Leaving B for any amount of time is hard. I miss him when I’m not with him, no matter where I am. I’ve intentionally scheduled my workdays so that I can be with him (as a self-proclaimed part-time SAHM) two days a week – Mondays and Fridays. I soak those two days up like crazy and work 9-5 Tues-Thurs. I do have to travel a bit for my job about 2-3 times each year.
Making Things Happen accounts for 1-2 of those trips every year. For those of you who don’t know about it, go here. It’s amazing. Soon, I’ll be leaving for back-to-back trips: the first to celebrate my thirtieth birthday with Bryan in the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana!) and the second to co-host (with Lara Casey and Gina Zeidler) the Making Things Happen 2013 Conference in Chapel Hill. I’ll be gone for 5 days for DR and 6 days for MTH (home for 6 days in between).
Starting when Brady was three months old (when I had to travel to the National Stationery Show in NYC) I’ve created “prize boxes” for Brady. For every day that I’m away, there’s a wrapped “prize” and note for Brady to open while we FaceTime after his bath every night. Each prize is a small, inexpensive silly gift or treat – something I’d never buy him otherwise (that’s the fun of it!) or something he LOVES and doesn’t get often. When he was small these things included his favorite green pacis, squeeze packs (at least that’s what we call them) or bubble bath. Now, they include any and everything from the Target Dollar Section, bath toys, cool socks and a sweet treat or two.
I write Brady a note to go with each prize that tells him how many days until I come home and how much I / we miss him and hope he’s having so much fun with our nanny, Danica and / or my parents.
When he sees this green box come out, he gets excited about the fun time he’s going to have and our nightly FaceTime / prize tradition. Preparing to be away helps ease my heart and watching him LIGHT UP every night helps me feel better about being away too.
It’s hard being gone, but making sure everyone involved knows our nightly routine (bath, jammies, books, prayers, the right animals in his bed with him, etc) and special traditions makes it easier and helps me enjoy my time away (and fill my proverbial “tank” to come back home a refreshed, refueled mama).
I’d love to hear your tricks and tactics for being away. One of my best friends, Amy (writer of the amazing mama blog Lily & Bliss), is about to take her first trip away from her daughter Lily and I know she’d love to read some of your tips too.
Getting very excited for beaches, umbrella’d drinks and (gulp) MY THIRTIES!