Business Travel: While Mom’s Away
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I went away for my first business trip last week. I was gone for three days/two nights, leaving Liam with his dad. I was nervous about the trip and how things would go for the two of them mostly because it meant a major change in their daily routines. Liam is at a center where I work, so Dad almost never handles drop offs and pick ups. Also, I was nervous about how Liam would do on nothing but bottles for three days and how he would sleep at night for his dad.
What was interesting in the week leading up to the trip was how nervous both sets of grandparents seemed to be about it. My parents, who live locally offered everything from picking up and dropping off Liam so Brad wouldn’t have to, to making dinner for them and helping out around the house while I was gone. Brad’s parents, who live further away, offered to come down and stay while I was gone to help out with everything. While these offers were very generous and well meaning, it struck me as odd just how concerned they seemed to be. Brad is a very involved and capable father and with the exceptions of child care (not practical) and breastfeeding (impossible), he is equally involved in every part of Liam’s life. He’s also pretty domestic, doing lots of the cooking and cleaning around the house. So why were they so nervous about him handling things on his own? Would they have been as nervous had the roles been reversed?
While I was gone, I started to realize that I was a huge part of the problem. Before I left I tried to think of everything I could possibly do to prepare Brad, laying out and labeling all the things they might need while I was away and going over the schedule with detailed instructions. I was trying to be helpful and make things easier for him but I think to some extent I wasn’t giving him enough credit. He and Liam were totally fine while I was gone, and would have been with or without my help. No, he didn’t do things exactly the way I would do them but I’m starting to realize that’s okay. I don’t get to be the self-assigned arbiter of quality any more than he does.
While I’m certainly glad to be back home with my boys, the trip was a valuable reminder that just because I’m mom doesn’t mean I get to dictate the rules all the time. There is more than one way to be a good parent to Liam and it’s important that dad calls the shots sometimes, particularly when I’m not around.
- E-family news: Tips for Reducing Separation Anxiety in Young Children
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Last Minute Tasks Before Business Travel