Dear Zaza and Roxie, I’m writing you this to you in case you decide someday to go back and read through my old blog posts. I know you can’t read yet, so I figure this is a safe way to explain how I really feel about business travel, as a working mother.
Hopefully by the time you do read this, you won’t take it too personally, because the truth is, I love traveling for business. Yes – even though it means I must spend two or three nights away from you, my darlings.
Compared to family vacations, traveling for work feels like I’ve been suddenly awarded VIP status. Everything is optimized for the business traveler these days. I can check in my own bag at the airport now because I don’t have to go through the process of bagging and tagging things like strollers and car seats.
Even when long, waiting for airport security is no hassle. Instead of performing non-stop improv entertainment for toddlers to keep them from running away into places no mortal is permitted to enter, while every so often scooting a giant pile of carry-ons through a labyrinth, I can just stare at my phone like an adult.
Right at this moment I’m sitting in a pristine hotel room. It’s the day before the big company conference.
My innate sense of OCD is sated at the moment by a whirlwind of unpacking my belongings into the little chest of drawers and laying out my toiletries in the bathroom. There is a deep satisfaction in knowing that this space is MINE. ALL MINE! I am not exactly sure where this need is coming from, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with you, my dears.
The view from my window is stunning. It looks like I’ve managed to enter a game of the SIMS. I might just sit here in my room and do absolutely nothing for a few hours.
If I’m really ambitious, I’ll go down to the pool and do nothing while wearing a swimsuit.
In a little while I’ll walk out from the hotel and find something to eat. I haven’t thought about where exactly. I’ll just go find something, and it will be easy, because the requirements for my own enjoyment are relatively small compared to finding the right place to go eat with little ones in tow.
Tomorrow, the conference starts, and it will be loud and noisy and very demanding. But that is a very different kind of effort, and will still be a bit of a break from being Mommy a majority of hours in a normal day, and will be as different as is possible from the amount of effort it takes to be Mommy on family vacation.
So, I’m sorry I have to be away from you on this business trip, because I know you will miss me while I’m gone. But I have to be honest that I’m not sorry that I can’t bring you with me.