Once upon a time, in the world of a working mother, a busy mom was asked to attend a conference in the far away land of Cincinnati. This mom, knowing that her trip away from home would not bode well with her children, opted not tell them of her trip until the night before her departure. The following is a tale of this mother's journey away from home (for a ridiculously long trip of 1.5 days ;o)
Chapter 1: The Reveal
Me: Hi guys. How was school today?
Mr. B: What are we going to do tonight? (see I'm not kidding that I get asked this every day)
Me: Well, after dinner I have to get ready for a work trip to Cincinnati...
Let's just say that the once they realized they weren't coming with me and that they had to actually stay home with a sitter (not a stranger, mind you, but one that has watched them since birth)...well, eruption ensued.
The whining, complaining, and guilt-tripping continued for hours.
"But that means we'll be home without any parent for two whole days...how will I be able to sleep?"
"Can't you just quite your job? It's not really THAT important since you only have a few people at your company."
And then it finally came out:
"But mom, I don't want you to go because I REALLY love you and I'm gonna miss you SO much."
And suddenly the hours of complaining finally disappeared.
Chapter 2: Road Trip
Before my journey to the land of Cincinnati could begin, I had to squeeze in a quick trip to the salon for a haircut (does anyone else have a hard time fitting in these everyday tasks into their busy schedule? What? No one? OK then, carry on, but not before letting me in on your time management secrets.)
With a fresh style adorning my head and a hot mocha from Caribou Coffee in hand, my chariot (a dusty SUV equipped with Satellite Radio) departed south. Let's just say with a four hour road trip, I quickly became VERY familiar with Cosmo Radio (the official radio station of Cosmopolitan Magazine). Yes, I am 36 and totally NOT in their demographic. But what can I say? With shows like Cocktails with Patrick and Cosmolicious...come on, it was like reading a trashy romance novel on vacation. I couldn't turn it off.
After 4 hours I knew more about fun fearless women, cheating, pet names for loved ones, calorie restriction diets, relationships with exes...and even pelvic flour exercisers (I kid you not...there is such a thing and people buy them.)
Chapter 3: Visit with a long lost friend
A huge bonus of my vist to the land of Cincinnati, beyond getting a day away from my normal responsibilities of life, was getting to see my college roommate/bridesmaid, Melissa, who lived a mere 15 minute from my hotel. After successfully navigating my printed Mapquest directions in the dark (yes, I was kicking myself that I didn't have a GPS) I arrived. And it was like we'd never been apart. We talked for three hours and it seemed like only minutes. Despite the 4 hour distance between us, our lives seemed to mirror each other in many ways, with each of us struggling at times to find our balance with motherhood (her as a SAHM and mine as a WOHM). It made my heart smile and was easily the BEST part of my trip away from home.
Chapter 4: Conference
It came. I networked. I took notes. The End.
P.S I sat with @PositivelyCleveland at the awards luncheon. And their Hastily Made Tourism Video contest campaign (which was won by my friend) took home top honors. Small world, heh.
Chapter 5: Before the clock strikes
As soon as the conference ended, this
And during my journey home I listened to...you guessed, it: COSMO! At least I was honest when I revealed that I'm easily obsessed.
Chapter 6: Happily Ever After
There's NOTHING like opening the door and being greeted with your darling seven year old daughter running with outstretched arms to greet you. And giving you a powerful hug full of enough love to last a lifetime. Then seeing the sly smile from your 11 year old son (who's not really into PDA) as he moseys over to give me a backwards hug (where he turns around, but still allows me to hug him).
At the end of the day, I had returned home safely. My children were happy. And all was right with the world (at least until the next trip...perhaps I need to take more trips so it gets a little easier for them ;)