I’m going on a week-long work trip, by far the longest I’ve ever left my little family and am feeling a variety of feelings (“feeling a variety of feelings” — how is that for good writing?).
I am most looking forward to the plane ride. Because it’s Business Class (baller!) and that means 13 hours of someone else bringing me food and drinks while I read and watch movies. There will be ZERO people asking me bring them milk or make them a sandwich. I will pack exactly one bag (One. Bag.). I will sleep and talk to people and get coffee and experience a new place. I will walk around with just the things I need on my person.
On the other, I will miss my family desperately. As, well, I love them like crazy and feel off-kilter when I’m not with them. I am getting a little weepy thinking about how I won’t have them to give me their soft morning cuddles; their little feet squished up to my belly, their faces close to mine. Their warmth, their softness, their cuteness. And then getting up and forcing a toothbrush into their mouths while they scream and run away from me.
An editor friend of mine mentioned this story I wrote, saying the following:
This is the advice I get from a lot of my strong lady friends: That men wouldn’t be so bereft about going on a business trip. That I need to own being the bread winner of the family. That I should go with my own advice of Thinking Like a Dad.
But, well, maybe it’s part of the female experience to miss your kids when you aren’t around them (or at least it’s part of my experience). And I deeply feel that when you attempt to be an equal partner in the home, it means you should feel guilt about leaving your spouse alone for a week to handle a job and both kids.
To not feel that is unfair, IMO.
I was talking with a neighbor who travels often for work and who also has two small kids. She said she started taking the earlier flight because the anticipation of leaving was Just Too Much. That once she got there, all of the anxiety melted away and she could focus on her job. And herself. And what she was sent to do.
So, wish me luck, Internet Friends. And send Nat a little prayer that he’ll get through the week.