I wrote earlier this morning about some of the realities of preparing to leave home and travel for work. In my own life, I have been able to avoid work travel until my children are older teenagers, but it is still not a walk in the park. Even though we can adjust and handle it, it is not easy–my kids miss me and I miss them; I also miss out on many daily details that I would ordinarily take care of.
I noticed when I was gone to Scandinavia last fall that while I did not ache for my children as I think I would have when they were younger, I did think of them constantly. I had e-mails from them to keep me up to date and full of questions about what I was up to, but I had nagging feelings that I was missing out on important moments when they needed me and that things were falling by the wayside. Sure enough, when I returned from two full weeks of long working days and across-the-world travel, it took me a couple more weeks to catch up and patch my family back together. Things had happened where they thought they had “needed a mom” and I wrestled with the guilt and energy of getting things back on track. Of course, it was not anything major, but we have been such a close family and I have been the primary involved parent, so they missed me and I had to make up for being gone.
In all honesty, there were things about being away, working as adult, that I liked. It was strange and a bit liberating to only have to get myself up in the morning and to be able to go to bed at night without making sure everyone was where they should be. Of course, I still worried only I was thousands of miles away and couldn’t do anything about it! I also think it was good for all four of us to experience the distance and have to start learning how we can adjust, prepare and cope with it. Traveling as a single parent (and for our children)is not going to be easy, but that doesn’t mean that it cannot be done or that we cannot process our feelings and difficulties and figure out how to adjust to it.
See Also: the TRAVEL Blog