Being a mother is a never-ending travel experience. Just like taking an actual trip, preparation is key! (more on another blog post). For me, my recent journeys have been a bit different as I feel like my travel and motherhood journey was ending, yet it is still at an inflight stage. Covid19 hit and I could no longer consider myself an empty nester. Even though my children are in their 2o’s, I immediately felt the mothering phase kick in; are you well, taking care of yourself, wearing masks, social distancing, and the like. I will always be a mother but have chosen to be an empty nester, I was living my life as such and so was an absent but present mother.
My oldest had graduated college, started a career, and became a homeowner at 23. My youngest was in her second year of college and was doing well in her social and school life. She was enrolled at the number 1 HBCU Spelman College, responsible enough to be a resident advisor, scholarly enough to be on the honor roll, and social enough to be on several school boards and activities.
Covid 19 hit and my youngest had to leave school in Atlanta, a ten-hour ride from home. I am an empty nester, was +24 hours away on another continent. All I could do was advise. “Pack up the car and drive safely,” I said. For the next six months, I remained in Asia while my baby girl lived at home alone. The choices we made were heart-wrenching and although I constantly checked in, not being there was very difficult and so my “inner” motherhood travel journey began. Was I being a bad mother? Should I be with my grown daughter instead of my husband? What were people thinking of me? How could I choose a man (I was remarried) over my child? Should I travel back home?
That inner journey became too much and so I took the physical journey home. I have now been home for two months and another inner journey has begun; am I being a bad wife? Should I be with my husband? What is the right choice? How do I feel? What do I feel? Should I put my feelings first? What I do know, from having the travel and motherhood journey for over twenty years, is that self-care and self-love are key!
The inner journey never ends! Have you traveled similarly? What are your stories? Comment and let’s take this journey together.
p.s Wine is my travel companion, what/who is yours?