After a week of snot and exhaustion, I headed out for a work trip hoping that I would feel better before the plane hit ground in Houston. Luckily, I was feeling a ton better and only had a little bit of an issue with my voice at the beginning of the day. The trip went well and although I didn’t get to say goodnight to P every night I was gone it felt nice to take a breath at least in one area of life. I missed her like crazy but I was so busy in and out of meetings, catching up on emails and plane hopping that I didn’t get a chance to be sad. Then when I was lying in bed at the hotel in the big empty bed, I felt it. I started looking at videos of her on my phone and sending pictures to my husband that he maybe didn’t have. I missed them but I love what I do and what I do involves being away from them sometimes.
There is no perfect work-life balance and I’m never going to be able to devote 50% of my time to work and 50% to life. Sometimes life is 90% and sometimes work is 100% it just depends on what is going on. I’m thankful that my husband is such a wonderful father and doesn’t miss a beat just because I’m not there. I know this isn’t the reality for some women and men so I’m aware of how much easier it is to jump a plane if I need to. This was my first time being away from her overnight while they were both home and I was expecting to walk in the door to happy squeals that I was home like in the movies.
Unfortunately, I got in after midnight due to flight delays so I didn’t get to see her realize I was home until the following morning. The excited squeal and clinging to me like saran wrap moment didn’t come. She woke up and it was a morning like any other to her. I was there and so when I held her she smiled but there wasn’t an overly joyous movie moment. I suppose I should be happy that my traveling isn’t throwing off her routine. I’m sure I’ll wish for her to not notice that I’m missing when she’s older and cries for me not to leave but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. It felt like if I just stayed gone she wouldn’t care or notice. I’m wallowing in self-pity but this is what I do for a living and what I enjoy so this is how it is.
I could do something else but I would miss traveling. I’ve worked for other places where I didn’t travel and I liked the routine but I missed the flights and meeting people. I need to be okay that she was happy and healthy, that they had a good time while I was gone and that her routine stayed the same. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to do what they love AND have a supportive family life and for that I’m thankful. I take off again this upcoming week and I know I’ll be up late staring at pictures and texting my husband to send videos. This is my work-life balance for now. As she grows and as I grow, everything will need to adjust and we will handle it when it comes.