On Friday, October 21st at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York, Mom-mentum is hosting Long Island’s only conference for professional working mothers: Achieving Extraordinary. Bringing together a powerful group of speakers, this conference will provide an open forum for women to enhance their leadership skills, engage in high-level networking and participate in compelling conversations with top women business leaders. You can find out more and register for the conference here.
No Room for Guilt in a Carry On
By Rosalia Davi
When I considered taking a new position closer to home, I knew it came with a caveat – travel. It was a dilemma that I’m sure many parents who work outside of the home have to face: You might exchange a better commute for longer hours, or take a pay cut in order to have a more flexible schedule. Parenthood, like our career in many ways, is a trade-off.
So I gladly accepted this new role which involved travelling, because the pros far outweighed the cons. Thankfully I have a great partner and childcare provider (i.e. grandma and grandpa) who have afforded me the luxury of taking on this added responsibility at work. I know not everyone has the option. So with my first scheduled trip quickly approaching, I did my best to focus on the positive and not succumb to the guilt and sadness I was starting to feel at the thought of being away for so long.
On the morning of my departure, I took one last wistful look at my sleeping child, and quietly crept out of the house. I am proud to say (and maybe a tiny bit guilty), that I didn’t cry. I didn’t clutch his baby blanket as we drove to the airport. I thought I would have been far more distraught, but the truth is – I felt free. Not the freedom of knowing I wouldn’t have to change diapers or battle through the nighttime routine for a few days. I was excited for what lay ahead – meeting new people, seeing a new place, and awakening certain strengths that had been dormant for a while. With the gift of knowing my son would be well cared for, I allowed myself to be okay about being away.
I admit, my resolve wavered slightly when I saw my son over FaceTime at the airport. Can I really do this? What if something happens?
“There is no shortage of doom-filled scenarios
that can run through a mother’s mind,
especially just before boarding a flight.”
But we signed off, and I put one foot in front of the other, and the next thing I knew we were landing in Austin. The rest of the trip went as well as I could have hoped. Though it was hard to be away from my family, I felt a renewed sense of purpose in my role, as well as a sense of pride for the example I was setting for my son. He may be too young to understand, but I want him to know that he can do anything or go anywhere in life – despite the inevitable fear of the unknown. I also want him to see a variety of parenting options (i.e. dad as the primary caretaker) so he can be comfortable with whichever lifestyle he chooses.
Would I want to travel every week for work? Probably not. I already feel like I miss a ton of special moments as a mom who works outside of the home. But a little travel is good for the soul, and getting some distance from the everyday for me provided a fresh perspective. As a result of this first experience, I plan to go on more weekend and day trips with my family, so we can enjoy a little freedom together.
Leave a Comment: If you work in a role that requires overnight traveling, how was your own first experience away? What did you learn from your time away and what support was necessary for you to make your travels possible?
Rosalia Davi is a first time mom who also works at a state university in New York. She is learning how to maximize peace of mind and productivity, and can be seen pondering the elusive work/life balance while exploring her home base of Long Island, NY. Rosalia has a dual Masters degree in Gender and Cultural Studies and Communications Management, and incorporates her passion for gender and all diversity throughout her career and personal life. She loves spending time with her family, reading, and building community both inside and outside of the workplace.
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