By Guest Blogger April Prioleau
Is there really anything that Moms can’t do?! This is what I reminded myself when I knew I would travel for a work trip in August.
I have four kids, work full-time, and do part time consulting work, so planning for the trip was a little hectic. It mostly involved making sure that I had the logistics and details ironed out for my kids, knew where each kid would be each day, and made sure my husband knew all of the tiny little seemingly miniscule details of their day (most of which is stored in my head).
For example, our baby is dropped off at daycare weekly with baby food, diapers, wet wipes, and I also like to monitor if he needs extra clothes on a day-to-day basis. This is in addition to his daily bottles which fluctuate depending on what time we drop off and pick up. Sometimes he needs four bottles and sometimes he needs five.
The mental load is real! I kind of just checked every item off my to do list for months leading up to the big event and did my best to communicate these needs with my village as they came along. Each task felt like a hurdle and some of those hurdles were stressful. I have never been away from my kids for so long and I questioned if traveling would be in the best interest of my children and family.
One big task was making sure that my breastfed baby had enough milk in my absence. I made a commitment and successfully froze over 100 ounces of milk prior to leaving. I am very fortunate to work for a company that offers Milk Stork. This was a lifesaver and necessary to get my precious liquid gold home to my son.
My teenage daughter, who is almost completely self-sufficient, started school earlier this month. Our awesome neighbor continued the carpool in what we call her “Yukon bus” making sure that Mia made it to school and home each day.
My in-laws kept the twins while I was away so that my husband would not miss a beat with work. The girls had a nice week away from home experiencing some final fun filled summer days before school started back.
The conference was great! I had some much-needed downtime, met some amazing people, cultivated new relationships, networked, slept late, heard an awesome speaker who reminded me to stay positive, enjoyed amazing dinners and even made a concert. The preparation alone was a full-time job, but it worked, and everyone survived Mommy being away.
I came home a bit more refreshed and even more grateful for the noise and chaos in our home. I missed my family so much and the feeling was mutual. The kids held me so tight that I did not think they would let me go. My husband did such an awesome job with the kids and housework that I’m planning to sneak out more often. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
To my fellow Moms who have debated if you should attend the work conference or travel for work, go for it. Yes, you may find yourself spinning your wheels in preparation or even have a little anxiety creep in last minute but know that you are not alone. Many working Moms are successfully managing and balancing, and if I can do it with four kiddos, you can absolutely do it too.
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