I wanted to write you to tell you it is okay. It is okay to have a job that takes you on the road. Even if it makes you feel as though you live in an airport. You are still a good parent. It is okay because you are setting the ultimate example for your kiddos. You are teaching them the life lesson that success takes hard work and sacrifice. They may not understand right now but they will. They will understand that this is what has to be done to pay for private school, college, and dance lessons. They will appreciate you for it. It may take a while, maybe so long that they will find themselves doing the same thing for your grandchildren, but they will eventually understand.
I wanted to write you to tell you to let go of the guilt. The guilt of not being there for homework checks, bath times, and bedtime stories. Let go of the guilt of missing all the “firsts”. It is not a secret that you would choose the loudest stickiest family dinner over a stuffy hotel work dinner any day. You are loving them the best way you can and it is not by choice you aren’t there. Let go of the guilt that makes you feel inadequate as a parent. You are more than adequate; you are to be admired. The balancing act is exhausting but know that it is worth it.
Showing your kids and family that you love them can be so difficult on the road. They don’t need another airport stuffed animal. They already have 20. It’s singing the potty training song awkwardly into your Facetime call as you wait to board a plane that shows you really care. It is leaving a memento at home so they can have a little piece of you still closest to their hearts. A Huggybox reminds them of your love, your warmth, and your dedication to their little lives. They can remember the strength and comfort of your hug maybe on days they need it the most.
I wanted to write to you, that mom or dad who is about to leave on another work trip. It is okay, and thank you. Thank you for teaching your children that you can be dedicated to a career but still put family first. Send that Huggybox, sing into your phone, and continue on with that juggling act of life.
The world needs more of you.