As I dropped my daughter off at day care this morning, the Mommy-wars reared its ugly head to me. My daughter was abundantly clear that she did not want me to leave her there this morning (despite loving her daycare). James Dobson was on the radio talking about how many children go home to an empty house after school. Should I be at home with my daughter? Would she be better served by me spending the day at home with her, rather than me working and her playing at daycare? I honestly believe the answer is no, but I do feel the guilt. I think recruiting makes it even harder because chances are, as a recruiter, travel is involved.
The travel is was attracted me to recruitment (back when I worked for the airlines). The opportunity to fly off to exciting places like Omaha, Kansas City, Houston, Vegas was a draw. I was single and able to go at the drop of the hat. A fellow recruiter had young children and was getting a guilt trip at home (her young son asked her one night "Mommy are you home for good or are you on a lay-over?). I happily picked up her trips. I could hang out in the hotel bar and get a decent meal, a good beer or glass of wine, and someone else picked up the tab!
I left the airlines after 9/11 (well, got laid off) and it took me a while to get back into recruiting. By the time I got back into it, I was married and pregnant. I still loved the travel, but I didn't jump as quickly as I used to. I also had the medical grounding, and so I was rather stuck going to local events or events that didn't involve a plane fare to get to. Singles and those with older children were chosen to go to the larger events. Still, many smaller events involved being gone overnight. My first trip away from my daughter was strange. I had room service and splurged on a hot fudge sundae. I vaguely recall the event, but I can't forget the look on my 6 month old daughter's face when she saw me when I got home. It was wonderful! I was missed!!
I still love to travel and have enjoyed several recent trips to Salt Lake City and Boise. Sometimes my daughter misses me; sometimes she doesn't. Longer trips are on the horizon for the fall and I'd love to be able to bring my daughter and husband along, but I know how difficult it can be to mix business and pleasure when a conference is involved. I think it will be harder on me (and my husband) than her.
But I guess the important thing is that a happy, well-adjusted mommy makes a happy, well-adjusted kid and, no matter what James Dobson says, my daughter's doing fine.