"Business" trips and Family "vacations" Part I

OMG do I suck as a writer/blogger.  Two months have gone by...Again...

One reason I am so derelict is I have been doing some traveling.  In August I went away for two weeks for work.  At my job, travel is optional, but please don't tell my husband, kids, or mother-in-law, who comes and takes care of things while I am gone.  I don't lie to them per se, but I may leave them with the distinct impression that my entire career (or what's left of it anyway) will go up in flames if I don't take a yearly sojourn.  If there is any push back, I go on a feminist tirade and threaten to tell Gloria Steinem, who, as we all know, has access to nuclear weapons, not to mention Oprah and you for sure don't want to get her involved.

These work trips are always a logistical nightmare to plan, not to mention an emotional roller coaster.  Here's the general schedule of things:

4-6 months before departure:  I tell Kevin, "Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have to go on a trip.  Yeah, it really sucks, but you know how mean my boss is.  Will that work out, because if not, I'm going to have to accuse you of undermining my career and treating me like I'm not fully human because I'm a woman.  It will? OK, Great."  Then I check with his mother to see if she can come.  Because otherwise Kevin will not survive.  I'm not being sarcastic, it's just a fact.

2-3 months before departure: Stuff happens on the work front, and the whole trip has to be rescheduled.   Repeat the previous step.

1 month before departure: I start cooking extra meals and putting them in the freezer.  Yeah, right.  Go to McDonald's, people.

2 weeks before departure: I start making a bunch of lists, including, Stuff I need to do before I leave, Stuff Kevin and Mom need to know while I am gone, Stuff I need to buy before I leave, Stuff I need to take with me, Stuff that could go wrong while I am gone and how to remedy it (including, during winter,  the power going out; remedy: burn all our books in the fireplace), List of emergency contacts for Kevin and Mom, Other stuff that doesn't fit into other categeories.  This is also the time when I start thinking, what am I doing? This is totally not worth it. What if I die on this trip?  I need to cancel this trip.  I am a terrible mother.

1 week before departure:  I start proceeding through the lists, even while I mentally fantasize about canceling the trip.

2 days before departure:  In the throes of major Mom-guilt, which is a more severe variety than Catholic guilt and Protestant guilt combined, I decide to cancel the trip.  Just in case I decide to go, however, I keep knocking off those lists.

Day of departure:  I am THE WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD and my babies are going to cry non stop for two weeks without me, but darn it if Gloria Steinem isn't making me get on this stupid plane at gun point.  She is EVIL.  I do NOT want to go on this trip.

Take off:  Dear God, please don't let me die.  Not now, not while the children cannot yet go to the toilet unassisted because Kevin really hates germs, and he won't be able to handle that much poop.  He just won't.  And not while Kevin is still young and hot enough to remarry someone more attractive than me.  I won't be able to handle that.   Even if heaven is really awesome, I'm still gonna be upset about that.  So dear God, please keep this plane in the air.  If you just get me back safely home in 2 weeks, I will start doing daily crafts with my children instead of putting on a Disney flick and communing with my iPhone.  I will bake cookies, but like healthy ones that have fish oil in them.  Please Dear God...Oh, is that champagne? Yes, I think I will, thanks.

1 hour into the flight: My gosh at the movies on this plane.  I think the last movie I saw was...on the plane last year at this time. Yes, I think it was.  And since Kevin isn't here, I can pick all the brainless chic flicks I want.  And needless to say, absolutely no Disney of any kind.  None.  Wow, the massage feature on this seat is really top-notch.

The next two weeks unfold like some kind of spa visit.  Yes, I have to report to work and go to some meetings.  But I move through life as an individual human, completely unencumbered.  I only have to think about myself and meeting my own needs.  I read.  I watch TV. I sleep in.  I shop.  I listen to silence.   I eat without having to get up a million times.  I take long showers.  I think, This is the life.  I am never going back.  I will fake my own death and assume another identity.   I will order Kevin a new, very attractive wife from Russia.  She will enjoy doing crafts with the children and baking cookies.  She will not have Gloria Steinem living in her head.  Everyone will be happy and far better off.

A few days before I come home:  This has been awesome, but I kind of want to see my kids and Kevin.   Just a little bit.

On the plane back home:  Oh, I can't wait to hold my babies in my arms! Dear God, please don't let this plane crash. If you just get me home, I PROMISE promise promise to start doing the crafts!  I will, I will!  I will act out Little Mermaid a hundred jillion times and I won't even do the abridged version.  I just want to see my babies.

I arrive home and cover my kids in hugs and kisses.  What else do I need in life?  Why would I ever not want to spend time with them?  What could possibly be more important?

1 hour after arrival home:  I start to look around the house, which has fallen into total chaos in my absence.  It looks like World War II.  I mean, the toy bins aren't even sorted by color.  Lawson is having a seizure because I interpreted "Wa" to mean "water" and gave him a cup of water when what he was really saying was "watermelon." And we don't have any in the house anyway.  Charlotte is acting rather blase about the T-shirt I brought her.  It has a monkey on it, but what she really wanted was a monkey toy, not a monkey T-shirt.

Hey kids, anyone want to watch Nick Jr.? Yeah?

And when can I leave again exactly?


  1. Hi,
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  2. This is a great post. I always enjoy reading about new family vacation destinations and other fun places for kids. Having a big family, it can be tough to get away but when we do, it is important to pick somewhere that will have activities for all the kids.


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