Ok - so MOMday is a day late...but I was away from my computer so didn't have time to get it all pulled together.
This last weekend was the first weekend where I have gone away and left the kids at home for several days with hubby. As much as I was looking forward to having some time away for an adventure - I wanted to be able to share that adventure with them too.
Enter: Skype and the video call
In case you don't know what it is, Skype is a free program and you can use it on any computer that has a webcam. You just need to set up an account and use it to connect with the accounts of your loved ones. Since it is rare that we travel without a phone or a laptop or a tablet anymore - the technology is always at hand. Just connect to the internet and dial. Presto! Instant video call!
(We have also used FaceTime, since we are a Mac family and hubby has an iPhone. Same idea.)
In October, hubby went to Ontario for 4 days and we had Skyped every night so the girls could see him. Of course, 6 months ago - all they did was rush the computer and kiss the screen so he didn't really get any sort of quality conversation with them.
Amazing the difference 5 months will make.
Since I was leaving on Friday and coming back Monday, we decided that I should only try to Skype them a couple of times. Of course, Saturday and Sunday were my absolute BUSIEST days in Vancouver so time management was key. In fact, by the time I went to bed on Friday, I was missing my kids so much that had to make a MAJOR adjustment to my Saturday plans to allow the time.
It meant sacrificing the Friendship Run. The logistics of traveling to the location and then back to the suite to shower before the Q&A and then hopping a train back downtown to the Expo...let's just say time was going to be tight. I talked it out with JS and we decided that the only way I was ever going to be able to get that time in to call them was going to be if I skipped the run.
Suddenly a huge weight was off my shoulders. I would be able to see my munchkins. And they were so happy to see me. Buggie asked me if I went on an airplane and if I was going running. Doodle asked me if it was raining. Then they asked if they could talk to Gramma and Pappa - because everyone they talk to on the computer is in the same place, you know...
But it was great. For a few minutes, the miles between us closed and I could be with my family. My heart could be warmed by their smiles and they could see that I still loved them and missed them. It was fantastic. It also allowed me to walk around and show them where I was - they loved that little tour of my home away from home.
As a mom, I can't stress the importance of this enough. Connecting with your kids while you are gone is so good for everyone. I knew they were in good hands with my hubby - but it is still good to see that he wasn't too frazzled about it. It was great to see how they interpreted my absence and it let them know I still cared and that I could reassure them that I would be back in a couple of sleeps.
We also Skyped on Sunday, after my race, and they loved seeing my medal - but then they went off to play. Guess they'd had enough of me. I like that Skype is just that normal to them.
In this day and age, technology breaks down so many barriers that distance used to create. I can remember my own father going on business trips, but I really can't remember talking to him on the phone. I'm sure we did occasionally, but I can't remember it. I hope my kids grow up remembering that I made the effort to see them and let them see me.