I’ve literally been OTR (On the Run) all summer. I was blessed to with the opportunity to represent Dr. Miracle’s in 11 cities (in 9 weekends) in addition to other engagements that required my travel. So basically my summer consisted of me leaving my family every Friday and Saturday (and sometimes Sundays). This is the most I’ve traveled in my life. In my 20’s when I was a young whippersnapper trying to climb the corporate latter I only traveled one week a month at most. Having a husband and two kids, traveling is not the same. I wanted to share what I learned from this experience of being a jet-setting mama.
When I had Peyton I never wanted to leave her. When I went back to work after maternity leave, she stayed with my mother and I would go see her on my lunch break every day. I would leave straight from work to pick her up. I was extra. I didn’t spend a night away from her until she was one year. I cried all the way to the airport. I was leaving my baby! How would she survive without me? I came back and cried again. I felt guilty for leaving her (but I had fun). As she got older it was easier to leave but I still didn’t leave that often. Maybe twice a year.
Fast forward to the year of our Lord, 2018. When I was contacted about this opportunity to go on tour I was excited but quickly remembered I had two kids. How was I going to leave them? Could my husband handle it? They need their mama!
The first trip I was only gone 24hrs. No one cried when I left. I came back with a sinus infection. I’m not built like I was in my 20s. Kids were excited to see me. After the 2nd trip away the kids were like PEACE Mommy! Peyton would get on the bus for school and I would let her know that I would see her Saturday evening. She would say ok and get on the bus. Halfway through the tour, the girls were like “Oh, you were gone?” I swear they threw more of a fit if I left them to go to Target alone.
So here is what I learned:
- Kids will understand. The first couple of times they may throw a fit but then they learn that “Mommy will be back”. They eventually understand you are coming back. Just like adjusting to dropping them off at daycare, kids will soon understand.
- Husbands/Fathers can handle it. First let me say they don’t do it like you do but at the end of the day, your child will be safe and feed. One time I called my husband at 8:30pm and they were just eating dinner. We normally eat at 5pm. It wasn’t on my schedule but they ate. They may also look like a well put together mess but at least they are wearing clean clothes.
- Kids become more independent. I swear my girls can do so many more things for themselves this summer. Harper has even tried to make her own PBJ (she’s used to 5pm dinners). I even potty trained Harper this summer. Mister even kept it up while I was gone. Now Harper goes on her own and (may or may not wash her hands).
- I needed this time away. I’ve been home full time with two kids for almost 3 years. No nanny, no sitters. Just me 24/7. I hold it down Monday through Friday while my husband works with no breaks. Traveling gave me time to relax, work and eat without interruptions (and gained 10lbs). I was feeling like a queen not having to cut food, pick utensils off the floor or run to the bathroom every 15 minutes.
During this time alone I felt like me again. When I say “me again” I’m talking about being a person outside of motherhood. For 24-36 hours I was able to just worry about me for a change. I didn’t have to drive, cook or clean. I knew my kids were being taken care of by Mister and I could do what I had to do.
I remember when some of my friends had to travel for jobs or take trips I always said I couldn’t do it. I thought they were crazy for wanting to leave their kids whether they had to or just wanted to. Now I get it. We need it. We are not men but they don’t think twice about leaving. My husband works late almost every night. Does he feel guilty? No, because he is doing what he needs to do knowing that I’m holding it down. It’s ok for him to do the same for me.
I’m saying all that to say, it’s ok to take time for yourself, even if you have to travel alone. We need time to reboot and recharge. This is self-care! Moms’ work hard and we deserve a break. Just make sure your kids are in good hands. I’m living my best life this fall! I’ve got a few more trips booked with and without the kids. Make sure you follow me on Instagram to keep up.
Do you travel without your kids?