Traveling without children isn't a new concept but it's treated as if it is. For a mom leaving her children, it's not as black & white as you think! These are the crazy thoughts moms have when traveling without children.
It finally happened. I knew the day would come but I didn’t expect it to be so soon. Yet, here I am, the mom who traveled without her toddler. The mom who traveled and left her nursing baby with his father for 2 whole days. *insert sobs and judge mental glares here* Yep, that’s me!I’m the mom who needed a break, came home, and remembered why she needed that break. When a mother travels without her children for the first time – it’s hard. It’s a decision that isn’t made lightly and one that gives her an overwhelming sense of mom guilt. Those moms need all of the support, reassurance, and praise.
So, I did it. I accepted an invite for a Dream press event. Did I immediately say YES! Silly me said, “I’ll get back to you.” I was afraid. I was scared that my son wouldn’t sleep for my husband and that he’d starve himself without the breastmilk. Thinking about leaving the boy I’d spent every day of his life with was emotionally disturbing. After speaking to my support team of friends & family, who encouraged me to go, I accepted the invitation. Then, did everything in my power to emotionally prepare myself to leave my baby in 2 weeks. Losing myself in work, I distracted myself because I didn’t want to feel any sense of regret before the big travel day.
What a mom thinks when traveling without her children
Before I knew it, the day had arrived and I was ready for it. Kinda. I had a mix of emotions that felt too heavy to bear while traveling without my son for the first time. My eyes welled up as I told my son bye-bye. The tears fell as he screamed and cried. Shutting the car door, I bravely hugged my husband and walked into the airport. What was I thinking? Probably the same thing every mom thinks when she leaves her children for the first time.
1. What if I don’t make it back?
Obviously we this of all the things that could happen to us while we’re gone. What if the plane goes down? What if there’s a crazy freak accident or a tree falls on me? Okay, that’s pushing it but these are the things we think about when we aren’t used to being without our children. Our only hope is to see their smiling faces again.
2. Do they even know I’m gone?
One second you’re questioning how they will live without you and the next you’re wondering if they even care. We dedicate so much of our lives to our children and our only hope is that they will notice we are gone and equally, they’ll miss our presence.
3. Am I making the right decision?
The feelings of regret crept up on multiple occasions before I left. It hurt me to think I’d broken the record of days we’d spent together. Even though it was a work trip, I felt that leaving might not be the right thing for my family.
4. Is it wrong to be happy without my child?
The next thing I knew, I was enjoying myself. In the midst of laughing with new friends and smiling so hard it hurt, I thought of my son. Once again, mom guilt kicked in and I found myself questioning if it’s really to be happy without him around. Didn’t I tell you how crazy these thoughts are? They aren’t necessarily logical but as mothers, our emotions can get away from us at times.
5. I need to buy them all the things.
If you think moms don't think of their kids when they travel, then you need to think again because that's all we do. Yes, we enjoy the moments away and get lost in experiences but our children are always in our thoughts. Every time I saw a kid my son's age, I got emotional and of course, I wanted to buy him all the things while I was shopping. There's just something about being without my son that makes me want to shop for him. Maybe having a little something for him makes me think of him more. I can definitely say that I'm not the only mom who feels this way because the Pixar store was full of mothers buying their children all the toys, shirts, and more!
I hope my experience can help other mothers feel like they aren’t alone in their crazy thoughts. Please remember not to judge or shame a mother for leaving her children for business or leisure. She’s a person, too and she’s more than a mother – she’s a person who deserves a life that is only hers.
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