“Mom do you have to go?” was my little ones’ tag line at bedtime, for a whole week before my weeklong trip for a conference. Even after sitting down and patiently telling her where and why mom is going and why she cannot come, I could see it was still very hard for her to imagine mom not being there when she comes home from school.
I kept telling myself this was like the 1st week of kindergarten where you are advised to say a quick goodbye and just leave! Only to hear later that your precious little one cried for 2 minutes only and then was just fine. You are relieved to hear that and know she is in a safe place, but still not sure you believe them. And then you wonder what kind of a psychological impact this would have on her. Mom does not care. But she will know when she grows up.
We came up with these 5 things which we went over about 6 times before I left and it has worked wonders so I thought I must share it with you. It’s been 7 full days of being away and I am about 3 hours from hugging them again as I write this!
- Whenever you experience pain, due to fear or separation, you are growing! Growing stronger, wiser, more independent and so remember that when you are missing mom.
- She asked to have something that I use every day so she could hold it and feel good when she misses mom. Not as easy as you think. She finally hooked my keychain to her school bag so she can have it at home or school.
- Since we all meditate every night, we agreed that they can easily take 2 minutes and find a quiet spot and mediate when they feel like they are missing mom a lot. We actually kept up with our nightly family meditation over facetime every night! Facetime rocks!
- Anya came up with this idea. “Mom write me some post it notes and leave them by my bed before you go” wow I could not have thought of that. I wrote 3, one saying I love her, another with phone numbers of 4 family/friends she can call anytime and the 3rd reminding her that she is growing strong and mom is so proud of her.
- Letting her class teacher know about my trip and her feeling emotional about it helped. Letting Anya know that she can always go up to her and express her feelings and that the teacher will understand made her feel good. And yes she said she did talk to her teacher the 1st day, which was the hardest one.
As for my almost 13 year old son, all he needed was knowing who will pick, drop and take him to his activities. And Dad was a happy camper having the logistics of transportation and meal plans, play dates etc. on a schedule.
Here is what I needed to feel good and have a fruitful trip. Reminding myself that I am going to learn and grow myself and that in turn will only make me a better person having a positive impact beyond my family and community. That is what drove me to leave without guilt but with a mission much greater than me.
The best I have heard from my husband in a while is, “I did not get a single minute to watch TV or just relax!” I said “oh I would have never known that” and then… my plane landed!
What is your reason to go out and do something outside your comfort zone? That is the answer that will take you there.