Face the Guilt of Parenting

Plans Ahead, Our Son Turns Two

My son turns two years old in the near future and as a flight attendant, I am not sure if I will be there for this very important day! This is one negative truth when it comes to being a working mother who travels for work. I have a roster reported to me monthly and this is one basis that I regret to have as a planning, organised mother.

If indeed I am sent to a destination and am operating a flight during my son’s birthday, I do have options to weigh. Prior to the time of the event I will bid for days off. Secondly, once I view my roster and if there is conflict, I could send out swap requests and make arrangements that suit me. As a last resort, I could call in sick and spend the day with my beautiful family and make my son’s day very special.

Face The Guilt

At times, in life, we all know that timing doesn’t always work out in our favour and responsibilities get in the way! I have to face the guilty part of me and ask, should I really call in sick if all else fails? I think I can find other options and not let my guilty feelings lead to snap decisions that may not be a great option in the long run and really doesn’t benefit anyone anyway.

Realistic Solutions

This being just an example of many juggling skills we must have, time is a tricky one. We just have to do our best. Remember, there are options and you can make your son or daughter’s birthday or special event a great experience. It is the effort that counts. Maybe there are circumstances where we really cannot make the arrangements we want to, but this is life and disappointments are a very important part of life.

I may have to utilise some of the options I have come up with regarding my son’s upcoming second birthday. This is a milestone birthday, and I have decided to celebrate his “big day” on the closest day to his actual date as possible. I will also have to coordinate with my husband’s schedule. He is also a travelling, working Father! My goodness, our son will not know the difference and at this point, we are exposing him to a celebration he does not yet understand. It’s a day where he will feel very loved and fussed over and he will most likely love it – a fun day with Dad and me!

Okay, this was a more easy issue to solve, but the same rules can apply for various situations. Try not to let guilt cloud your decisions and make the best of every situation. If honest attempts are made and we do all we can to make things happen for our family, rest easier; or as easy as you can when it comes to family matters! Oof, it’s not easy!

Road to Guilt Free Working Parents


Family Matters

The number one priority in your life is your family. Isn’t this one of the main reasons why we work so hard at our careers? You, like me at times, may feel a strong sense of guilt being a working mom (or Dad). Family matters! I want to share some facts and help you become a guilt free working parent.

Hopefully we are in a position to be following our passion when it comes to our careers, that is ideal, but we do what we have to contribute and feel some self worth and reward. Having passions and goals or purpose coincide is of great pursuit throughout life and is entirely a different topic!

So here we are, spending time away from our little ones, and the minute we even start preparing to walk out the door, the stress levels begin to soar and I, personally, worry if I can make the escape each and every time.

Tips For Guilty Feeling Parents

  • Try not to be too hard on yourself. Give yourself a break and remind yourself that you are contributing to the nest so that your little one(s) can have opportunities available to them, whether it be better childcare or extra activities that will help them grow and learn.
  • Surround your child with your support network and have comfort knowing your child is in good hands. It’s great for children to be exposed to a network of familiar family and friends so that their social skills develop and they are exposed to more variety, thus helping with adapting and coping skills.
  • Have comfort in knowing that you among millions of people like yourself. It is the way of today’s society and therefore there are many support communities out there and resources are easy to find.
  • Lastly, know that your child is OK! He or she is sad to see you go as you are their world and they show you this by crying and clinging. This is all right, let them express their emotions. The child will be just fine after some time. Trust they are in the good hands of the caregiver you so carefully chose. (Or get cameras installed to ease your mind)

When I return from my trips, I spend time with my family of course, but it is more than just time – it is quality, uninterrupted, doing things together, no electronics – time. We are not perfect and we try our best as every moment is very precious.

One thing I would like to work on is adding more quality time with just my husband. I shall tackle this next and perhaps share any tidbits I learn with you as I think this is a very common challenge.

Any tips, please feel free to share!

 

Flight Attendant Mom

Travel Stories : Bouncing East to West

Flight Attendant Layovers: Days go by and by and by. Since Seoul I have travelled to Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand. I have also just returned from New York City. The six day Auzzie trip, including three energy – testing layovers, is long and always fueled with excitement; plans are made and us flight attendants are off experiencing all we can in the limited hours we have. Endurance is stretched and I am quite in awe, at times, as to how we perform so professionally, elegantly and with such patience on the flights. Like speed – dating, we are speed travelling, and then we put on our uniforms and act the part with sincerity and care for complete strangers. Once I return to my apartment in Dubai, I used to be torn between catching up with my friends, should they be in the city, and retreating to my pajamas or to the beach. One involves eventful escapades and the other a blissful near- coma experience. One entails make-up and fuss and the other, acceptable neglect! My friends usually win the “fight” and I thank them for their always exuberant energy and impossible- to- decline invitations! Have I mentioned how these friends are my family?

Picture Dubai the Palm

Tonight, however, I decline. I am a Mom! Exhausted from a Saudi Arabia, five hour “turn- around” that turned into a fourteen hour day as we experienced delays on ground, and in the air, the latter due to trials and practices in Dubai airspace by aviators around the world preparing for “The Most Expensive Show in the World”: The Dubai Airshow. Today’s operational flight drafted me to find allowances in myself that I did not know existed. The Islamic peoples are currently conducting their pilgrimage to the Mecca, and full, demanding flights kept crew on their toes. Adhering to their culture and protecting their zam zam water onboard that they collected from the fountain located in the Mecca, careful not to touch men in passing after they have vowed to Miqat and are in their Ihram dressing after a long procedure of washing in the lavatories – picture men of all ages and shapes in nearly nothing, draped in white cloth and as one looks down the aircraft cabins there is a sea of white clothed passengers. I have spoken Arabic I didn’t even know I knew! Dutifully, I informed passengers of the direction of the Qibla and gave space for prayer on the aircraft.

Home Sweet Home! I miss my husband and son!
Presently, I am at a restless – rest now, rewarded with work well done, but beaten. Fatigued, but gladly in a comfortable and familiar room. My bedroom. Not another hotel room with strange sounds and smells, where I worry to wake up in alarming wonder, initially, as to where I am. My family is near me sleeping and I cannot wait to wake to them!

 

Read to Your Children

Read to your children. Bond and Explore!

As you are about to see, I am quite passionate about reading and I want to encourage my child to read and explore and learn along the way. I read to my son every night I am with him and my husband does the same! From the time our son was a brand new baby we have been reading books before bed. It is a great routine that your infant craves to feel secure and it is a great time to settle down after a busy day and bond, and share a moment.

After my son has been fed and bathed, he knows it’s story time! He leads me to our reading area, with a book of his choice in hand and we sit down and read the bedtime story. He usually picks the same three books each time! I introduce new ones from time to time, but honour his favourites.

Reading Joy

I’ve been reading diligently; finding a certain console. I finished 6 books recently, ranging from authors such as the Dhali Lama to Ernest Hemingway. I have picked up books here and there with subjects baring titles such as, “Yoga Bitch,” to “Beruit to Jerusalem”. Books and this blog seem to be somewhat like my boyfriend, as I have been known to say before. I escape and consult, learn, and I find companionship. I visit, come home to, travel with, and bring to my bedroom these books. I am faithful to the writings, even if I find it not to my perfect liking and I finish it to the end, if it must end, taking from it what may intrigue, enlighten, entertain, evoke anger or teach. Always loyal and appreciative.

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Where do you want to go today?

The writings, at times, have included real time and place; the literature explores history and landmarks, and at other times fictional stories elate, or both! Recognizable when one is actually standing on the very soil and experiencing the structure, the art, or grounds. For example, enjoying a latte below the Eiffel Tower, or sitting and feeling the sun in the square at The Louvre in Paris. Traversing the Great Wall in China with ones own feet! (Not sure if there is any other way). Listening to a symphony at the Opera House in Sydney with near tears promising to be worthy. Smelling the raw meats on the streets of Bangkok on a hot, humid day when not feeling well to begin with, or watching horrible, inconceivable events transpire in many parts of the world;  not all is beautiful and pleasing.

Who has time – Mom’s are on the fly!

Ok, Mom on the go, you think reading is too much of a luxury and there isn’t time? Read while you are on that business trip. Take some time for you instead of business proposals or attending to laundry when at home. I like to stay organised and not let things pile up so I strive to be organised and have things running like clockwork so I have time for me, time for husband, time for baby AND time for my career. I fit family and friends in when I can too! Total balancing act that you get better with in time!

Hopefully you can make some time. Can you use that bedtime story slot to read to your little one? If they are young enough they are only listening to the sound of your voice which is a great time to read the newspaper aloud or a book you fancy. Even a romance novel as newborns don’t understand quite yet! When it comes to older infants and toddlers, as young ones get older they will venture into their own independent times of play. You can stay nearby, reading, while still being present and keeping them out of danger.

thebookofeveryone

Returning to Work After Baby

Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise

New focus and challenge with a brand new existence; a baby boy entered my husband’s and my life! Here I must fast forward, as this is my introduction to my family matters blog and our boy is approaching two years old soon. I am arming myself with all I can to share and explore – so much to learn. I am feeling like a new person who is so blessed and happily fumbling along. “Life is hard, you have to change.” A quote from one of my favourite bands, Blind Melon. All has been beautiful; the stress, the heartache, the joy of every moment and all of the challenges as well.

My dreams, my heart, my everything is so very complete as I married the most amazing person on Earth and we miraculously brought to be our perfect little angel into the World. I love them both so much.

We love and care for this boy and still manage to travel with our careers. I am content, somewhat, since we have incredible support and our boy is loved and cared for by family, while we work ever so hard to get on our feet whilst continuing our journey in our current career.

Whose head isn’t full of doubt? But I assure you, the road is full of promises ahead! I am experiencing this first hand!

Travel: after baby – bitter-sweet.

Bitter because I cry leaving my boy – the vision of him, his scent, the sound and feel of him. I hold him close and rock him as our heart beats coincide. I have sung to him every time I lay him down to sleep since the day he was born. I sing, “Leaving on a jet plane…” and I cry, because it is true…  I never let him know my fears and sadness. I will shelter him and protect and let him know only innocent joy, as he is so young and perfect. I am happy because he is happy with our Whanau: our family, who love him very much.

I feel driven to work as hard as I can for this family. Living on one income brought realities. I am now able to contribute towards our future. The best part: I can be there more than I thought – more than a “Monday to Friday” career would able!

Currently, I am in Dallas, Texas. I have been wide awake for weeks it seems. Bounced around the world quite literally. I am so sleepless that I am driven to write tonight. I am seeking some sort of grounding and refuge from the absolute chaos that is life sometimes.

My skin is getting older, it seems. Still traveling and watching many suns come up and down until the moon shows itself. Hours into day and night.

I have struggled to keep up with sharing this journey and have just been moving along; with friends, with a new love, who feels so comfortably old and experienced as if he’s been with me all along, and with travel;  essentially with life. I have to admit that this “one new experience a week” is a journey that I am failing at “documenting.” I am certainly enthralled in every moment, and I am trying, trying, trying to absorb and experience all each day presents.

Some days I live twice and some, not at all. Altitude is a master thief of time and space. (Prelude to my next blog).