As I type, I am sitting on an airplane in flight from Richmond to Charlotte, NC. At which time I will board another plane to go to Newark, NJ (the total armpit of the earth). Makes total sense, right? Welcome to RIC!
I can actually remember the times that I loved to travel. Having grown up in Farmville, VA with parents on a tight budget, I didn’t fly anywhere. My first airplane ride was from Raleigh to DC during the 2nd semester of my senior year in college. I was terrified but was excited to have finally experienced it! Fast forward 17 years later (ugh, that happened fast) and I have been on countless airplanes and at last count, 38 states. It was glamorous and fun in my 20’s, but since I spent the first half of my 30’s with a bun in the oven, it went downhill quickly. I will totally admit that I enjoyed many a full night’s sleep in a hotel room though, except for the times I would worry all night about Shawn falling asleep and rolling over on our baby. But other than that total stress, I did get good sleep.
Earlier this fall, after taking about a year and a half off of work after leaving Snagajob, I went back to work. Shawn starts new company = Tennille gets a paycheck and benefits. It was a pretty simple decision. ☺
The reality is is that I like working. Did I like being home with my kids? Totally. However, I have come to realize that there is probably not a working mother out there who doesn’t think the grass is greener but doesn’t really want to do either one 100% of the time. We all need a break and a little time to ourselves, and different people are energized by different things. I, apparently, get my kicks from calling complete strangers and asking them for money. (aka, sales.) The only downside of all of that glamorous fanny kissing, is the travel. Occasionally it can be fun…a fun city you have never been to, a client you always love to see, a restaurant you have read about and actually get to go to in another state. You get the picture.
But what does travel REALLY look like for our house these days? It goes like this. Mommy (me) has a flight on Tuesday and will be gone one night, but two full evenings due to awful RIC flight times (see above). Mommy spends Sunday buying food for the week for the family of 6. Mommy gets up at 4:15am on Monday to go to a work out class at 5am because the day is so crazy that the only way to get it done is to be finished and home by 6:20am. Mommy gets 3 kids up, dressed, fed, hopefully teeth brushed, and out the door. Work all day. Come home and make dinner for Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. Put extra dinners in fridge with instructional sticky notes. Take kids to bed and wipe their tears about my leaving the next day. Check with the teenager to make sure his basketball uniform is clean and to remind him for the one thousandth time that he needs his BLUE jersey for away games. Not white. I prefer to not see him in the middle school girls jersey he had to wear the last time he forgot (are all teenagers forgetful??) Pack my suitcase and fall into bed. (Shawn does a thing or two in there. ☺)
So you see, no glamour. Why do I lay out of the details? Do I want sympathy/empathy, a little ‘poor Tennille stuff’? Um, duh, yes. I do. But the real reason is that I want goHappy. I want to do something I enjoy, I want to carve out special time with my family. I want to make great memories and try new things. I want that balance. Shawn getting to do something he loves and is passionate about is reason enough for me to tackle a traveling full time job and four kids, but if he can also deliver me a tool that will help me do all of this with planned balance? Then heck yeah. Send me back to the armpit of the earth. I will just drink on the plane and pretend I am going to San Diego.
So if you are one of those people who feels like you are living with no margin, as our pastor would say, then just know you are not alone. I am convinced every house has their own crazy going on. We just might be holding our crazy together by a shoestring. (And wine corks.) But at this time of year and the extra chaos of preparing for Santa, I am going to take my newly accrued 4 vacation days and enjoy every last second and be thankful to have a healthy family to miss me, a job that pays me, friends to toast with and a husband who is on a mission, so that we can all #goHappy.