I was never afraid of flying prior to becoming a mom. I loved exploring new places! I craved adventure! My old passport is full of stamps, (New Zealand, England, Mexico, Costa Rica) so why does the thought of travel now cause a pit in my stomach!?
Upon meeting the love of my life and now husband I learned that he was deathly afraid of flying. He hid this fact until we were taxying down the runway en route to California, out first big trip as a couple! Trying to calm someone’s anxieties during a turbulent six hour flight certainly breaks in a new relationship!
Four years later we packed up our car and drove to our honeymoon in Florida. I flew back on my own because marriage is all about compromise! Over the years, we’ve logged more miles in our car than stamps in our passports. He promises to one day board an airplane for the sake of our twins. In the meantime, I am perfectly happy to stay close to home, with him by my side. You see, I have become a bit of a homebody myself! Now, given the choice of going out versus cuddling up at home with my crew I’ll pick the later every time!
My new found fear of flying is very different than my husband’s. I am okay with being in a metal box, thousands of feet up in the air. I have the ability to trust the pilot. What I have developed, however, is a real anxiety over being away from my family! As a working mom I am used to putting in long hours on the job.
Luckily, my office is only a twenty minute drive from our home. I’ve recently taken on a new client who requires travel to the Midwest. The first time I walked out the door with my rolling suitcase I felt like someone was punching me in the gut. My anxiety makes me feel like I am missing a part of my own body. If anything were to happen at home I’d be unable to return at a moments notice! Not to mention, so many crucial moments are missed when I’m away from home overnight! Who is going to do my daughters hair before school? Who is going to get my son “cozy” in his crib at bedtime. Who is going to kiss them both goodnight? It’s not me and that kills me.
In this era of constant communication I can FaceTime with my family at any time. This should help ease my mind. Why is it then that seeing my kids happily eating their meal with Grandma or playing with Daddy only adds to the pit in my stomach!? They are well taken care of and having fun. They don’t need me at home. They don’t feel the same pain of separation that I feel.
I know that my monthly trips across the country are nothing compared to the travel that some working parents have to endure. This is new to me…both being a parent and also traveling for work. I am still learning how to make it through these trips and their accompanying sense of dread. Hopefully it gets easier, and if it doesn’t it may be time to dust off my resume!