I've had an interesting month and a half. If you read my last post, you'd know my uncle passed away suddenly. He was a great guy and his loss hit me in that emotional spot that I often try to forget. Having to deal with my feelings was bad enough, but helping the older girls process theirs was rough. They were struggling, so I had no choice but to push my sorrow aside in order to focus on them, when all I really wanted to do was escape under my covers for a week.
If things couldn't get any worse, I got shingles... again. Yes AGAIN!!!! It's gone now, thank goodness, but what 37 year old gets shingles 3 times in 3 years? ME! that's who. Ugghhh. Stressed kicked in and BAM!, clusters of itchy bumps on my arms. Not fun. At one point my kid says "Mom, I love you but don't stand so close, I don't want to get your shingles on me." By now, if you're a frequent Thersdays reader, you're familiar with my kids' personalities so I'm sure you can guess which one said it.
From there, things got crazier. Don't get me wrong, I thrive on crazy.
I spent a few late nights in the office, took the girls camping, jetted straight to LA and hit San Diego the week after. When I came back, one of them said "Mom? Is that you? I kind of forgot what you looked like." I'll let you guess who. Hint: It was the same one that made the "love ya, but you've got shingles" comment.
So much travel, for work, in such a short time is new to me. I really enjoy it, but as a mom, it still takes a toll and guilt sets in very quickly. No one, purposely, makes me feel guilty. I make the decision to put that burden on myself and as a result, I over compensate.
The night before I left for San Diego, I made and refrigerated 4 meals. I'm not talking little meals, I'm talking full-on dinners: rice and peas, BBQ chicken, vegetables, chicken cutlets, Mac and cheese and baked ziti. I picked out clothing for the girls for everyday that I was going to be away and I left little "I love you" notes around the house for them to find. I wanted to do what I could to make my absence a little easier for Frank and I wanted the girls to know that I was thinking about them before I left and while I was away.
I stayed up until 2am because I subconsciously wanted to prolong the night. There was a part of me that didn't want to hop on that plane. I was leaving for 4 days and the time difference would make it difficult to speak with them.
In addition to the stress that I was feeling about leaving, I also felt horrible because, honestly, I was looking forward to it all. On the most basic level, I was excited about having a bed to myself for 3 nights, with no one kicking, pushing, hogging my pillow or stealing my covers. Also, I'd never been to San Diego or Comic-con and I was psyched to experience them both.
The battle between "Career Gabby" and "Mommy Gabby" had begun. I love my kids and my husband very much but I was secretly dancing it out and singing, in my Jesse Spano voice "I'm so excited!, I'm so excited!" Side note: Typing this is giving me anxiety because I still, kind of, feel bad .
The morning I left for San Diego, Maya sat on the couch, with a solemn look on her face, saying nothing. Marley, who's definitely better at expressing herself, runs down stairs, throws herself into my arms and starts to sob as she tells me that she's going to miss me. Thanks for killing my vibe girls. As soon as I got in the car, I wished that I could throw them all in my suitcase, but duty calls.
I look forward to these opportunities, so here are 5 things that I'll do, in the future, to make it a little easier for my family and I:
Tell the two parts of me to chill out and keep them from constantly fighting each other.
Prep as much as I can but give my husband the credit that he deserves. He can handle it.
Keep the kids "in the know." Being aware of where I am and what I'm doing makes them feel like they're on the trip with me... well kind of.
Stay connected as best as possible, even when we're on different coasts. I'll deal with a Face Time call at 5am, if it reminds them that Mommy loves them!
Cut myself some slack and focus on the experience. Know that I'm a great mom and that I deserve to enjoy the journey.
This is my reality and and I'll have to keep reminding myself that my kids won't think I love them any less because I'm out of town. They're resilient and I have to start taking pointers from them.
Before I sign off until next Thersday, I need to give a shout out to the hubby. He's had my back 100% in the midst of the all the craziness. I'm having a lot of fun but I wouldn't be able to enjoy it if I couldn't tag him in and say "you're up." I had someone ask me recently "how do you do it all with 3 kids, work, and sometimes traveling for work?" The answer is that I don't do it all, we do it all. Having a partner who supports my passion and is willing to take on a little extra when necessary, makes leaving a little easier.
One last thing, THANK YOU!!! for not forgetting about me. I went on a little hiatus but I promise not to keep you waiting so long again. Can you hear me singing "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Mi
nds? Close your eyes and just listen... "don't, don't, don't, don't, don't you fuggedabout me..." (I'm from Brooklyn, that's how we say it. LOL). I know I'm putting my age out there, but the The Breakfast Club is one of my all-time favorite movies. Let me stop playing, anything from the 80's featuring Molly Ringwald or Anthony Michael Hall is a favorite.
I digress... Seriously, don't you forget about me.