Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Guilt Quilt

So, I have to write a little about my experience travelling again this week.

Let me start by saying that if you read back to the past months of my blog and more specifically back to the month when I was debating about taking this position, you'll understand a little more of where I am coming from.
When I was underwriting (my previous role), I had the Seattle, Washington territory and I was having to travel about twice a year for about a week at a time.

That was even far more than I wanted to do.

So when this new role presented itself, one of the most appetizing parts was that it required no travel at all.
So I applied.

Once I started the interview process, it was relayed that I would need to train in Charlotte for 3 weeks. But that I would be able to come home on the weekends and after that... no mas.... home for good. Exactly what I was looking for.

So naturally, I accepted the offer. Eager and happy for the ability to have more responsibility, more money and less travel.

The call came the day after I accepted stating that they had extended the training in Charlotte to 6 weeks. Yeah, that's right. 6 weeks!

That broke my heart and I immediately thought about rescinding my acceptance. That was far too long to be away from my family.
But Thomas and I discussed it and after weighing the pros and cons, we decided that the sacrifice would be worth it, especially because that one large chunk of time would mean not having to travel again. Ever. For the remainder of this position.

So, I went through the 6 weeks... flying home late on Friday nights after a week of hardcore sales training and then waking up early on Sundays to make the flight to be back there bright and bushy-tailed on Monday morning.
It was exhausting and somewhat miserable.... as I am sure you can imagine my husbands frustrations, my fatigue and the lack of laundry, house cleaning etc that was getting done.

But we got through it... and we're still here married and my kids luckily still remembered my face.

Fast forward a few months... they want me to go to product roll out meetings throughout Texas.... meaning a few more nights away from home. I declined to go anywhere that would require overnight stay. The out-of-town training was still too fresh and still a very sore subject at home. I was approved to waive that round of meetings. But it wasn't easy.

Fast forward again to last month... a huge opportunity at work for networking, face time with top exects, room to voice my opinion on top, etc.
And out of 30 people on my team, I was chosen to be a part of this. A HUGE HUGE PAT ON THE BACK from my managers and a way to really set myself apart from the rest of the drones typing away everyday.

But it's in Hartford, CT... and its 4 days.

I was so nervous to tell my husband that I almost threw up. But I did. And he understood (not with a smile, but understood nonetheless) and I went.
Great professional move. Very POOR Mommy/Wife move. Pour the guilt even thicker over my entire body please...

And now, this last trip. Required - and a chance to finally meet my new boss face-to-face but alas, in OKLAHOMA CITY... for 2 days...

I am sure you can picture the profuse sweating, shaking hands and quivering voice that was upon me immediately as I pick up the phone to call my husband. I announce again that he is a single dad for the night (his words, not mine.... btw - can you feel that guilt quilt covering me up to my neck now??)

But he said ok. Well, he said he had no choice. But neither did I.

So, the trip again was occupationally a perfect 10... and domestically another fail.
And guess what the icing on the cake is... Yep! You guessed it. Another trip is being planned for 3 days in November. UGH!

Corporate America is killing me!!!!

But what do I do? I don't have the option not to work. And since I have to work, its nice I have a job I really like for the most part right now. Its just this one thing.

I need to put my big girl panties on, I know... And just deal with the consequences but I am not sure what I am supposed to do in terms of the consequences.

Find something else that I am not as happy in or as good at but won't have to leave 4 times a year?

Or just work through this and swallow the guilt whole with an ice cold dirty martini after the kids go to bed?

Who knows. I sure don't. But thanks for letting me vent. I feel the good-mood fairy sprinkling her dust on me as we speak....


Jeni- Mommy Bloopers said...

Your guilt quilt feels quite heavy. As guilty as you are currently feeling nothing said here will make that go away. My hubby has spent many days and weeks traveling and we are hoping that is behind us now. While your travels from home may continue I hope you can find a balance, a happy medium that you can tolerate. That your family can tolerate. In the end you have to weigh the pros and cons of what is being gained and what is being missed while you are away. On the bright side your not traveling weekly or even monthly so kiss the hubby and squeeze the girls and be thankful you are home now :)

Denise said...

Why is your hubby so upset about a couple of nights here and they being a "single dad"? He should enjoy the bonding time he can get with your kiddos! Life is such a double standard! If it is a man travelling, it is accepted as par for the course. If it is woman, then she is "abandoning" her family. He will survive! Enjoy having a job you like and give him a little extra nookie. Before and after the trip. He will get over it!

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect post for me to read today. I've had an especially bad, pissy day. I have a very heavy guilt quilt on me, too. Pharmacy school is like a full time job. It's like I went 'back to work' after staying home with my girl for over 2 years. I'm gone sometimes 12 hours a day. I miss her like crazy! I keep trying to tell myself that the sacrifice now will be worth it later. I know it's harder on me than it is on Ryan. She thrives being at the babysitter or at kids day out. I just have to remind myself of the reward of finishing pharmacy school. So, yea. I get ya.