It’s so tough being torn between the two things that mean the most to you. Your family and your career. Always wanting both from a young age, I guess I never did really consider how people did it, how it would work. Not having parents doesn’t help but I guess I never really did contemplate how it would pan out. Especially now, when I travel.
Tomorrow sees me head off to Los Angeles, the fifth time to the States since I started at the new place 2 years ago, this coming week actually. I enjoy travelling with work, I think certainly in my job as Marketing Manager, it broadens your mind, merely to see how it’s all done in a different country to a different audience, and I also feel it makes me more confident, both an employee and as a person. The agenda is pretty full on. Land Sunday evening, grab some food and call it a night, Mon-Wed in the office, meetings, photoshoots, 2018 planning, then a bit of spare time for shopping on Thursday before we head home, arriving back Friday around noon. As always, the time will fly over there but I fear here, for Hubby and the kids, it will feel like a lifetime.
Travelling to California, Premium Economy Virgin flights, hotel, food and drink all paid for, from a career viewpoint, I know is a win, not many people are lucky enough to experience anything like that with their jobs, and I do feel fortunate to be one that does. However, the worrying effect it may have on me and mine personally is something I can’t detatch from. It breaks my heart leaving them, if only for a night but has become almost a routine now, having to do it twice a month, but I fear the long term effect this will have on our relationship. Feeling the guilt trip of working constantly is one thing, feeling like I never spend enough time with them, but heading to sunny LA with them left behind in wet Wales, is another! Actually leaving the house is an issue all in itself! We have an agreement that for it to be as pain free as possible, for all parties concerned, I must leave the house before the children wake up, even if my flight isn’t until 4pm! (grateful for the long drive to London, the shops, the laptop and a good book to read in the airport 6 hours before I fly!). But my thoughts go deeper still.
I have come to realize that the regular nights away has meant the kids get less and less upset each time I go, which of course is a good thing, but not if I’m being selfish. I fear they have they become immune to the fact that I’m away, that I’m not in the house, and have learnt that they can actually live without me, and makes me question, is having a job, a career that includes travel and that has this effect on them, on us, actually worth it? Will there be any long term damage to our relationship? It is of course how it should be, I wouldn’t want them to be sad and unhappy, but being alone, half a world away, with no hugs and kisses for days at a time is tough on me, and I’d like to think I’m being missed, even if it’s only me yelling at them to pick up the Lego for fear of standing on it! Ouch!
What I am grateful for whilst I’m away, and every other day, is my Superhero Hubby who has it all under control and takes it all in his stride. I guarantee when I get home he would have done it all! The washing, the ironing, the cleaning, the food shop, plus obviously the cooking, caring and playing with the little ones. I guarantee there’ll be a ton of wooden craft carved for my return (Hubby’s day job), Xbox games clocked, word search puzzles drawn up, numerous Print & Colour’s completed, and a ton of memories created and photo’s taken for me to see when I get back. I also fear travelling puts a strain on our 20 year relationship but I have a great man who gets my ambition and my need for a successful career, and who is there to support me in whatever I do, as crazy as most plans are!
So as I get ready to depart tomorrow, we’ve made a point of doing things everyday as a family and have had a fabulous week – how it should be every week really, budget allowing! The kids have been told that it’s only a short trip that I’m taking, and that I have to do it as part of my job but I then get paid, which means we can take more days out, more holidays and make more memories. They’re happy with that.
Small gifts for all have been bought for each day I’m away (started it a while back, no getting away from it now!), and whilst I understand presents don’t replace presence, these small items are merely inexpensive things that I know will make them smile and give Hubby maybe an hour to himself each day! FaceTime has also been activated on all phones and tablets so at least I’ll be seeing their gorgeous faces a few times a day.
I wont be saying goodbye, I never do. I’ll tuck them up tonight with their teddies, excite them with the plans Daddy has for them, and wish them sweet dreams as always. Tomorrow morning will see me engage work mode for the week ahead and make the most of this amazing opportunity I have worked so hard for… and the fact it’s planned to be LA’s hottest week of the year so far is a mere bonus!