Since Cillian has been born we have spent almost every moment together, until the dreaded-not-so-bad-going-back-to-work thing that happened. My partner and I, partially due to circumstance and partially due to choice haven’t taken a lot of moments for us, I mean beyond the obvious one – the hour and half after you finally get Mr. FOMO down for his night sleep and the pure exhaustion of the day hasn’t caught up with you yet. You know when you feel like a rebel or a kid again and are trying to stay up past your bedtime, which now is similar to the one you had in grade school.
Well last week, I left, I had to go fly back to Calgary for four days on a work trip. Cillian clearly was in amazing hands with his dad and grandparents close by, I wasn’t concerned for his well-being, but more for mine. Four nights away from him, and with the time difference it meant very little FaceTime before he was off to hopefully the land of zzzzzz. I had talked to a friend who I work with and has been doing the similar work remotely and travel quarterly to the office. She told me to book as many meetings as I could during the day, and enjoy the evenings with friends or even… just by myself – can you imagine.
So my bags were packed, I was ready to go, standing outside Cillian’s door – except he got sick for the very first time with a bad cold that week and had been up since 4am, which was nice because I was able to say a good-bye before my awfully early morning flight, but sucked for daddy because he was going to have a long week ahead of him. I hate flying, I have an arsenal of drugs in my cupboard – anti-anxiety this and that, sleeping knock you out drugs, which I don’t even look at until I step into that contraption. Well you can’t take the drugs if you have a meeting lined up the second you land, also the drugs don’t work, never have. I bring them with me more as a security option but rarely take them anymore.
Here I was, back in my old home town, checking into a hotel and running to my first meeting, wearing adult clothing with straightened hair and make-up on. I had been up since 1am local time but was running on adrenaline, able to push through the day towards my evening plans to meet up with a friends and eat my way through the new hipster restaurant that had popped up since I was gone, enjoying a cocktail or two, or three. The great thing when your internal clock is in a timezone three hours ahead, you eat and drink durning happy hour. That night was the first night since Cillian was born that I was away from him. Did I sleep, oh hells ya, I don’t think I moved from the moment I went to bed at 830 (yup that says 830) until I woke up at 445. I normally sleep like I am in a Kung-Fu movie to give you some context on how well I passed out. My friend-worker had also given me the tip of trying to stay somewhat in your timezone in regards to your bedtime, so I got up. Then the next big thing happened… I got ready, at a leisurely pace, without out telling a toddler trying to explore the way too expensive eyeshadow pallet that he is too young for make-up. I also put on fun work clothing, and left the hotel room before anything was spilled on it, I mean besides the coffee.
So this is how the next three days went, back to back meetings or team building events, shopping for kids clothing (because I no longer find the same joy in shopping for me) after work, meeting up with friends in the evening and trying all the cocktails at Instagram worthy restaurants, sleeping the nights through and making an effort to look cute in the mornings – I’ll let you know that before I went on this trip I YouTubed make-up tutorials because it had been so long since I painted my face.
By day four I was done and wanted to be home – which has nothing to do with the fabulous friends I met up with on day four. I missed my home, I missed ocean air (there was a air quality warning/apocalyptic essence due to forest fires), I missed my artsy hippy hipster vs. wealthy nerdy hipsters and of course most of all I missed my family. Sure sleep was great, and looking pretty was a nice boost in the confidence, but I wanted big toothy smiles, snuggles, dance parties and co-parenting. I should also mention that during this time, my poor partner was taking care of a sick baby, a midnight fire alarm and working full-time – the mom/partner guilt was real.
Since I have been back I feel like Cillian appreciates me a bit more, or as much as a toddler can show appreciation (big sloppy kisses, extra hugs and more ups). I am no longer boring old mom who was too clingy, I am mom that went away for a bit and came back. He wants to spend his time equally with me and his dad, it is nice to have moved up on the popularity list – for a while I was having flashbacks of high school.
I will have to keep traveling for my work, not nearly as much as pre-baby, and my travels will look different. I have a strict bedtime I try to keep, so that when I come back home the shock of being woken up by a toddler isn’t any harder than it has to be. I appreciate the little moments of me time, like getting ready in the morning, and make an effort to fill my evenings with friends that have been neglected since baby and move, and the biggest change is I try to enjoy the flight time – because its a few hours that I can just sit quietly with music and read a book.