As many of you know, I am a fairly new mother.  And I have a full time job.  Right now I am in California, nearly 3,000 miles away from The Bean, Crunch 'n Munch, Super Baby, Avery Boo, Little Punky La Roux (if you have a child, I am sure you can relate to the nicknames).  I am currently on my first extended business trip away from her.  I have been away from her before for a few days, in Germany for a wedding.  That was hard.  This is hard too, but different since it's for work.  I am still new at this mothering thing, but have a few working out-of-the-home mother observations.  Here they are:

  • Comfort with leaving her is directly related to having a great nanny.  We have a great nanny.  I never think twice when I leave the house.  Even for a few days.

  • She is ok without me.  Her father is a great caregiver.  I am not the only one who can raise her.  I know this sounds like an obvious observation, but I think mothers have a gene that tells us we have to be the one who does things.  I know that is not true.  It's great if I can be that one, but let me not undermine or underestimate her father's ability to take great care of her.

  • She will remember me when I get back.  It may take her a second (she is only 8 months old…not even…7 months and 3 weeks) but recognition "wait, I know this person" happens.  That is a wonderful thing.

  • Being away clarifies work for me – I better love what I do, or else.  If not, being away shines a bright light in your face that you cannot ignore, as there is real sacrifice.  Thank goodness I have a very meaningful career.

  • And finally, there are two first times for everything: the first time she does something, and the first time I see/hear/witness it.  So far this week, I have missed "Ma Ma Ma", the first real crawling and picking up an object with two fingers.  Big sigh.  There is an upside…perhaps if I stay away long enough, she will be potty trained when I return.