Prepping For Re-EntryPosted by: Sherice Torres on June 12th, 2012
In every space movie I’ve ever seen, the most dangerous part of the trip is always re-entry. Hurtling back to Earth at high speed, searing heat and vibration threatening to break the ship apart. Gasps of relief when the heroes make it safely back home.
I never thought coming home from a month of non-stop business trips would feel the same…minus the hero’s welcome part.
Let me explain.
I’ve always been an expert traveler. It started early on in my career, from my consulting days. On the road five days per week, a different city every month. Literally living out of my suitcase. I can pack for a trip of any length within 20 minutes, and rarely if ever forget anything at home (or in the hotel room). Once the kids arrived, I travelled less but business trips are still a regular part of my job. Now, instead of traveling once or twice each month I find it works better if I lump my trips into a few weeks of non-stop travel 2 or 3 times each year.
I’m always fastidious in my preparation for the trip. Bags packed, school events prepped for, kids’ outfits picked out in advance, grocery delivery set up for the day of my return and meals planned and prepped before take off. No matter what time zone I’m in, I do my best to speak to my kids each morning before school and we have a new habit of catching up via Facetime after dinner. I don’t know about you, but my kids could care less about the telephone (they’re much more interested in getting back to whatever game they were playing or movie they were watching than hearing Mommy’s voice come out of a box). But seeing Mommy on the iPad? Now THAT’S cool. It makes me smile to see their little faces each day, and makes me feel like I’m still part of the daily routine even when I’m on the road.
The problem is, I’m really not. Hence, the challenges of re-entry.
Even though the kids (and The Hubs) miss me while I’m away, they get into their own groove without Mommy. When I come back, I can’t help but feel like a third wheel – part of the family, sure, but not really fitting quite like I did before the latest BadAssMama Travel-o-Rama. True, some of it is my own paranoia (or guilt, take your pick). But I can’t help but feel a bit left out whenever I come back from a long business trip.
The good news is that I’ll be back into the normal routine for the next several weeks, with only a few random overnight trips until Summer. But next time, I’ll be careful to prepare just as much for re-entry as I do for departure, so that no one gets burned…least of all me.