I vividly remember the first time I traveled without my kid like it was yesterday and not, you know, last year. Now that I’m a parent, traveling is a complicated, beastly topic that can evoke just as much stress as it does joy. When my partner or I (or both of us) have a trip we need or want to take, we’re left with countless questions, including but not limited to; should we take our kid? Should we bring him along? Should we include him in our travels? Should he join us on this journey? Actually, wait, now that I’m looking back, I realize that all of these questions are pretty much asking the same thing. Still, you get the idea.
So far, I’ve spent roughly three nights away from my son, two of which were hours away and one of which was like, ten minutes. There were positives and negatives in each situation, but factoring in the extra distance certainly added an extra layer of complexity to the whole going-away-for-a-little-while thing (and sparked countless extra “what if” questions, as you’ll soon see). There's something to be said for putting some distance between yourself and your kid. On the one hand, it's almost freeing. On the other hand, well, you kind of want to curl up into a little ball of anxiety and/or never leave your child ever again. Motherhood is nothing but feels, you guys.
So, just in case there are any moms out there who are contemplating long-distance travel, or whose circumstances require travel away from their kid for a substantial or even minor amount of time, please allow me to share a preview of what just might be pulsing through your mind when the big day arrives. Hey, at least you know you're not alone, right? That's, like, minimally helpful, right?
"It’ll Be Fine"
I mean, statistically, this is absolutely true. I had to keep telling myself this over and over again, while simultaneously seeking reassurance from everyone around me. I also found myself totally trying to stay busy so my mind didn’t wander to scary places.
"Committing To This Trip Was The Biggest Mistake I’ll Ever Make In My Entire Life"
OK, yes, maybe I was being slightly dramatic. But at the time, it totally felt real; like a hologram of my favorite deceased musician performing for me in an intense, ominous way.
"What If Something Happens?"
I mean, have we considered every possible outcome to me going like a million miles away for 48 hours? I need to think about this.
"What If We Get A Flat Tire And My Phone Dies In The Woods And It’s Like A Horror Movie But Even More Terrible Because I Can’t Be Reached At The Exact Moment My Kid Needs Me?"
Well, if we want to get technical, the answer to this I probably wouldn’t even know something was wrong because I’m not being reached. Wait, am I prepared for that, too?
"And What If My Kid Gets Stung By A Bee Or Skins Their Knee Or Gets Food Poisoning Or Something Worse And I’m Not There To Soothe Them?"
In actuality, I knew my partner would be able to adequately take care of our kid. As a matter of fact, and as it turns out, my son's dad is a skilled caretaker and even better bee sting whisperer than me, so my son is in extremely good hands.
"What If I Actually Like It?"
This is the same question that has led me to avoid cigarettes, acupuncture, and Game Of Thrones, which each require some kind of commitment. However, in the case of traveling alone, my concern is more about the guilt. I already have enough things to feel guilty about, thanks.
"It Would Take Me Exactly 4 Hours And 27 Minutes (And An Untold Amount Of Money) To Return Home In The Event Of An Emergency"
Now that this fact is out there, let’s not sit and think about all the horrible things that could happen in a four and a half hour period. The list is long enough already.
"It Feels Weird Not To Pack Diapers And Baby Pajamas"
And seriously, is someone packing freshly cut onions without telling me? Why is my vision blurry?
"Maybe I’ll Just Bring One Teddy Bear"
Is that weird? I have a feeling it’s a little weird, but not like creepy-weird, so I might just roll with it.
"What Did People Do Before FaceTime?"
And how about people who are totally off the grid or who don’t have the same technology at their fingertips? Or people who leave their chargers at home? How do we survive in these circumstances?
"Is It Unreasonable To Ask My Partner To Text Me Photos Every Hour, On The Hour?"
Actually, please don’t answer that. What if I ask it like this: is it unreasonable for my partner to send me oxygen in the form of pixels every hour on the hour?
"Now that I’m Here, I Suppose I Might As Well Try To Enjoy It"
I mean, it’d be a shame to waste this time and this location and this glass of wine, right?
Sorry, can’t hear you over the this loud music and the sounds of heavy my panting from dancing so hard. Text me!