There was once a time in my life where I could not imagine leaving my family at home so that I can embark on a journey without them. No way! After all who would be there to give them morning kisses, or tuck them in at night?! How could I leave them? Would my husband be able to brush my daughter’s hair? Would their homework be done? What would happen if they miss me and cry? All of these questions and concerns raced through my mind as I was contemplating on heading to London.
It all started when the opportunity arose that would allow me to study at the Tavistock Centre in London. This was a huge deal to me because I was a Psychology major and was wrapping up my Master’s in Organizational Leadership. The trip was only seven days however it would be intensive delving into Work Discussion Groups (which I loved). This would allow me to learn from brilliant teachers, explore a new culture, and immerse myself in a new environment to network. This was a dream trip for me but my “mom guilt” had me feeling anchored yet whenever I thought about the opportunity my heart would start racing.
What is a mom to do…
I started to reach out to some family and close friends thinking I would get some kind of magical confirmation or sign that I had to go. That did not happen. My husband has always been very supportive but he also seemed a little nervous. How would they survive when I am the glue that keeps everything together? The weight on my shoulders started to get heavier as I needed to make a decision. I meditated, prayed, and listened for that inner voice to scream at me but it wasn’t screaming however every fiber of my being was on edge. The word London would give me goose bumps, soon I felt like I was being preoccupied with the thought of going so often that it was changing my daily routine.
“I knew what I would bring back would not just benefit me, but it would benefit my family, friends and those I work with.”
All of a sudden I was getting through my to-do list quicker because I wanted to do research, explore, and envision what this training could do for me. It was at that point that I realized I had to go! I had never felt so inspired and passionate about something. I knew what I would bring back would not just benefit me but it would benefit my family, friends and those I work with. I ran to my computer and as I pushed the button to accept I knew that small finger movement, that button, would change my life and it did.
London was a phenomenal experience where I learned about the cycles of leadership and the importance of our roles as leaders, facilitators, observers and presenters. It helped me to expand on the way I look at relationships both personal and professional but more than that it taught me that it is ok for me to take a trip without my family. I am allowed to engulf myself in something that allows me to not have to worry about what is for dinner, what activity they need to get to and if their uniform is clean. Pressing that button and taking that trip gave me permission to do something for myself, to inhale possibility and exhale any self-doubt.
“I am allowed to engulf myself in something that allows me to not have to worry about what is for dinner, what activity they need to get to and if their uniform is clean.”
The trip was one that was truly transformational, not only did my husband and family survive they thrived! The children got visits from their grandparents, fun time with their poppa, and daily pictures of me out and about with one of their beloved toys. While we did Skype a couple times it was more for me than them. This trip gave my husband confidence that he can handle situations that arise without me, it taught my children to be brave when situations come up that can be uncomfortable but mainly taught each of them how to hone their leadership skills when I wasn’t there to catch them. Seeing their growth was empowering. Since London, I have been on several other trips that have been equally as impactful. It inspired my career to take moms abroad to explore culture while working on personal and professional development and changed my family dynamic for the extraordinary.
So if and when the opportunity arises for you to travel, take it! Do not contemplate and let it weigh you down, do not question if you are worthy of it, and do not reach out for others to give you the confirmation or permission you seek. Stand in your power. Ask yourself what can I gain by going? What will I miss out on if I do not go? What opportunities will this unlock for me? How can my family benefit? Then go and push the button!