This morning I woke up at 5:30am when my husband rolls over and says, “Babe, I’ve got to go to Russia for work.” (You thought I was going to say something else! Get your minds out of the gutter.)
Me: “Oh, ok. When do you leave?”
Mario: “Don’t know.”
Me: “How long will you be gone?”
Mario: “Don’t know”
Me: “What am I supposed to do with the kid?”
Mario: “Don’t know.”
Lovely…. And that’s our life. My husband travels the world looking for the best tennis players, and I travel to every small college town covering games for ESPN. When I got pregnant, I was the only one who travelled. Then Mario got his dream job, we had the baby (check that, I had the baby), and the chaos ensued. Not going to lie, I didn’t think it would be all that hard. I watched Sam Ponder do it every week, and her husband travels each weekend with the NFL. Her Instagrams made it look so easy…..
I was wrong and naive. It’s freaking tough. Whoever coined the phrase “It takes a village” needs to change it to “It takes a village, a baby sitter, wine, grandparents, patient fellow airplane travelers, wine, understanding coworkers, a color-coded family calendar, a marriage counselor, and did I mention wine?”
So here’s how we make it work each week. If my husband and I know we will both be out of town, my first call is to my mom. We’ve had her come to LA a couple times. But most of the time, I plan a layover where they live in Dallas. That can actually be really tough to coordinate, because I don’t find out where I’m going each week for work until four days before I leave. So if I’ve got a game in Pullman, Washington, making a layover at DFW isn’t feasible. If I’ve got a game in the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, then I can make it work.
Jace and I will make the 3 hour flight to DFW. (I have to plan it around my dad’s work schedule, because my mom won’t drive to the airport. She’s got a fear of highways.) I take him through security, drop him and his bags off to my parents, go back through security and sprint to my next flight. You should see the looks I get from gate agents when I tell them the lap child is no longer needed on my ticket. It’s like they think I gave him away. Well I did, but its only temporarily!
Then I do the same routine on the way back home to pick him up. I’ve got this whole traveling along with a kid thing down. It was much easier when he was small and wasn’t so fidgety.
There are some moms who take their kids with them to the games. I know Sam Ponder had her mom travel with her sometimes. Some moms find sitters on the road. Dropping him off in Dallas is what works for us. Plus my parents get to spend time with their only grandchild! So it’s a win-win!
There are some weekends when my husband is able to take care of him. Boy, that’s a separate blog post!
The hardest part of all this isn’t the traveling or coordinating schedules. It’s saying goodbye to my little guy for three days every week. It’s so hard not being there to put him down to bed every night, or seeing his face each morning. Thank God for FaceTime!
That person was right. It does take a village. Thank you Mimi and Papi for helping us make this work each week! And thank you to Peju winery for my monthly wine club subscription.