In my super full and often chaotic life, I see myself as:
- Career woman
- Enjoyer of GNO, cocktails, and fun
Now, I’m going to be transparent and admit the order of the aforementioned categories gets a bit jumbled, but hey, I’m working on it daily.
Which brings me to a multigenerational/work travel trip – with my parents – and my nine-month-old son, in 2008.
As a working mother, I have been fortunate to have my mom and mother-in-law step up and in when I have work travel and I want to bring the kids along. It’s such a comfort and blessing to have this kind of support.
For this particular trip, I was traveling to New Orleans and my son was still on the boob, so yes, he had to travel with me.
My parents currently live in Georgia, so driving to New Orleans only took about 6.5 hours.
Let me back up before I talk about how this trip went down. If you are into the zodiac, then you can imagine what it is like for an Aquarius (me), Gemini (mom), and Leo (stepdad) to conduct business. It’s like a reality TV show that has gone off the rails.
For those of you who know anything about me – you know I’m a super detailed planner. No detail is too small and lists are my go to tool. Yes, I am that person.
My mother, on the other hand, conducts business by vibration. What I mean by this is she does whatever moves her at the moment – and sometimes she’s switching gears in the middle of shifting gears.
Then you have my stepdad, who is as consistent, linear, and meticulous as you can get. He’s also a former Marine, so structure is essential. (Hmm…who do I take after the most?)
Planning this trip was absolutely goofy and quite comical. At the time, I was still sleep deprived and the baby was not doing well with solids, so I was still nursing – A LOT!
I explained to my parents they would be watching the baby while I was at conference sessions, they would need to work with expressed milk, and since we would be sharing the hotel room, they would have to go to bed when the baby and I went to sleep.
I giggle as I write this because as retirees, my parents do what they want, when they want, and how they want. This means they do not work well with a schedule. They like to stay up late and get up late. I was a bit nervous this trip was going to turn into a push me – pull me adventure.
The other request was for my mother to bring a small microwave and a cooler for the hotel room. She had no problem doing this but she had a lot of questions. This led me to conduct a Working Mother/Nursing 101 course about Medela Micro-Steam bags, breast pump tools, engorgement, and all of that.
My mom was amazed and thought I deserved a medal.
Here is a brief list of other funny and WTH moments from this trip:
- My mom didn’t want to use the cooler they brought so she called down to housekeeping to request a mini-refrigerator. She told the housekeeper that as a granny she shouldn’t be charged for the frig, so no, we did not pay for it.
- My parents took the baby for a walk and lost his blanket – that was made by hubby and had belonged to my daughter when she was a baby. I told them not to worry about it. They went back and found it.
- Housekeeping brought something up to my parents and the young lady mentioned she had a son close to my son’s age – and her son was already walking. My mom can be a bit competitive. Since son was not walking at the time – my mom told the housekeeper my son had a Ph.D. (Yes, at 8 months!)
- I was at a reception during the conference and I told my parents they could come down with the baby as things were wrapping up. Coincidentally, my mother’s graduate advisor was at the reception. Random!
- My mom does not like beignets.
Of course we had a great time on the trip, I mean it was in New Orleans! We celebrated my birthday and my parents had a chance to have some alone time with their favorite (and only) grandson.
My parents totally stepped up and let me do what I needed to do during the time I was working. They told me how proud they were of me in how I was balancing working and motherhood. They even commented on how smart I was to ask for help and not feel guilty about it.
Yes, they did a good job raising me to take care of myself. I know they felt good supporting me because once a parent – always a parent.
If you have work travel coming up and you have to take a granny nanny and/or manny pop-pop with you – strap on your seat belt and be ready for a crazy ride!
Share some of your multigenerational travel trips or stories from your multigenerational travel. We’d love to hear from you.