Saturday, February 16, 2008

How to feel like a bad wife and mother

without even trying.

I have a job that requires occasional travel. The pay off for this travel is that I get to live in Seattle and keep my fantastic job in San Jose. Another perk is that I get to see my best friend almost every time I make a trip the the home office.

But there are drawbacks, for one, I have to leave the family behind. I miss them. Sure, I get a few nights of great sleep, I get to eat out at the pace a normal adult usually eats and I only have my own to do list, not the combined to do list of an entire family. The problem is that when I leave my responsibilities behind, Mr. Dog has to pick them up. Not normally a huge deal, but every time I am left to manage on my own with two kids, I gain a new level of admiration of single parents everywhere.

Unfortunately my latest trip was delayed due to my ear infection, I thought I was doing a big favor to everyone by delaying my trip a week, putting it after little dog's birthday. And Mr. Dog was convinced too, until the night before my trip. Little Dog was up every couple of hours. We both were deeply deprived of sleep, and I stagged to my taxi in a zombie like state leaving Mr. Dog to manage on his own.

It wasn't until later that evening I knew just what I had left him to manage. Little Dog has a a fever, it got up over 103 and stayed there for the duration of my trip. On top of being sick, he was up all night, he would not sleep unless he was being held and in general he was being miserable. Mr. Dog had to manage that, take care of Big Dog and his longing for mommy and still go to work. When I talked to him, he seemed completely wiped out. When I talked to NE, she told me how sad Little Dog was, he kept asking for mommy and his fever was sapping his normal wildness.

When I got home I spent a sleepless night with my feverish baby, trying to let Mr. Dog catch up on his sleep a bit, while trying to show Big Dog I missed him too and give him the attention he deserves and needed.

Now I am completely drained. Business travel is always exhausting for me. Since I don't go to San Jose frequently enough, I am constantly trying to fit in all of the face to face time that I miss by working remotely while attending my normal busy schedule of business meetings and making time for anyone on the team who drops by my visitor office. I'm hoping I can smooth this all out this year by traveling more often, but this puts more stress on Mr. Dog since I'll be gone more often. It is like juggling, but with really big and heavy objects, like kids, computers and homes. No wonder my body aches.

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