Man, I sound like a giant pansy

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This morning as I got both the boys ready to go to their grandparents house my heart sank a little. They'll be with their grandparents tonight, during my awards reception, until Friday evening when Chris gets them after work. I won't see them until I get home from Blogher on Sunday. It's amazing how some days I feel so tired of their company, how some weekends I can't wait until they're at their grandparents' house so Chris and I can have dinner or go to a show. It's days like this that I feel bad for ever thinking it. The people who said that motherhood was hard weren't exactly honest. It's physically taxing, yes, and sleepless nights are the first thing new parents or childless people think of whenever they think about parenthood. No one tells you how emotionally difficult it is, how there's never one right way to feel, how everything, even something as simple as a three-day trip can turn into a heart-wrenching mindjob. Parenting exaggerates all emotions.

I rolled their little suitcases down the steps, each one carefully packed with coordinating outfits, pajamas, and extra socks. I gave them their breakfast and tried to ignore how this would be one of the longest stretches of time that I wouldn't see them. Liam is a trooper, always an optimist. His presence in my life has done away with a huge part of my cynicism. Ewan was good until it was time for Chris to take them, at which point he realized that I wasn't coming along. He didn't cry those mustered up "I didn't get my way" tears; he put his hand in front of his eyes and his little body heaved forward in one giant sob.

"I miss you," he cried.

I screwed my face up in an expression of determined happiness and beamed at him. I told him that I would miss him too, and that I will be back on Sunday, and how I was going to call him after he fished with his grandparents and ask him how many fish he caught. And I hugged both boys and with my head over Ewan's shoulder I mouthed to Liam "Take care of your brother," to which he nodded.

Then I waved at them as they drove away and when the garage door was safely closed the dam burst and I bawled standing there in my houseshoes and pajamas in the backyard. And I said a little prayer asking that we all be brought back together again safely on Sunday.

I admit now that I have a near-debilitating fear of flying. It's not for drama's sake: I break out into hives on my neck, chest, and upper arms; I get nauseous, and I have trouble sleeping the days building up to the flight. I researched plane crash survival rates and even practiced free-falling techniques. (SHUT UP.) I've always had Chris on the plane with me; last time en route to New Jersey Jaelithe and Lisa sat on either side of me and I was doped up on Dramamine and everything was cool, daddy-o. This time I'm alone. I get freaked out because, despite the laws of physics, it seems unfathomable that a giant metal bird can fly, but yet it does, people fly on them everyday. It's a combination of this, leaving the boys, and being around a herd of women I mostly don't know that have me out of my comfort zone and feeling on edge this morning. I'm sure I'll feel fine by this evening. I hope my guys will, too.

I won't update again until Monday, however I do plan to be active on Twitter and Flickr in the meantime. Now I have to pack.

23 Comments

I'm sure everything will be fine. Enjoy your big weekend!

You'll do great. And you are going to have a blast. Just the swag alone is going to rock! AND you'll get lots of free drinks and lots of great conversations.

Sweetney was twittering about Zanax a few minutes ago. Bet ya she'd share!

You will give me to scoop when you get back, right? RIGHT!!!!!

Dana,

I will be praying for you. Flying can be rough. I order a ginger ale and put my earbuds in. That seems to help me. You will be okay, just remember, long, slow, deep breaths.

Hang in there!

You don't sound like a pansy! You sound real. Sending positive thoughts your way. Enjoy your weekend!

Aw, hon. I'm with you on the emotions. I feel guilty for leaving Maddy sometimes, and sometimes I think "my kingdom for 30 minutes of quiet."

Enjoy BlogHer, and we'll see you when you get back.

I'm right with you on leaving the kids thing. My daughters just left this morning on their third trip away from me this summer. This one and the last one where also without my wife.

When they pulled away this morning, we each looked at each other and you could just TELL we each had lumps in our throughts.

At least my oldest has a cell phone I can call!

I travelled literally half way around the world (India) three times for 2 weeks each while my youngest was 3 years old. It seemed that when I returned, she was a different kid with different words and everything. It killed me that I missed so much, yet it was only 2 weeks at a time!

I don't share your fear of flying, though. I find planes amazing, and love to fly on them.

You summed up everything I feel when I send my tots away for a few days. I got teary-eyed just reading about it.
I love flying though. I love everything about the airports (except the loss of privacy as they pat me down every which way).
Best of luck and I look forward to hearing about your trip.

OK, I should have said "love to fly in them." Flying ON a plane would, in fact, scare the tar out of me.

As I read your post, I am holding my 8 week old baby that I just cannot put down because I am leaving him in one week to go back to work. I know I will see him every morning and again every night, but my gosh thinking about the hours in between debilitate me. Leaving him for three days would be even worse. As I pray for strength for myself, I will also pray for your safe return.

This totally hit home for me. I have been a stay at home mother since I had my first child (now have two) and because of the economic slowdown I have to go back to work. I cry just thinking about it. I don't want to leave my boys. I've had four years with my oldest and wouldn't trade anything in the world for it. I have had two great years with my youngest also and my heart is breaking having to leave him. We have downsized everyway possible and my having to go back to work is just seemingly the only option. It has taken me forever to find a job, so it has given me some extra time with them but we are going deeper in debt. Anyway, I understand just how you feel with them leaving. When we left our boys for a three day trip with our youth group (my husband is a pastor), I cried all the way out of town. I know others have had to return to work much sooner than I have, and I am grateful for the time I have had. Thankfully my husband will be working 3rd shift and I will be working 1st, so our kids will always be with one of us.

Your boys are adorable.

Flying is awesome, I love it. The only down side is removing your shoes in security remember a lot of feet have walked that little path. After I walk through and sit down to put myself back together, I change socks so the ones that touched the path don't go back inside my shoe. I'm a cleaning nut. Have a great time.

aww, i can see ewan saying that with his little hands and those cheeks. we hear you. you have our permission to cry. it's ok to carve a life of your own midst the lives you are shaping.
if mom doesn't have a life, kids suffer. although staying home and enjoying my babies was the best thing i could have done. i can look back and say no regrets on that considering they are now over four and six and so much more different than when babies. i am glad i was there for it all. and i can still be in the workforce now. infact, i am more than ready.
may God bring you home safely to your family.

'I miss you'

Oh, gawd, I'm gonna cry.

Just walk on board the airplane and announce to everyone as loud as you can, 'hope the plane don't crash'.

That'll lighten up the mood.

:)

I recently got laid off from my job which allowed me to be a single mother of two with no help from their father. I was lucky enough to get a severance and I spent 3 wonderful months at home with them before I found another job, and I tried and tried to get them prepped days before I actually had to leave. I was lying in bed having "squishy baby lovin' time" (that's what we call it) with my 3 year old and I told her, "Mommy has to go back to work in a couple days..." She started crying and telling me, "Mommy, don't go!!" I hurt my heart. I've only done 4 days back on the grind and I wouldn't have survived without the pictures of them on my cell phone...

motherhood does quite a number on your emotions. Fears. Yeah, I flew to a war torn country and actually got off the plane without thinking twice. Since I had kids...forget it. I almost threw-up flying to DC to visit college friends for a weekend. Other crazy random fears I have that might make you feel better about your own...I won't stop under a bridge on the highway in heavy traffic. That way, if an earthquake strikes, the bridge won't fall on me and my children. I wait on the other side, and when I only enter if I can pass completely thru in one fell swoop.

To get a real understanding of what causes and fixes fear of flying have a look at the video at http://www.fearofflying.com/video_hs.shtml

to sandy: hang in there girl. you can survive this. and your kids will be better of when you are ok. going back to work with little ones is gut-wrenching. being laid off is no fun. but the kids seems to enjoy saying, what, you got fired?! ha ha.
but i just say, no, it just ended.

Fully understand. I used to love flying for work. But Blogher was the first time I had gotten on a plane since I had children. Full on anxiety as I boarded.

But you got there and back! Hope you had a good time, I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you.

Lotta

I enjoyed your session at BlogHer. It was really informative. I am still suffering from jetlag, and it's Tuesday! But I had a great time. I hope you did, too. You seemed to have fun on panel!

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