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Traveling Mama? Doesn't Have To Be Catastrophic at Home

children exhaustion marriage travel Sep 07, 2021
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I’m out of town this week at a conference for work. 

Husband sent me this text on Day 1:

“Hey honey babe. Noelle ate two slices of pizza and salad. And was a champ getting ready [for dance]. She also wanted her hair down today. As we were leaving Nathan decided to go poop!! And I hear Noelle scream!!!....”DADDY NATHAN IS POOPY AND I NEED TO GO TO DANCE NOW!” So I went into super dad mode and quickly changed a bum! Took a dirty diaper out, made sure Noelle had her shoes, cleaned up the foods from dinner, which was so good! (Please text Talia! thank you). So we were only a few minutes late but I thought that was a perfect way to go since other moms and dads were still running their children into the dance studio.”

Annnnnd after all that, he still had to bathe the babies, put them to bed, take out the garbage (did I mention it was garbage night?), clean the house, and get ready for work the next day. 

Thennnnn that night my boy fell out of bed 4 times . . . . yes, FOUR times! And my girl fell out of bed 2 times. (She has only fallen out of bed 3 times in her whole life. . . . you can do the math). 

Day 2: I FaceTimed twice. 

Call 1: One baby was in full meltdown mode during dinner and was screaming, “Mama! Mama! Mama!”  

Call 2: The other baby was in full meltdown mode getting ready for bed and was screaming, “Mama! Mama! Mama!”

When Mama’s gone, life is hard. . . . for everyone.

The babies fall apart.

Daddy runs on adrenaline and zero hours of sleep.

And Mama is completely helpless. 

It’s pretty much a working mama’s worst nightmare. You watch the meltdowns happen, and you can’t do anything. 

Here’s the truth. My sweet husband is amazing! He does all the things that need to happen to keep our home running while I’m gone. We have wonderful friends that help (My dear friend Talia has saved our dinners more times than I can count). And Grandma makes the best chauffeur, but no one can replace Mama being home.

With the chaos at home, I’ve been tempted so many times this week to believe:

“I’m a terrible mom.”

“I’m ruining my babies’ lives.”

“I’ve failed as a wife.”

BUT these are all LIES.

100% LIES.

That is what my brain wants me to believe: that there is a problem. 

Our brains are so good at looking for the problems, because that is what they are wired to do: find the problem then solve the problem

BUT what if there is NO problem?

What if my being out of town this week isn’t a poor reflection on me as a mama, as a wife, as a human, as an employee?

What IF it’s actually proof that I am a good mama? 

My babies aren’t crying and having meltdowns because I’m horrible or because Jake is horrible. My babies are crying, because they love me SO much and miss me SO much that they just want to be with me. Babies don’t just do that with a bad mama.

What if it’s not a problem that Jake had to experience a crazy dance night? He was able to quickly learn what I experience on dance nights when he’s working. He can now have a bit more empathy when the house looks like a tornado hit it on those evenings.

What if my work conference isn’t a burden on me as a person? What if it’s an opportunity for me to rejuvenate my mind and my body? (Let’s be honest. I get way more sleep in a hotel room by myself.)

It’s so easy to be a victim and blame the circumstances (my job, the conference, etc.) for the negative things that happen in our lives, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  

What if none of those things is a problem?

What if all of those things truly are for our experience and the good of us and our families?

I might not entirely see how my travel this week is for my and my family’s benefit, but I’m starting to believe. And that’s always the first step, isn’t it?

Originally Published 2/20/20

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