I have surprised myself by becoming a traveling mom. Not all over the world, mind you, but traveling overnight every week, is nonetheless daunting. I have accepted a part-time overnight consulting job with a pharmaceutical company I have worked for as a part-time document manager for the past 9 years. They have moved their office out of Manhattan to New Jersey, which results in a 90-minute drive for me. To reduce the commute, I stay overnight, usually at my sister-in-law’s house, which is very near the office.

The anticipation of being alone with dinner served to me bedside was palpable so I accepted the job, short-term. I have already made plans to work out, shop ALONE and enjoy well-deserved overall freedom after work.

I’ve so far found the pre-travel days to be the most painful. It’s the incessant planning ahead that gets to me. Luckily spring is here, which eliminates the need for contingent snow plans. I plan to take my 4-year-old son to school and pick him up on the days I am home and to take him to NJ with me as often as possible. He can stay at my sister-in-law’s. No big deal if he misses a day or two of pre-school.

When I am home, playdates will be at my house. Weekends will be all about the kids except for an occasional Saturday night date with my husband. He has been very supportive of my decision to consult and be away from home every week. My plan doesn’t leave much time for friends or personal endeavors, but so be it.

The positive perspective is that it’s a great way to help prioritize obligations and the social calendar. Limited free time should be spent carefully and then fully enjoyed, right? I’ve rationalized, scheduled, prepared lunches and, with a deep breath, I drive away.