I see you mother of a two-year-old in the restaurant of the hotel lobby trying to enjoy breakfast while your child bounces and screams in his highchair next to you. Your husband is somewhere in this hotel, enjoying coffee and talking with peers and co-workers. While you manage the unknown with a toddler in a hotel. Entertaining him in a one-room hotel while ensuring that he doesn’t break anything or put his mouth on everything in sight. As I ride up the escalator in my business attire with my venti vanilla mocha from Starbucks, I see you and I fight an urge to run down the escalator to sit down with you. To have an adult conversation or talk with your toddler so you can enjoy your breakfast. You and I are in the same club. Even though my babies are hundreds of miles away, I still feel your angst and struggles. Minutes that feel like hours when you’re in an environment that isn’t made for toddlers. I look around and see restaurants and shops, but nothing that will pass the cold, rainy day with a two-year-old. While I spend seven days away from my family, I think about how lucky you are to be traveling with your husband. I know it’s not an easy trip and you probably spend more time away from your husband than with him, but you get to see him every day. I hope you get to eat a meal or two with him and spend some time with him before your child goes to bed. I’ve been FaceTiming with my family. It’s not often that I’m in a different time zone, but it’s going in my favor this week. Being an hour ahead of them means I can call them when I’m going to a late dinner and they are playing. Last night I called when they were playing in a cardboard fort in the living room. They excitedly showed me how to craw under it. We only talked for a few minutes, but most of my work trips prevent me from talking to them. It’s a nice change. Maybe this is a nice change for you, to come along on this trip.
We’re living the same life, with different characters. Life with children is wild and crazy, full of snuggles and tears. However your day is going, know that you’re doing a great job. Maybe you had a great day or maybe it was awful, either way that little boy knows how much you love him. He has no fears, because you always protect him. He’s loud and obnoxious because you’ve always let him be himself and explore the world. Soon enough it’ll be nighttime and he’ll be sleeping peacefully. The minutes may be slow, but nighttime always comes. Hang in there mama, you’re doing a great job with every situation you’re in. Even if it’s like me and all you’re doing is missing them.