My recent adventure: Attending a work conference with my mom and baby in tow.
It may not sound crazy, but think about spending 2 nights with 3 generations in 1 room!
I’ve been in my position for 6 months, and have seen several opportunities for travel. I love going to work conferences and always get a lot out of them. I have not traveled for work since my daughter was born, and I’m definitely not ready to leave her for an extended time. My daughter is very attached to me, especially when my husband is away a lot. My parents have kept her for partial weekends, but I have not yet been away from her longer than that. For these and other reasons, I decided I would try to bring her with me if I have to travel.
The opportunity presented itself for participation in an in-state conference, which seemed like a great practice for future events. The conference was fairly short, within driving distance, and in a nice summer location. Perfect for our purposes!
I will preface the rest of this by saying I am very fortunate and appreciative to have my Mom be willing and able to travel with us. Grandma loves “her” baby and would do (almost) anything to spend time with her.
As many of you know, traveling with an infant or toddler can be an adventure itself. Adding Grandma in there, while helpful, makes it all the more interesting.
Some of the challenges we faced:
- Mom does not realize that she is losing her hearing. There is virtually no quiet talking, no “inside voice,” and definitely no adding “one last thing…” on my way out the door. Statements often need repeating, and may still not be totally comprehended.
- Mom conveniently “forgets” that she is Grandma, and likes to override what I say. A very simple (and yes, harmless) example happened at dinner one night. Mom asked if she could give my daughter a crouton, I said “not yet,” and Mom immediately gave her the crouton. No big deal overall, but really Mom??
- The last, and most difficult for me, is a concept we have all heard before…she raised kids so she knows what she’s doing! The idea that she isn’t raising my kids, or that perhaps I would do things differently is completely foreign. For the sake of sparing hurt feelings, I won’t tell her some of the reasons that I do things differently. This battle started before we left the hospital after my daughter’s birth, and although better after that initial discussion/argument, still rears its ugly head every once in a while.
There were moments of tension and moments of silence. We’re different people and will do things differently, which will be overwhelmingly evident in situations like this. Overall, we had a good trip. Thankfully, as we parted Mom acknowledged the need to respect my role. The conference was amazing, and having my little princess there with me was a blessing.
Thanks, Mom. Next stop: Dallas in November!