Leaving on a Jet Plane
A few months ago my husband got an amazing invitation to speak at a conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Given that I have never been to Europe I told him to jump at the chance and oh, could I go too? The answer was not only yes but that most of my accommodations during the conference would also be covered. So we began making plans and deciding if all these things were actually pausible, after all, we have kids now!
That is the thing about motherhood, it changes everything. I mean, everything. When I was newly married, or even single, an opportunity like this would be an absolute no-brainer. Now? Who will watch them? Will they do well with us gone for a length of time? Writing out the schedules, make the arrangements, paying the help. It is all so overwhelming and not an easy decision at all.
Thankfully I have family and friends that recognize an opportunity when they see one and that support and encourage me to do crazy things like ten day vacation/work trips to Europe. So we began making plans.
I was sure that I could use a break from the kids, after all, they can’t possibly miss “mean mom”, right? What I wasn’t expecting is that I would have such mixed emotions about leaving my children for ten days. Sure, as a mom, I need a break now and again, but this is a BIG break! Our biggest ever. And my kids both just started school and my daughter is oh-so-attached to me. How will they react, what will they do, will they regress in behavior? It was all so unknown (and still is).
The mom guilt and anxiety is overwhelming at times. Just days before we were scheduled to leave my son came down with a sinus infection and pink eye! Not only will they need to be cared for, they will need special meds and eye drops. And the mom guilt raged on.
It has taken some strong encouragement from fellow moms to GO! To not stay home and cuddle with my babes and let the opportunity pass me by. When did I become that woman? Become that mom? It appears that somewhere in the last four years I have transformed from putting my desires first to putting my kids first and well, it is great but at times scary. They should be above my selfish desires but I had no idea how this role of being a mother would change me so much. How much I have come to need them in my life as much as they need me. It has been an amazing transformation, and as I embark on a ten day journey without them, probably my greatest fear is that it is I that won’t make it through the tens days, not them.