You Can Take the Mommy Out of the Home, But You Can’t Take the Home Out of the Mommy

Circle of William Anderson (1757–1837), "A Flagship Departing From Anchorage"
Circle of William Anderson (1757–1837), "A Flagship Departing From Anchorage" (photo: Register Files)

You can take the Mommy out of the home, but you can’t take the home out of the Mommy.

That’s what I tell my kids – what I’ve been telling them for years, now – every time I travel. It’s not just empty words of hopeful consolation; they’re true, and I really mean them.

I’m blessed to have gone on some amazing trips because of my work as a journalist. I’ve been to Israel, Rome, Jordan, and soon I’ll be traveling to the Philippines with Catholic Relief Services as part of the Egan Journalism Fellowship.

In between those, I’ve covered World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 for the Register and done a long string of speaking engagements all over the United States.

I love the people, and I love visiting different places in this amazing world that God has created.

Nonetheless, I always start feeling down right before a trip, and I have moments of melancholy during the trips because I miss my home and family. I worry about how my kids are doing even though they’ve all reached adulthood. I worry about how my husband is handling the home front and whether he’s eating right. Even when there’s nothing to specific to worry about, I worry.

It feels odd to be away from them. That’s because you can take the Mommy out of the home, but you can’t take the home out of the Mommy.

I have a friend, another mom of grown children, who is going through the same thing right now. She’s about to embark on a journalism trip to the Holy Land, and is feeling that same “down-ness” that I am, that I do feel, before I travel.

We chatted on the phone yesterday, and I think she was surprised to learn that I have gone through, am going through, the same thing she’s experiencing as she skitters about managing last-minute details for her departure in a couple of days.

For as much as we’re looking forward to the gifts God has in store for us, there’s a part of our hearts that just doesn’t feel right.

That’s exactly as it should be. That’s how God created a mother’s heart to be.

He points it out in Isaiah:

Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you. (Is 49:15)

We moms who have to be away from our children – because of travel, work, or their growing up and moving away from home – can’t be without tenderness for them.

It’s our nature.

To help ease my uneasiness when I travel, I put my home and family under the charge of our Blessed Mother Mary. As I prepare for each trip, I place everything weighing on me into Mary’s capable, loving hands.

I know that she’ll see to all of the things I can’t while I’m gone.

She does so, eagerly, because she takes seriously our Lord’s words from the Cross, “Woman, behold your son (see Jn 19:26). She understood that Jesus was asking her to take on the responsibility of being mother to all of us, and to advocate in all of our needs.

I still miss my family when I travel, and still have that part of my heart that doesn’t feel right. Because, really, you can take the Mommy out of the home, but you can’t take the home out of the Mommy.

But I know that, while I’m gone, the Blessed Mother is in charge, and that gives me great comfort.