So, I’m off to Asia for 2 weeks. It’s a long haul this time. The jet lag is going to be brutal. The flights are long, my head will hurt from lack of sleep. On the descent into Tokyo, there was 3 hours of turbulence and I had to put away the article that I was editing for fear that my mid flight cheese bread would make a comeback over all of my papers and keyboard.
Meanwhile, back on the range, I’ve left the fridge stocked with the things I think the family will cook, briefed everyone on the lunch menu at school and their options if they want to bring their own. The husband is a a real trooper and covering the after school sports activities. I know it takes a toll on him but it's the fine tightrope balance we all have to tread. A couple of days during my absence, my mother in law plans to have her chauffeur hat in one hand and casserole in the other - hopefully not when she’s driving. Actually, grandma is a really good driver. I love my in-laws, really, I do.
Pics from left to right: Dragon fruit, pomelo, rosebud tea, mangoes, bunches of lemongrass.
I travel a lot for work … about once a month, I leave home and traipse half way around the world. It is simply madness the day before departure because in addition to the usually packing and sorting, there is the home and work to settle. Everything in the office and home has to be spic and span before I go… at least, that is the target. But the reality is that there are still unlaundered socks and at least one child has forgotten something that I hope the husband can “fix”. It won’t be perfect or the way I like it done but the consolation is that, yes, it is taken care of. The husband is my pillar of strength.
This weekend, I’ve piled on to my schedule, far more than I can chew. I am going to spend 3 days as a chaperone at camp for a church youth event; come home all muddy on Sunday evening; unpack my case, repack it with business attire and even formal evening wear. Then on Monday morning, after the kids have been sent off to school with hugs and kisses, it’s of to the airport for a 29 hour transatlantic flight.
It is an incredibly hectic 2 weeks coming up. And my tummy is in knots. Alternating between nerves and excitement, I remedy the situation by making lists.
But, the best parts are all contained within the hustle and bustle — there is 3 whole days of camp with my kids, incredible new discoveries for my work, and even a wedding at the end of the 2 weeks. And again, the husband is my pillar of strength. I must pause to properly kiss him.
The thing I am most looking forward to on the trip is …. the absence of wifi on the plane. There is bliss and quiet. Time to edit a journal article, read a couple of books, and binge watch episodes of Suits. Yay!
On the home front, sports season has begun and there are practices 2 to 3 times per week until the end of October. The dilemma occurs when both parents work, and the pick up schedule varies every day. As a back up, working moms like me have a few options for hitching a ride including:
1. Asking the in-laws for help
2. Piggy back a ride off another mom to the game
Can't go with option one since it is birthday week for one of the in-laws, and it would be mighty rude and to ask. The mere mention might turn me from an in-law into an outlaw. Option two it is...... now all I have to figure out is how much "goodwill" do I have vested in one of the other parents.
Team uniforms? Yup.
Water bottles? Yup.
What time does the game end? Oh boo! No clue.
Weather? Double boo! Rain.
That means standing in the drizzle with a small commuter umbrella, dress clothes and Bog rain boots. Nothing matches - nothing looks glam in the rain, unless you are Audrey Hepburn. Well, I guess it's chin up and call me "Audrey" ... make that "Dr. Audrey".
The real deal about what it’s like to be a working mom. I often hear the following phrase, “I don’t know how you manage it all.“ The reality is, I don’t even know. Deep down inside, I’m wondering the same thing about them. I have two kids, a wonderful husband, a normal suburban life. I’ve always been achievement oriented and simply love to tackle things that sometimes make other peoples eyes glaze over… in boredom. I’m a researcher and my view on the technical stuff is that nothing is difficult, merely complex.
Flat Stanley at the Changing of the Guards.