My first trip without my family was a girlfriend’s getaway to London 6 years ago. The weekend was spent shopping, going to shows, dining on fabulous food and for the first time since becoming a mother a few years earlier, uninterrupted sleep late into the morning. I was sold. Girlfriend getaways to Florence, Rome, Paris and Chicago soon followed.
While these trips with my girls rejuvenate me and refuel my sole, initially I found that I spent more time organizing the family for when I was away than actually being away. I would prepare meals, stock the refrigerator, even pick out the children’s clothes. I’ve realized over time that getting away from that is part of the pleasure of getting away. I still try to make sure the refrigerator is stocked, but if I don’t have time, my husband is perfectly capable going to the grocery store and making meals, or at the very least calling Domino’s. I still pick out their clothes and if I’m gone longer than a weekend, as I will be when I go to Disneyworld for the Traveling Mom retreat, I take my daughters to have their hair corn-rowed because my husband can’t comb their thick, curly hair and to do otherwise would result in my returning to two unkempt heads of hair that would take me many hours and even more tears to untangle.
As I travel more frequently on my own for work, not only do I go for longer than 2-3 days, but it is often during the school week which requires arranging babysitters, carpools, after-school activities and play dates and can result in me missing recitals, school performances, as I did while in Italy and assemblies, as I will while in Orlando. I’ve learned to trust that things will function perfectly well, albeit not the same, when I’m not here. However, I am sad and the girls are disappointed when I miss their moments in the spotlight. Especially like the one I’ll miss when my oldest, often shy daughter gets up in front of the school to sing a duet. With a boy!
Though my trips take a little effort to organize and cause me to miss a performance or two, I’ve discovered that the old adage is true: absence makes the heart grow fonder.