Author’s Note: This post was, of course, reflective of my life before COVID-19 quarantined us all.
As I sit here in my hotel room on my first night of five away from my family, I can’t help but think about how blessed I am to have a job that provides for us, but also about how hard it is for me to be away. Telling my husband goodbye as he left for work this morning brought out all the waterworks. “I know it’s ok, but I hate leaving y’all for a whole week” was uttered through one of my ugliest “ugly cry” faces.
But I had to “suck it up” and put on a brave face for the six-year-old who was still sitting on my sofa – for there, staying home with a fever, was my girl twin – my sweet, strong, fearless girl. She was so focused on the latest episode of Elena of Avalor that I don’t think she was even aware of the conversation that my husband and I had had in the kitchen.
I struggle with letting her see me cry.
As a mama who has spent most of her professional life working in a male-dominated field, it has been frowned upon to let those emotions show while I am at work. Crybaby woman, anyone? I have such high hopes for my feisty girl, and I hold myself to a very high standard so that I am being the best example of a strong and independent woman for her. On one hand, she needs to be in tune with her emotions and needs to be accepting of them, but on the other hand, some folks think there’s a time and a place for those emotions.
And I’m also trying to be a good example for my son, my boy twin, my soft-hearted, sweet little old man in a six-year-old body, who was already off to school for the day. He needs to know that it’s ok to have a wife/partner that works out of the home, that it’s ok for him not to be the breadwinner or sole provider in his family, that it’s ok to let the cards of life fall as they may. He needs to know that people cry, and he needs to see his dad’s reactions to my doing so, so that he can learn how to be a loving, supportive, and comforting partner one day.
So here I am, about to shut my eyes on my first day away from all that I love in the world; I will power through this week and I will put on my best smile and attend the conference sessions, the dinner meetings, and the happy hours. I will excuse myself from wherever I am at 8:30 pm so that I can video call my favorite threesome and say prayers with them and “kiss” them goodnight. I will continue to bust my tail at my often-thankless job. Thankless except for when it comes to my family . . . When I finally get back home and see my husband’s smile as those two kiddos smother me with hugs and kisses, while he patiently waits his turn, and the kids thank me for working so hard – and for making money so that we can “go to Disney World one day” – it will all have been worth it.
What about you?
How are you mindful of the little lessons you’re teaching your children when you didn’t know they were watching? Have you experienced “little goodbyes” in your own lives and how have you successfully overcome them?