I’ve been traveling for work a lot over the past year, and it’s a blessing, but honestly, I feel guilty as hell.
I’m currently in the midst of the most amazing, yet stressful and hardest year of my life. For years during the building and grinding season of WhitPR I dreamed of what I have now, what I’m doing now and the growth that is happening with my company, but no one told me that this shit would be this hard.
So for all those who think that entrepreneurship is easy and glamorous, congratulations…you played yourself.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you “eat what you kill” and it requires a work ethic that demands a lot of your time, attention and hustle that many may deem as crazy. You have to be laser focus on your goals for the business while still executing the work. If you couple that with being a mom, shit is really crazy. There’s a whole another person that depends on you, who you have to cloth, bathe, feed, love and nurture.
Right now I'm going through a bit of mom guilt. Each mom goes through their own sort of “mom guilt”, maybe its not doing the laundry, forgetting to pack lunch, or hiding in the bathroom for a minute of peace (some of which I’ve done), but personally, mine is leaving for days or weeks at a time for work trips.
As I write this, I’m headed for a two week work trip to Australia with a client that is receiving a pretty phenomenal and prestigious award, the Sydney Peace Price. It’s Monday, I leave Wednesday and nothing is packed, my two year old son who I haven't been away for more than a few days since his birth has his Halloween parade and picture day all while I’m out of the country and I’m feeling pretty guilty.
Everyday is a new development with him, everyday he's learning, sharing and experiencing something new, and I dont want to miss the new developments. For instance, yesterday, he woke up at 4:30 a.m., walked into my bedroom, turned on all the lights, and demanded that his dad turn on his favorite movie, Rio. Yes I know that's crazy, yes, me and his dad were both like WTH, but me being away for two weeks only heightens my anxiety of what other new "moments" I will miss while I'm gone. This isn't just because I'm leaving for Australia, this happens EVERY time I leave for a work trip because often times they are for more than a day.
Without fail every time I have to head out of town, I obsess and stress over the planning of the trip and a trying to organize my house as much as possible. I do the most and try to make sure that Gabe's dad has everything laid out to "hold down the fort" while I'm away; this means packed lunches, organized outfits (dad is colorblind...sorry for putting you on blast KB), prepared dinners, and special outfits for major events at school like picture day or his halloween parade.
Don’t get me wrong, my partner is amazing and has supported me every step of this entrepreneurial journey, and I know they'll be ok, but I still feel a sense of culpability and angst for leaving my son, my family again and for so long.
In addition to trying to get my life together with ensuring my home is in order, and packing for my trip, I have to make sure my WhitPR team is organized so the ship doesn’t turn over while I’m away and our clients needs are still being met. So there's another level of angst.
Often times I have to remind myself these three things:
1. All the blessings that I am receiving now are things that I prayed for, so be grateful.
2. My son is still young enough that he won’t remember these long periods of me being away. (hopefully)
3. Everything that I'm doing, I am doing for my family.
However, for those people that roll there eyes at me for being emotional or for feeling guilty about leaving for work, FYI that’s not helpful. Let me go through my own guilt and figure out my own ways to combat it, which I’m working on.
But telling a mom to not feel guilty is damn near impossible, so let us just rock out and figure out our own solutions for feeling less guilty about things that may seem trivial to some. But moms (and I'm speaking to myself here), the guilt you feel is temporary, and ultimately things always work out.
Ok rant over...grabbing a glass of wine.