It’s the night before I fly to Dublin to speak at a PMI Ireland Chapter event. I’m all organised and sitting relaxing with a glass of wine, my bag packed in the hall for the early morning flight.
Ha! Did you honestly think that was true?
In reality I’m sweeping 600 peas off the floor that have sat there for a couple of hours since Jack’s tea time. ‘Spoon training’ is not going well and he sees even less value in plates. I brush the peas into the bin.
“OK,” I mutter out loud. “What’s my next priority? Eyebrows. Yes, eyebrows.”
There is a guffaw from the other room which I can just about hear over the pacing footsteps and the sobbing baby. Given that there’s no meal for adults prepped yet, I can understand why. However, it’s the first time I’ve spoken live in front of an audience (i.e. not a virtual Skype-style conference) for a long time, and my first international trip since the boys were born. And as I can only fit into my suit skirt if I don’t do the zip up to the top I want to make sure I look as good as I can as that will make me feel more confident.
Brows done, bag packed, clothes hung on the back of the door (spare tights in my bag just in case). Label cut off the top I bought just this afternoon. I even dig out some make up from where it’s been languishing at the back of the cupboard and put it on the bathroom shelf, ready. Now we can do dinner.
In the morning, I do my bits of the breakfast routine in an old T-shirt and shorts just in case someone flicks Weetabix at me or is sick down my suit.
At the last minute, “pretty mummy” comes down the stairs and we load the boys into the car for a family drive to the airport.
They are both asleep when we arrive, so I don’t wake them to say goodbye. The flight is less than an hour and I’ll be back tonight, but it feels like I’m going away, properly. It’s sad.
I love my job and I love travelling but from now on it will always be like this. Won’t it?