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Working Mom Tales: The Price of Business Trips

Business travel is a necessity for some working moms. There are generally career benefits for the travel.  It usually results in interesting assignments, making the working mom more well rounded.  It also communicates a level of commitment to her employer, which is always a plus.  However, every mom who travels pays a price in her personal life. 
As I mentioned previously, I recently traveled to Chicago for a business conference.  I am glad that I attended the conference. However, I paid a price, homesickness. 

Working Mom Business Trip

Before attending the conference, I had only been away from my daughter for one night of a time. This conference was scheduled for three nights (W-F) and I made my travel arrangements to stay the entire time. The first night was fine. I missed my daughter, but I was used to being away from her for one night. The second night was OK. However, when I woke up on Friday, it hit me that I had to spend one more night away from her and I got really sad.  I thought about everything that I’d be missing. I envisioned her looking for me. And I longed to have “Bewitched” like powers to zap myself back home. 
Since I am not a witch (don’t ask anyone who knows me). I tried to change my flight schedule, but there was no economical way for me to return home early. So, I was stuck in Chicago for an extra day and had to figure out how to get through it. 

Homesickness, the price of business travel

I know that this hardship was self inflicted and does not compare to moms who are flipping burgers ever day.  Still, I missed my family so much that I ached. And even though I was glad to reunite with old friends, make new ones and participate in the conference activities, on the last evening, when I was away from the other attendees, I cried. 
I felt a little silly being upset at all. My daughter is two and quite fond of her dad and her nanny.  Barring any unexpected tragedy, she was going to be fine.  The truth is I missed my role in the family. I missed dinner, story time and showers. I missed laughter and family runs. When I started missing the tantrums I knew that I was in serious trouble!

Attachment parenting creates an attached mommy

I think that I was upset because at my core, I have been practicing my own version of attachment parenting. Even though I work full time, I have managed to live a life that is very involved with my daughters.  I have practiced extended breast feeding. I have insisted that my daughter sleep in her own bed when we go out at night. And I hug my daughter as often as she’ll let me. 
This modified attachment parenting has resulted in our becoming a very attached family.  Andre is as attached to the toddler as I am.  We value our family time. And when I was gone there was a void in my heart and in their lives. 

I know that there are times when I will need to be away from my family.  There will even be times when I may even want to be way from my family. Still, like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz", I learned that there is no place like home.
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