(Not) Traveling With ‘lil Burghers

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This summer, I have provided you with some stories, tips, and tricks about how we pack it all in for a trip and what it’s like to travel with a potty training toddler. Tonight, I want to tell you what it’s like for a parent NOT to travel with their little ones.

I got used to being without my babies while traveling when A was very young. In case you don’t remember, I was a single mom until A was 9 months old and Mr. Burgher and I tied the knot. My decision to leave Myrtle Beach came when A was just 2 1/2 months old and I had been back to work for 3 weeks. She came down with RSV and was kicked out of daycare (because I didn’t pay for a week), so after Christmas break, I had nowhere to keep her until we moved in the middle of January. On New Year’s Eve, I packed my suitcase and headed for the airport without the infant that was supposed to be in my lap. We spent 22 days apart while my parents cared for her in PA. My world was frankly shattered (thank goodness Mr. Burgher stepped into my life), but I did what I had to do.

My parents love our kids so much, that we often get chances to spend a night or two without them. It doesn’t mean we are pushing them off (no way should you let my parents hear that–they LOVE their grands and would do anything to be with them), it just means that we have a great support system. Since they are willing to help us out here and there, that means that Mr. Burgher and I have traveled “solo” a few times.

Can I just tell you? It is NOT as fun as traveling with them–stresses of traveling with toddlers and all.

I guess when we went to Vegas in March, it didn’t really hit me like it has during this current work trip. Mr. Burgher and I flew with my cousin, we enjoyed a weekend together, and he went home (cooler full of milk) to the kids while I focused in on my conference. This week, I am in Texas for a conference and I find myself constantly thinking, why am I so relaxed? THIS IS NOT NORMAL! (Mama–it IS normal. . . your kids are FINE.) {Yes, I am a victim of talking to myself, ahem.} Since you probably have already stopped reading, thinking I am crazy, I forgive you. If you haven’t, here’s what I mean by “it’s not as fun”.

-When I was in the airport, I was constantly wondering where A had wandered off to. Had she kept up when I decided to bolt the long security line and go to the Alternate Checkpoint? Where was Evan’s diaper bag? My mind was constantly racing, needing reminded that they were not with me.

-On the plane…I wondered what A would drink. Did they have straws? Would they cut the juice down with water for her? Would I be able to reach the sippy cup? Would either of them cry and annoy the other passengers? Would I be stuck with someone who hated kids (yes, those people, sadly, do exist)? But I didn’t need to be worrying.

-In the shuttle, I wondered how we would have strapped them into the seats.

-Here at the hotel, I wish I could hear the shrieks and giggles as Mr. Burgher splashed A in the pool. I spent my first night wondering if the others in my hall would wake up if I couldn’t nurse E fast enough.

But all these fears and worries are null and void. The kids are not with me. I can should relax and enjoy myself. But honestly? I miss them being around.

And honestly? I will make it through. In five minutes, when I am off reading a book off Oprah’s Book Club list or catching up on brain mush TV, I will be glad for a little time away. When I am in another session thinking about how to apply the principles I’m learning to my job, I will be glad they are not here as a distraction. When I walk the streets of town looking for an “off the beaten path” eatery, I will not worry if they don’t have chicken nuggets. All parents deserve this every once in awhile and shouldn’t feel guilty. Sure, it’s ok to feel like part of you is missing (because it is), but you’ll be reunited soon enough–don’t waste away your time with a countdown, the moments pass too quickly as it is.

* * *

In other (related) thoughts–I am in San Antonio until Friday and am throughly enjoying the learning I am doing during the day and the fun eateries I am finding at night. If you’ve ever been and have a suggestion, feel free to comment! A post will be up after I get home about it all.

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