I’m an actress. I travel for a living. No biggie, right? All bets are off and the game totally changed when my daughter was born. She was 23 months old, and I had never left her. Then, I signed a contract to go on a day trip to Houston to film a movie…without her! My plane took off at 6 o’clock in the morning, and by 10pm that night, I would be back in LA.
24 hours before I was scheduled to leave, I had a full out panic attack, which was followed by an anxiety attack. Forget the fact that I have baby brain, and I am having a hard time remembering my lines. Like that wasn’t pressure enough, but that I could handle. Leaving my child was something I couldn’t handle. I was ready to give them my deposit back and, for the first time ever, breach a contract and quit a film. I just could not do it. I couldn’t leave her. Get on a plane without her and go 1,500 miles away?!? Anything could happen. There could be an earthquake, or the sun could fall from the sky!
I called my mom and said, “I can’t do it! I just can’t do it!”
She started to laugh and calmingly whispered, “Now you know how I’ve felt my entire life. Baby I understand.”
Those words hit my core. In my mid-30s, I was still calling my mom the second my plane landed and again when I checked in the hotel to let her know my exact location. For 35 years, I’ve traveled endlessly for work. This is the first time I ever thought about a plane crashing or worried about any sort of technical hiccup.
Thirty minutes on the phone with my mom completely brought me back to reality, and I was ready. I packed my purse with everything I needed and prepared my daughter for Mommy’s departure. When the time came, my daughter gave me a kiss and simply said, “See you later,” as my mom gave me a big hug and winked at me as I walked out the door.
When I got to the car, my mom sent a text. “Everything will be fine, I promise.” I’m 40 years-old and my mom’s promise still means everything to me.
I got to the airport and boarded that plane with tears in my eyes and I prayed the entire take off. When I landed at Hobby, I texted my mom that I was safe and went straight to set. I had a wonderful time and had no issue remembering my lines. It was great being back at work and doing what I love.
When my scenes were over, I went right back to the airport. On my way home, there was a beautiful curly haired little girl I will never forget. She looked at me and gave me a big smile. I felt like it was a smile from God. I knew everything would be alright again. This time, I wasn’t worried about the flight. I was ready to go home and see my own curly haired child. I smiled the whole flight.
I got back pretty late but walking through the door and seeing my daughter peacefully sleeping next to Grandma was one if the happiest moments of my life. She woke up, looked at me, and said, “Mommy you came back,” wrapping her little arms around my neck.
With tears of joy flowing from my eyes, I told her, “Of course honey, Mommy always comes back.”
This was a mommy milestone for me.
I’d love to hear about some of your mommy milestones. Share in the comments!