I wrote a last week about how hard it is to travel and be away from Wesley. I hate missing his meals, bedtime routine, and silliness. I miss hugging my little man and playing with him. I wonder what he's doing and if he's having fun. It's hard to travel without Wesley.
Occasionally I have the opportunity to travel for work and bring Wesley (and sometimes Jarrod!) along. Two weeks was one of those times. We had a conference in Fort Worth and Jarrod was able to go with me. He had work there as well, but thankfully there was childcare on site. It was absolutely fantastic childcare that loved on my boy. He made crafts and played with new friends. Having him close was wonderful.
It was also impossibly hard. I wanted to leave business sessions to play with him. I wanted to steal him from childcare and take him to lunch with me. I wanted to run down the halls and play on the ramps with my boy. But I couldn't. Not only that, but being a mama and doing my job is so hard. It's hard everyday, but it's especially hard when we're not in our own place. It's challenging to pack his meals from a hotel "kitchen". It's difficult to monitor teenagers at all hours while also making sure that Wesley gets to bed on time. It's hard to make sure that Wesley is having fun and taken care of while worship is happening and quiet is appreciated.
Last week Wesley and I went on an adventure together and left daddy at home. We went to Oklahoma so that I could do some visiting for work. Wesley was with me for some of the visits and folks love him. He loves visiting people and checking things out. He wandered a few churches as if he owned them. He made new friends and had a great time. But it stressed me out. What if he was loud? What if he distracted people? What if folks thought I was unprofessional bringing my kid along?
For two days I traveled around Oklahoma while Wesley had a play date with Aunt Courtney and cousin Luke. He had a GREAT time, took some killer naps, and played contently. I'm sure he also threw a few fits. He broke a glass (sorry, Renee & Mike!), made messes, and ate other people's food. He was a toddler. And I was able to travel and focus on my work without worrying about him.
I raced home at the end of each day to see him. I called my sister far too often to check in on him. I missed him just like I would have if he was at home. I was so thankful that we were able to play before bed. I was able to eat dinner with him and feed him breakfast. It was awesome. And so hard. He was up with teething pains one night. He couldn't sleep. He didn't want to eat anything but peanut butter and bananas. I had INCREDIBLY support around me, but I didn't have Jarrod. Wesley didn't have his daddy. And it was hard.
The grass is always greener, isn't it? We always want things to be perfect, but life is never perfect. Sometimes it's hard to be with your kids and it's hard to be away from them. I don't know that I knew how hard it was going to be before we had Wesley. But I also didn't know how awesome it would be either.
What is the hardest part of parenting? When do you find yourself incredibly stressed with your family?