I’m not sure whether this week’s Jentasmic! is an actual column, or a personal journal entry that I feel somehow compelled to share with the interwebs. I don’t think it’s a TMI situation though…it’s just a discussion of my MouseFest dilemna: I am a working, business-traveling mom, and I feel deeply conflicted about traveling to Disney without my kid.
Starting with our first mother/son trip in 2003, Walt Disney World (and whatever other Disney Parks we can get to) has been a place for us to reconnect, spend some seriously concentrated time together, usually just the two of us. As action-packed as our vacations are, they’re definitely concentrated time together – a luxury we don’t have during the work/school week. We have long conversations as we wait for overdue buses. We entertain each other in airports and airplanes with stories from school or work. We make new memories as we enjoy the Disney attractions, check out new restaurants, get together with friends old and new. We wail together over cancelled flights, and rejoice together when a new attraction or celebrity meet-and-greet is truly spectacular.
In fact, that very first mother/son trip was planned because I’d been on the road an awful lot that year, sometimes out of town for as long as 12 days. My business travel schedule has trailed off a bit recently, but it’s still not nothing. So, given how much time I spend away from my child already, it’s hard for me to consider spending any of my precious vacation time away from him. In fact, I’ve only gone on two solo leisure trips since he was born, and both were weekend getaways (most recently, a jaunt to MagicMeets).
As I re-read my own words, I reflect that these are the “problems” of privilege. I’m very fortunate to have a challenging and interesting job, to have a kid who I truly enjoy spending time with, to have the resources to travel frequently both for business and pleasure. It is truly a luxury to be able to “worry” about these things, and remembering this helps me to keep it all in perspective. These are, in fact, the worries of a mom who doesn’t (at the moment) have to worry too much about serious things, such as how to keep her family in health insurance, or how to pay the mortgage/rent this month. Or what the neurosurgeon might say.
Nonetheless, these privileged worries are still, for today, my worries. My BFF has promised to remind me in December that I did in fact have a great time at MagicMeets, and that it’s good even for working, business-traveling moms to get away on their own from time to time. But hey, it might take a village here, people…so if you see me at MouseFest, come chat with me and distract me from my self-absorbed mind!