Being a mother and a Road Warriorette

love mom onesieI started traveling for work six weeks after I got married. To say it was a big adjustment was an understatement. Up to that point, the Home Warrior and I had been apart a total of maybe eight days. My first trip was a week long, in California. I was so homesick and miserable. Over the last seven years, the Home Warrior and I have gotten good at communicating long distance, and it’s definitely become easier to be away.

All that changed when I had my baby. The first time I left the Mini Warrior for a quick overnight trip (I was gone about 26 hours) I cried the whole day before I left. I cried when they drove me to the airport. I cried every time I looked at him. But once I was gone, and back in the flow of things, it got easier. Every trip since then has been a little less wrenching. Home Warrior is really good about sending me pictures and videos throughout the day so I can feel like I know what’s going on, and we FaceTime every night. Even though I’m not physically there, I’m still active and involved in my son’s life.

But there are still nights like last night. Lately, the Mini Warrior has resisted going to sleep, and yesterday he didn’t want to take any naps. After a day taking care of a fussy and cranky baby, my poor husband was at his wit’s end. Plus right now we are selling our house, and that is a process riddled with details and frustration. Calling contractors to get bids while across the country, in between meetings and presentations, is hard. Trying to print, sign, scan, and return a million documents that have to be filled out ASAP from across the country is also hard. Knowing that my baby is teething and my husband needs help, and I’m across the country is even harder.

Most of the time I really like traveling for work. I like meeting people, traveling, and knowing that I am really good at a job I enjoy. But sometimes there is nothing more frustrating than sitting in a lovely, quiet hotel room, wishing to be back in Texas.

Readers, do you ever get lonely while traveling?

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Comments

  1. Yes, I do. I started traveling for work right around the time kids came along. I choose to look at the bright side that its all my kids have ever known and its important for them to see me working hard so they know that the lifestyle they enjoy (private school, karate, vacations, summer camp) isn’t a God-given right. My getting up at 4am to catch a flight or getting home at 2am are opportunities for me to teach them the importance of hard work. Best of luck to you…it does get easier as they get older. But you have my best thoughts at this time (teething, selling house)…not easy. Been there!

  2. It is so hard when the parent left behind is having a hard time with the little one. They can get frustrated that you are not there to help, and you are frustrated and sad that you are not there to help. Then you come home tired from travel and work and they are tired from being the only one on the home front.

    It stinks. It gets easier, but it doesn’t get easy, or at least hasn’t yet. 😉 Luckily some trips are pretty easy, but you never know when that tough one will hit in the middle of everything.

    You just have to keep reminding yourself why you are doing it and try to work as a team, even from afar.

    Also bring in family members to help, if you have any nearby. We live very close to family for this exact reason. Sometimes a hour or two of help from a relative can make a tremendous difference.

    Hope you guys all have a great weekend!

  3. I hear you. I’ve been on the other side of this situation, holding the screaming two year old while Dad is in Moscow, and now I’m the one going on the business trip and missing the big event with the soon to be 10 year old. I used to think he had it easy, now I’m a bit more compassionate. Yes it gets easier. But easy? Sorry, no.

  4. Having been the one left behind with an infant (I had a long maternity leave), it is really hard being the one home when the little one isn’t consistently sleeping. Things improve drastically when the home spouse can count on a consistent sleep schedule. My husband and I both travel a bit for work now and have a four year old, and it generally works fine. I even enjoy getting sole control of the remote when I’m manning the home front (after the little one is in bed, of course). When one of my husband’s trips is on the longer side, I do get family nearby to help as well.

  5. I started traveling for work a year after our wedding, continued traveling for work through week 34 of pregnancy and started back when my daughter was 10 weeks. My daughter is 2 now and deals well with my travel as it’s all she’s known.

    Some days are easier than others for sure. On the days my husband has a rough day with her I sit in my hotel room, feeling helpless, wishing I was there.

    In some ways it’s gotten easier because we have found our ways of making it work, but in other ways it hasn’t. She’s now aware of when I’m gone and when, one night, she said “come home mommy” it broke my heart.

    I am so glad to have found you blog as I often feel that I’m the only woman who travels for work and has a small child at home.

  6. This happens to me all the time and I don’t even have a baby or husband. I have no idea how I’ll be able to do this job when I have a family. Sometimes I even find myself resenting my managers that travel 100% of the time while their babies are growing up at home without them. How can they just leave their family like that? At what point does the gobs of money they make outweigh their family obligations and health of their relationships?

    I know this is a depressing point of view, but I really don’t understand how one can be in this type of job and maintain healthy relationships. I figure at one point, one spouse will end up deeply resenting the other.

  7. I have been a mother, wife, and career woman for 20 years. I have well adjusted children, who despite my traveling have grown to go to college and the younger to be active in high school. It is very difficult in the baby stage but as they get older there are ways to communicate via facetime or text that let them know you’re still a part of their lives.

    There are times it gets lonely, but it also is all in how YOU act! Are YOU okay with this? Do YOU tell the children/spouse that you love them and think of them often while gone? A mentor of mine said that I was teaching my daughter a different example of how to be a career woman and a loving mother. I made sure I went on field trips when I could. Balanced going to most sporting events when home, etc….

    Did they miss me? Yes…sometimes. Did I miss them??..often!!

    But E…..I have a beautiful marriage and loving, polite, smart children! Are we perfect? NO! But it is possible…..

  8. Milissa, thank you for your response! It is really nice to hear of other mothers who do/have done this successfully! i often feel that if I were a man nobody would think twice about me doing this, but because I’m a woman I’m judged for it so it is so nice to finally find women who do the same thing.

  9. I’ve been a road warrior for 8 years now. I originally thought I’d be doing it for just 2 or 3 years, but then my husband didn’t have a job for a long period of time and our daughter was having some issues at school. He ended up home schooling her for a year. My kids were 5 and 8 when I started doing this, now they are 13 and 16. While I’ve been able to do a lot for them financially, it is nothing compared to being able to be there, to be home…I want to quit this travel lifestyle, but with a some unexpected bills, kids college, and retirement to save for, I feel trapped with no better alternative…

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