I often wonder what the effects of my work-related traveling has on my children and the relationship I have with them. I like to believe it is all okay and they don’t really get affected when I’m not there.
I have recently travelled for an extended period of time (6 days), across the country from Nova Scotia to California. During this time, my son had a few rough days at school that ended in him being sent home. My daughter has been counting down the days at daycare until I return and I get this super sad picture.
That doesn’t sound like it’s all okay to me. It feels pretty shitty, actually. Not my proudest Mommy moments. This has been by far the most reactive period to my absence that I have experienced to date. Is it disillusionment and denial on my part to think it’s okay? Is there an element of ‘it’s all in what you are used to’? I hadn’t travelled much over the summer, intentionally (you noticed I said Nova Scotia, right? We soak up our very limited summers!!) Now that I am getting back into the swing of normal affairs, perhaps there is an adjustment period to my absence at times?
I need to revisit previous methods that worked and didn’t work to make it easier on my family. My son used to send me with little toys and I would send him pictures of it in my surroundings. That seemed to work well as a way to keep us connected while I was gone and provided him with some comedic relief along the way. We tested calling and video chatting while I was gone, but it seemed to make them realize I wasn’t there and impacted them more. I will test this again.
There are a lot of things I need to figure out to make it easier on and to limit the impacts of my choices on my family, but this recent trip has really reinforced the sacrifices my family makes as a result of my decisions and it’s my responsibility to ensure it’s all worth it. I must continue my pursuit of being relentlessly purposeful with my time and to ensure I am working on something that matters, not only to my family’s financial betterment, but enhances the world my children will inherit.