Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mental Packing

When preparing for a trip away from your children (including the furry one), it’s important to do plenty of mental packing.  After all, if mom doesn’t worry, the world will end.

 

1. Make sure to pack plenty of guilt over not being there for your children. 

 

My youngest is almost two, and as such, his speech is unintelligible at best.  That is, unless you’re me, in which case I can usually disentangle his vocalizations to get him what he needs, be that the Bing Bang Song or a boon (fork) or bayee (bed).  I spend a lot of time with the kid, so I can understand him.  But my mother-in-law doesn’t, and my mom doesn’t, and now I feel guilty for leaving my child without an interpreter.

 

Charles cries when I leave the house for an hour-long meeting.  I feel guilty that I won’t be there for him and Jamie when they need me.  They won’t understand.  Is a week so long that they will think I’m never coming back?  Will they feel abandoned?

 

The dog is going to the kennel for almost a week.  Will he feel abandoned?  Will he get into trouble?  Will he be sad and lonely?

 

What kind of terrible person am I for doing this to my kids and dog?  What kind of terrible person am I for doing this to my parents and in-laws?  Is it worth the week away, the week of full nights of sleep, the meals ordered to please my palette and not my children’s?  Too late, the tickets are purchased.

 

2. Pack plenty of stress over your wardrobe.

 

We will be gone from home for eight days and nights.  I will probably run during that time away, maybe use the condo’s fitness center.  But I won’t be doing laundry.  So should I pack six changes of exercise clothing and then be annoyed at myself that I only ran twice, or two changes of clothes and then wish I had packed six because I love working out there so much?

 

Should I take one pair of jeans or two?  I don’t own any shorts, so should I buy some or just wear skirts and dresses?  Oh, jeez, there are supposed to be thunderstorms there next week, maybe I need my rain jacket.

 

And what about accessories?  Heels for eating out?  Walking shoes for a hike?  Flats and sandals?  I won’t be carrying a diaper bag, so should I pack two purses, a black and a brown, or more?  One sun hat or two?  Jewelry?  Makeup?

 

3. Pack up some worry over daily agendas and activities.

 

The boys certainly won’t schedule what we do or see, so it’s up to me.  Should I schedule which days we visit Colonial Williamsburg and which day we drive to DC?  Should I choose the restaurants ahead of time or wait until we get there?  How much lounging are my friend and husband going to want to do vs. active tourism?  Who will be the DD when we go out?  Should we stop and buy a bunch of food for making breakfast and potentially dinner and assuredly drinking before we get to the condo, or should we get checked in and then hunt down a grocery store?

 

4. Panic about chores/responsibilities still undone 1.5 days before departure.

 

The kids’ library books need to go back.  The dog has a vet appointment today.  Laundry needs to be caught up.  I need to stock the fridge for the kids and their (wonderful, seriously, thank you so much) grandparents for next week.  The housekeeper comes on Tuesday, so I need to write a check and make sure things are mostly picked up before then.  Bills should be paid ahead.  Haircut tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll stop and try on some shorts after my haircut.  I should pack snacks for the drive to the airport and also the plane.  I need to bring my water bottle, but empty, so I can fill it at the airport.  I should probably have some cash with me.  Do I need to tell the credit card company that we’re flying cross-country?  Do they even care about that anymore?  We haven’t packed yet, we must pack.

 

*****

 

I’m pretty sure there’s a “Motherhood Guarantee” somewhere that states if we worry about all these things ahead of time, then everything will be okay.  Right?  Right.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Worryin's like a rocking chair; it'll give you something to do, but will get you nowhere. Planning is important and you do a lovely job of planning. It's okay to let go and think of yourself for a while. I think a vacation is exactly what you need. :) Love you!