Friday, November 25, 2016

New Job, Leaving My Kids & Family Emergencies

   November 14th was a really hard day for me as a parent. I felt unappreciated and unfulfilled at my job so I found a new one. More on that at a later time. My new job is here in Florida where I live. However, after I got hired I found out training was in St. Louis Missouri, for 2 weeks… insert sad ominous music here. When I tell you I was sick to my stomach with worry you have no freaking idea. The longest I’ve been away from the big 5 was 2 days for a weekends in Vegas. And as for the youngest 2 I’ve only been away from them for 24 hours. WTF was I going to do without my babies and what were they going to do without me?!?!

   I was excited for the new job. It’s an amazing opportunity. For weeks leading up to the trip I was praying hard!!! I really wanted something to change and I would stay home for training. No such luck. All of my friends told me to look at this as a much needed vacation. I told them I would try but I felt guilty for even thinking that way. What if they needed me? What if someone got sick or hurt? I’d be way too far away to do anything.
   Sunday morning, the day before I had to leave… I sat in my bed and hugged my 2-year-old Jayda and I cried. Real tears. Ugly faced and all.

   I made sure I spent as much time as possible with everyone. I even stayed up until midnight watching cartoons with Jayda. I barely slept at all for the 2 hours I had. I was up at 2am and my taxi came at 3am. I was off for a 5:20 am flight meeting 3 strangers I was in training with. What a way to meet people. I’ll share more of that story on the other blog.
   We arrived in St. Louis for week 1 of training going straight to the office at 10am after our flight landed at 9am. I was way too tired to be stressed about leaving my kids at this point. After work I headed to my cute little extended stay suite. It was a reminder of my first apartment. A studio in Phoenix Arizona in 1996. The last time I lived alone and had only myself to think of. This studio however was bigger and nicer.

   After getting settled in we went to the grocery store and each got food for our individual apartments. Shopping for one was really weird. I mean really weird. I over shopped and still had money left over. Weird.

   I video chatted with the kids every single night, several times a night. By night 3 as I nestled in my bed after going out to eat with coworkers, I grabbed a glass of wine and watched whatever I wanted to in a bed. All. By. Myself. No fighting over the tv. No one stealing the blankets and no fighting period. Wow. I felt good and no guilt at all.  I slept like a woman without a care in the world.

   That quickly changed as I got to work the next day and started getting calls from the hospital down by my house in Florida.

   My husband ended up really sick and needed emergency surgery. So while I’m in training in St. Louis my husband is in the hospital and the kids are at home. Alone. Thank God for my 18-year-old Dee Dee. She handled everything flawlessly. My husband had to be sedated so I had to make all medical decisions by phone. Which meant a couple of things. I was again sick to my stomach, stuck in Missouri until the next day when I was scheduled to come home for the weekend and even if I could catch a flight that day the drs needed to be able to get a hold of me which they wouldn’t be able to do if I was flying. So I sat in my little studio after work awaiting the dr’s call to let me know when he was going into surgery and when it was over how he did. Thank God everything turned out alright. He was in ICU recovering, the kids were taken care of and my close friends came to the rescue and picked me up from the airport the next night.

   When I walked through the door of my house all of my kids ran and hugged and kissed me… all except 1…. Jayda. My 2-year-old shadow. My light. She stood in the Livingroom and looked at me as if for the first time in ages and she cried. Long, hard, sobbing cries. As if she had been holding it in for the whole 5 days I was away. I held her. Rocked her and kissed her as she let it all out.

   The 2 days I had home was spent going to and from the hospital and home. The guilt kicked in again as I had to leave his bedside to spend time with the kids as well as when I left them to go back to the hospital. Thankfully he was out of the hospital Sunday night and I again left at 3am for a flight back to St. Louis. Believe it or not the second time around was harder to leave than the first. Even thou this time would be a much shorter trip due to Thanksgiving I got to leave Wednesday evening.
   This time in a hotel room with a super soft comfy king sized bed I was asleep each night by 9pm. The faster I went to sleep the faster a new day would begin and I could go home. Missouri experiences cold that Florida knows nothing about. While it was raining in the 20s and 30s in St. Louis it was sunny and in the 80s back home. I was cold, lonely and in need of cuddles from my little and big kids. Kisses from sticky faces and to hear “Mom” every 5 minutes. The first week was relaxing and a much needed break. The second week felt like a punishment for enjoying the first week.

   I feel like there is so much I’m leaving out. But I think you get the gist of it. Would I do it again? I can’t answer that right now. Not while the aching still lingers in my heart from my time away. I do know this… we all need a break. There is nothing wrong with a little time away from our families. We can become pretty run down without it. Cranky even. We have to take care of ourselves. So I have decided to check into a nice hotel close to home once in a while. Just me. In a room. A glass of wine. Watching whatever I want. In a bed. All. By. Myself. No fighting over the tv. No one stealing the blankets. No fighting. Just me having me time.

Photo credit: Hernan Piñera via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

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