Flying out of town yesterday on a big, fancypants ad agency job felt somehow different than all the other flying I’ve been doing this year. I was not heading to a conference to speak about motherhood. I was not going to address a panel of marketers about removing “Dear Blogger” from their vocabulary. I was not meeting a group of mom friends on a (fully disclosed) junket to a pantyhose factory.
It was just a business meeting; the kind that reminds me my meeting wardrobe has sadly atrophied in the past two years of freelancing.
Somehow, leaving the kids under these circumstances hurts that much more.
Yes, I’m saying it.
This is the great secret of women in business: You’re not supposed to miss your kids. Or you’re not supposed to admit it. Out loud. And when you do, quietly, secretly, to a coworker who has young children too, her head cocks to the side with a sympathetic smile-frown and she squeezes your arm, so relieved to be able to lower her voice and share her secret right back.
Then we put our armor back on, turn away from one another, and march back into battle.