Saturday, March 12, 2011

All mothers should be executives....

....for one very simple reason. International business class travel. No one appreciates it like a mother does.

Most execs I know complain about having to fly for business, they groan about the jet lag, about the inconvenience of being away from the comforts of home and office, about airplane food, security lines and lack of space for carry on luggage.

Mothers see it differently. I should point out that I am not an executive, I'm a mere middle manager, but I had accumulated enough frequent flier miles to get myself upgraded to the business class cabin on the return flight during my last trip.

I stretched out in my little pod under a feather soft duvet. The noise cancellation headphones created a private world, which I filled with "The Kings Speech" on my personal LCD screen. I was served warm towels, hot food and crisp cold white wine. Perhaps just a little too much wine, which is what started my flight of fancy.

No one interrupted my reverie to ask me to guess what kind of animal they were pretending to be. Nobody needed me to untangle three precious home made necklaces that had engaged in an intricate bondage marriage at the bottom of the dress up box. Not one of the people around me suddenly erupted into hand to hand warfare, there was no one thumping anybody else while trying to take their toys. Even if there had been, it would not have been my responsibility to intervene. I wasn't staring at a pile of mail on the table that needed to be sorted, I wasn't feeling guilty about sitting down and relaxing when I could have been folding laundry. Disconnected from the internet I couldn't even check my to do lists or my twitter feed.

The only decision I needed to make over the next ten hours was was whether to read my novel before watching my movie, or to watch the movie first and then curl up with the book. I suppose I could have done some actual work, considering this was a business trip, but the generous wine pouring put pay to that idea.

The constant stream of mild anxiety that constantly churns in the middle of my mind,  which prioritizes and reprioritizes the way I am utilizing every waking moment of my time, was silenced. It was slightly disorienting. There was no point in thinking "Should I be checking when the first gymnastics class of the session starts, writing minutes for the parent steering committee meeting, looking up the latest publications of a new scientific advisory board member on PubMed or checking our inventory of diapers, shampoo and medications while making my Target shopping list?" 

I lay back in my pod, closed off from the world and all my worries. Maybe the airlines could offer a business class service just for mothers. We needn't actually go anywhere, even, just up and around for a few hours and back to where we took off from. Or maybe I should install one of these cosy little cabanas in my basement, and just hide in there every now and again.

This post wasn't sponsored by an airline, but if any of the major carriers want to offer me unlimited business class travel I will happily take it up!