This Face” as I thrust my phone with the latest picture of Henry into the interviewer’s nose. (Luckily my new boss thinks he’s cute too and hired me)
So when I was asked to go up to Barrie for some training for one night, at first I had an Ally McBeal vision sequence of me frolicking around a gorgeous hotel room, child free, taking candlelight rose petal bubble baths, waking up like Cinderella all rosy cheeked and well rested with birds removing my blankets and squirrels slipping on my shoes. But instead I got the Best Western Royal Oak and it was more like a nightmare than a fantasy. (see my review here)
But I learned a few things on the overnight training trip and these things will help me survive the next one should it come up.
- They can and will survive without you. Soap may not touch their bodies and they may watch too much TV and have cookies for dinner but rest assured your partner can handle it.
- Skype/FaceTime is overrated but also so necessary. They may not say much and probably wonder how you replaced Elmo on the screen (especially with a toddler) but seeing their face (and seeing they are alive) eases your anxiety.
- Your child will miss you, but probably not as much as you will miss them. My husband swears our son asked for me while I was gone, but judging from Henry’s reaction when I came home (his eyes barely moved from the “Wheels on the bus” sing-a-long channel) I am thinking my husband was saying that to make me feel better.
- You will love being away from them but guilt creeps in like the bitch he/she is. After about 30 minutes in my car, blasting my Flow93.5 Throwback Thursday tunes the reality of I am not going to be there to put him to bed or kiss any booboo’s or sing-songs with him because I am going to be working set in and I had to fight back the “bad mommy” tears and start my newest “Working Mommy Mantra” of “It’s only for one night and it’s for the betterment of our family. Money is required to put a roof over his head, and food in his belly and this is how I contribute my share”
- You will be constantly checking your phone and not to check Facebook or Twitter you don’t want to miss a call or a text! What if there is an emergency? What if he needs his Mama? What if he does something cute? The What If’s will have you checking your phone like it’s the only thing keeping your heart beating.
I am guessing just like my urge to check-in with the daycare every hour has substantially subsided the longer I am back to work, these things too shall change if I travel more. And I know it was only one night and there is no way I missed much. But one thing is for certain, after this experience I know now that I can never go back to the level of travel I did prior to having Henry, that level of guilt and anxiety I could never handle.