Blue Vintage Suitcase, by kthread on flickr
By the time you read this, I’ll probably be on a plane to New Orleans, where I’ll be taking part in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s America Healing conference on racial equity.
In the next few months, I will be traveling to no fewer than four conferences as part of my blogging work. For some of my jet-setting mom friends, that would be business as usual. But for me… that means in less than a year, I could very well fly more times than I have since my kids were born.
This is all new territory for me. First of all, I don’t know how to pack, what to bring. My daily uniform of yoga pants and a hoodie probably won’t work, neither will my pre-child career clothes, which look like they were borrowed from the set of Ally McBeal. Meanwhile the rest of the world has morphed into the cruel joke that is business casual, i.e.: If you have to ask, clearly you don’t know what you’re doing and should just go home. So after A Year (Almost) Without Shopping, I’ve been wandering the malls a lot, peering between the racks to see what other working women are wearing.
Then, I don’t’ know how to pack. Next month, I’ll be speaking at the Asian American Advertising Federation conference. It’s only two days. Yet I’m paralyzed by the possibility of traveling with only carry-on. Thien-Kim Lam of I’m Not the Nanny reminded me, “It’s only two days!”. Here’s my fear: TSA Liquid Restrictions. Three 2 ounce containers? I’m so confused. I use more than that just to wash my face in the morning! Maybe I need to look into multi-use products? Try the hotel samples? *shudder*
But what really freaks me out is that I’ll be leaving the kids for multiple days, during which time they are supposed to go on with their normal lives of school, homework, band practice, Little League, tae kwon do, etc. I’ve created a day by day schedule for my husband and my parents, who will be holding down the fort while I’m gone.
And then there’s the guilt. Volunteer art lessons must be postponed. I’ll be missing Open House for one of my trips. A multi-family campout for another.
Last night, as I said bedtime prayers with the boys, I asked them to say a prayer for me as I’m traveling. My normally reticent nine-year old piped up, “Dear God, please watch over Mom this week. Amen.”
I know plenty of working mothers have done this before, and their children have survived. What are your tips?