Category Archives: business travel

26 Little Celebrations

I’m on Mamalode today with a piece called “26 Little Celebrations.” It’s about the force that connects us as a family even when we’re apart. Interestingly, today is the first day that we’re together again, and that’s cause for a BIG celebration.

Here are a few other reasons to celebrate:

  1. I solo parented my boys – and didn’t lose my mind (or a kid!) – for 26 days.
  2. I read a book! It was “Us” by David Nicholls, in case you’re wondering.  It took me nearly three months, but I did it.
  3. I read and finished a book smack in the middle of 26 days of temporary insanity single parenting!
  4. This one might sound hard to believe, but I ate in a restaurant last night for the first time in 26 days.  True story.  Man, that sushi tasted good.  The company was great, too!

If this experience has taught me anything, it’s that I can handle way more than I give myself credit for. Motherhood makes us capable of unimaginable feats. Think about that the next time you’re in the weeds.

But first, read my new essay on Mamalode. Here’s the link:

http://mamalode.com/story/detail/26-little-celebrations

Thanks for reading and sharing and commenting and all of that good social media stuff.

Sincerely,

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Filed under boys, business travel, motherhood

Reflections On The Proposal

theproposal

Did you see the YouTube video of Dean’s yearlong countdown proposal to Jennifer that ended on a beach at sunset in Aruba (on her birthday!) surrounded by friends and family? I know this couple’s uber-romantic proposal is, like, so last week, and now everyone’s blabbering about the video of the seven-week old baby who supposedly said “hello,” but I just can’t stop thinking about Dean and Jennifer.

It was pretty awesome. I mean, I know nothing is what it seems. Maybe Dean has bad credit or his father is an alcoholic. Perhaps Jennifer is on a kidney transplant waiting list or she’s a hoarder. But the video didn’t suggest any of that, so I’m going on the assumption that they’re a mostly sane and reasonable couple in a state of utter bliss. Their lives appear easy and uncomplicated, even with Dean’s time-consuming and secretive hobby of producing, directing, starring in, editing, and sound-mixing a 365-day marriage proposal.

Watching the video was like watching the pinnacle scene in a blockbuster Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic comedy.  I cried like a baby from all of its sappy perfection. But here’s the thing. It made me kind of sad.

I remember that state of utter bliss. I remember when life was easy and I felt invincible. I remember it all like it was yesterday, but yesterday for me was over a dozen years ago, and my time of easy, blissful invincibility has long expired. I have the scars, cleavage wrinkles, and worry lines to prove it!

I envied the moment in time where Dean and Jennifer stood, and it wasn’t just because they were standing on a beautiful, sandy beach in Aruba (although that was part of it.)  It was that I could see crystal clear all of the firsts they have to look forward to, whereas many of mine are in the rearview mirror and require me to wear glasses to see them.

When I got engaged, I imagined my life would unfold exactly how I wanted. In other words, perfectly. On the cusp of turning 40, I wouldn’t change a thing (well, maybe a few things), but to say it’s happened the way I expected would be a gross exaggeration. I’m old and wise enough to know that no one gets sweet in life without a hearty side of bitter. Eventually, a wave will knock Dean and Jennifer off their feet, and as I watched their proposal, I wept for the beautifully complicated and perfectly imperfect future that awaits them.

Maybe the proposal made me sad because, I, too, am fond of countdowns, and I happen to be on day 23 of my husband being in London for business, a daunting scenario as a wife and mother that I never envisioned but that I’m coping with as best as I can. Another way to look at it is that I have three more days to go before he returns, but any way you spin it, his career requires him to travel for uncomfortably long periods of time, every time I turn around, an adorable little person who misses his Daddy says, “Mommy…” followed by a request, demand, or confession, and his return regrettably won’t happen on a beach at sunset in Aruba.

In any case, I’m rooting for Dean and Jennifer and a long and happy future filled with adventures that surpass their wildest dreams (at least a few of them). I’m also looking forward to seeing their YouTube baby announcement. That, and I can’t wait to see a follow-up video of that baby genius saying, “Mum, I ate my poop.”

How did you feel about the proposal?

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Filed under business travel, marriage, Uncategorized

Rough Around The Edges

rougharoundedges

I’m nineteen days into my latest bout of temporary insanity single parenting, and I’m starting to get a little rough around the edges. I haven’t quite crumbled, except I did order three pairs of shoes from Nordstrom.com last Friday evening (day 14), and I may or may not have bought an item (or two) from Anthropologie, because nothing says Crazy Anxious Shopaholic Mama spring like a soft, cotton maxi dress…or two.

Anyway, the rough edges: One of the toilets is hissing, the pool filter is clogged, and the dog is on a hunger strike. Around day seven or eight, the kids began sleeping in different beds, including mine. There’s a mild but annoying tummy ache making its way through our family, and – hooray! – it’s my turn. Dylan has a cold, which is probably headed in my direction next since he’s been my most frequent bedmate. The flu is going around school, and Riley’s classroom appears to be ground zero. We haven’t contracted said flu yet, but the possibility alone is giving me aches and chills.

I almost went through a red light with the kids in the car on Saturday because I got distracted counting how many more days we had left. It was 11 at that point, I think, but I got sidetracked when I had to slam on the breaks. I scrambled eggs past their expiration date for dinner on Sunday night (insert sad trombone sound), I have writer’s block, and there’s a book fair at school this week, at which my boys will buy toys disguised as books and we will probably catch the flu. Oh, and Daylight Saving Time. (Why do we do this again? So my kids can have more daylight to play Plants vs. Zombies on the Xbox?)

Even so, rough edges be damned! I refuse to be a pessimist. The world is ripe with problems way bigger than my solo parenting gig, I haven’t seen a single dead rat inside the house, the Wi-Fi is still working, and I only have three trashes to go.  That, and deep breaths (and my shoes have shipped).

Do you or your significant other travel for long periods of time for work?

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Filed under anxiety, business travel, Crazy Mama, parenting, Shopaholic Mama, temporary single parenting