I live on an island, so traveling takes a bit more planning, time and preparation. But, because I live on an island, I also appreciate the change of scenery, pace and anonymity that much more.
Sometimes I travel for work, sometimes I travel for school breaks, sometimes I travel with the whole family. It’s the work trips that make me feel a little internal guilt. Leaving my child home with my husband and mother-in-law to handle playdates, lunches and homework feels like a bit of abandonment. Then I have to remember that it’s good that I, the default parent, check-out every once in a while. My aspirations that my family will become more self-sufficient without me and not feel micromanaged by my strict routine should be freeing to them.
Here I am flying away to create content, visit a client or to educate myself better. I get to dine out, experience a new destination, meet new people. It’s great and I love traveling! And as our son has gotten older, he too has learned to appreciate time without me. We talk about it. I take pictures and send them to his iPad. We FaceTime when we can. And I usually come home with a token food gift for him and the family, something we don’t usually get on island.
What I’ve realized as our son gets older is how he too loves to travel. And how he has become my #1 model when I get to bring him on the occasional work trip. He loves nice hotels as much as any kid and he’s lucky enough to have a mom that tends to travel to hotels/resorts for work.
Here are some things I’ve used to help my child cope while I am away on a work trip:
- Talk about it and have them help make the schedule before you depart
- Leave love notes around the house for them to find while you are gone
- FaceTime or call them before bedtime or during breakfast
- Ask them to keep a list of all the things they missed while you were gone and you do the same. Then compare notes when you get home.
- Remind them that this is their chance to be more helpful to the family.
- Find a way to take them with you!
The best part of a work trip is returning home, energized, jazzed and usually a little extra bogged down from being mobile for a while. But the ultimate best part is the snuggles and hugs that can only happen when your family is reunited.