Some consider the set up of our family unusual. My husband stays home with our children and I am the breadwinner. Although I work from home, on occasion my job requires that I travel. Usually I am gone for just a few manageable days and only about a plane ride no more than an hour and a half away. That is until recently.
With a new initiative on the horizon, I was making travel plans for an international trip that would have me away from my family for 7 days. My confidence was shaken in my husband’s ability to be on his own with two very young children. Not because I thought he couldn’t do it, but because it is a lot to handle and it is relentless. If they were older I would have no worries, but when everyone requires something at all times and no one can even dress themselves it is a daunting challenge. He saw it too.
We asked my mother to come up for the week and Gigi was pleased to offer her help and made plans for her time with Brenton and Emerson. I felt a sense of relief that she would be there. Relief for myself. I did not want to leave my guys, but I had to go.
When the day came Brenton was convinced I would be flying the plane. After my trip a few weeks earlier he convinced himself that I was a pilot. I thought why not that would be very exciting. Much more exciting than the life of a training specialist.
Crying was not an option until I was out the door. Gigi provided Brenton with comfort and a distraction and I was grateful. I shed a few tears of sadness and relief that soon it would be over and I would be gone and back before I knew it.
Being overseas was empowering in many ways. I realized I can be away from my family and not melt into a puddle of tears. I am stronger than I thought. Video chat is very helpful. Also staying busy is useful as well. It is a far better thing to make use of the down time I had to see the sights then to stay cooped up in a hotel room missing my family.
Taking pictures everywhere I went to show my children how exciting mommy’s travels were. I relished the opportunity to see a city where I had not been before. It was an experience I will never forget proving I am a competent business woman and world traveler.
At times I consider the impact of our nontraditional arrangement on our children and what kind of men my boys will one day become. Will they seek out someone who wants to stay home with the children or who want to work? As long as they are strong and intelligent and will challenge them and make them happy, I will support them no matter what type of life they choose.
All I can hope is that I have been a good role model for them to take the path less travelled if that is what you want to do. Sometimes there are challenges in doing things differently, but if I was afraid of what people thought my boys would not exist at all. Nontraditional is my tradition in many ways. My mother has always said I choose the hard road. I tend to disagree with the fact that it is harder than any others. It is just different.
My path is my own and to all the working traveling mothers who support their families in leaving instead of staying home, I salute you. It is tough to walk out that door, but so rewarding as well to know all that I do for my family. I am lucky to have the opportunities that I do and to be a traveling working mother.