Thursday, February 10, 2011

Children & Business Travel

(I originally posted this just before my trip to Frankfurt on Mums in Cyprus where I guest blog, and I thought I'd share it here as well)

My career used to be my driving force.

When I lived in New York I was this go-getting professional 20 something, with an ambition without limits.  I loved my time at Uni even though I spent it working full time and studying full time.  An experience I would never, ever change.

I worked to pay for tuition, living expenses; I worked for the experience; I took unpaid internships in Finance; I volunteered to teach at schools with underprivileged children in East Harlem; I worked because I loved it.

Finally after graduation I got my cushy job on Wall Street.  It was great, I had been waiting for that moment since starting Uni and it was all I ever dreamed off.  Until of course I realized that family and Wall Street don't mix so well.  Which is when I finally accepted that marriage proposal and moved to Cyprus.

I was still determined to have a career and I found a great job in Finance that required extensive travel.  I was going from Almaty (Kazakhstan) to Cannes, Minsk to Istanbul; Tbilisi to London.  It was amazing. I loved every minute of it.   I couldn't believe that I'd found such a job in Cyprus and I really enjoyed it.

Until of course my lovely daughter was born.  Once she was born, everything changed.   I couldn't care less about my career.  It was the last thing on my mind and my "career" now was all about her.  It felt so phony to go and work for something I felt was so secondary to the new little life I had in front of me.  I was now a 30 something mommy and that's all I wanted to be.

It also didn't help that the maternity leave is only 4 months.  I refused to have someone else bring up my child for me and I stayed at home with Emma up until a couple of months after she started kindergarten.  I only started work when she was 20 months, when I realized that after school she'd sleep until about 4pm.  So working until 5 wouldn't be such a bad deal.  I could have the best of both worlds!

The one thing I didn't count on was the travel (and a change in her sleeping patterns!).  And while the travel is much, much less at my new job, its still so heart breaking when I have to go.  I'm leaving tomorrow.  I'm going to Frankfurt for a whole week and I can't bear to be away from Emma.

She knows that I'm leaving, I've been preparing her for a week and every time she says "But not today".  As the time gets closer she gets clingy. She follows me around the house, she wants to only be with me... Is it better not to prepare her in advance?  Is it better to tell her just the day I'm leaving? I don't even know anymore...

I'm leaving for a whole week and as she gets older its worse.  In October, I was gone for 2 days (only 1 night) and she had regressed in her potty training!  I dread business travel so much that I am this close to bringing them with me (my husband and Emma).

To make matters worse, in a month from now I'm going to Dubai. Again for a week.  I used to love this.  I would still love it if I didn't have those big lovely brown eyes waiting for mommy at home.

My career used to be my driving force; now my driving force, my energy is the time I spend with Emma and I count the minutes every day for when I'll be home with her again.

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  1. Aww I remember the first time I had to leave my little girl for a week to go to a funeral in England. It was so hard. I, too, hadn't been apart from her. But we made it! I came back and life continued as normal. You guys will be fine, I promise!

    It's so sweet how you love your daughter. I know what you mean about them becoming your world.

  2. Welcome back!

    I can't even imagine how hard it must be for you to leave Emma! But what an amazing example you are setting for her - you can be a wonderful mom and have a great career! (and make super cool lunches - seriously, how do you do it all? :) )

  3. So hard to leave them, isn't it?


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