I’ve been consistently traveling for work for about four years now.
As my daughter’s age changes, so do the requirements of my travel prep. Prepping for work travel is hard but it always does sound nice to get away for a while and have time (and a bed) to yourself.
But most of the time while you are gone, I’ve found, you just can’t wait to get back.
My very first work trip while I was a Mom consisted of a lot of “mommy tears” while my little one didn’t even know what was happening. Now that she’s older, I know I have to focus on making her comfortable rather than myself.
Then, as travel picked up, I missed my first kid experience and she knew it.
She graduated from swim lessons and I got a very proud, smiley picture while I was stuck in California. Instead of expressing “poor me!” I congratulated her, and when I got home, taped that darn certificate to the fridge.
Through my experiences, I have learned some of the best ways to handle trips away from home for my kids, and for my husband.
It took some big mistakes and small successes to figure out how I wanted to manage my work travel. I also needed lots of help along the way from others
Here are five helpful tips for moms traveling solo:
1. Don’t make it a surprise.
I pull my suitcase out about 2 weeks before my trip and start talking about how long my trip is going to be (usually in “sleeps”) and what activities I may be missing.
2. Pick the travel plan that works for your personal life.
A very, very smart mentor of mine once told me this: “Will your kids remember you missed their event, or will your company remember you made the meeting?” I’ve taken some crazy late trips to get home in time for a game or dance performance. I’ve also said no to travel that was during a week my husband needed my extra help at home.
3. Try to avoid “I’ll miss you”.
I try to stick to positive affirmations like “I can’t wait to get home” or “have so much fun with Dad while I’m gone.” Drawing attention to the sadness of the departure makes them think they should be sad. One day they need the skill to be away from you, so why not be a part of that training. That also means I don’t call every night. Unless she is asking, I leave her be and let her live her life!
4. Make meals and events easy.
We plan meals before I leave and think of ideas of recipes that are easy for my husband to make while I am gone. Sometimes that means frozen pizza or deli meat sandwiches, and that’s okay. The success of your travel is heavily reliant on your spouse or partner, so be sure they feel supported too.
5. Enjoy your trip!
Not many mamas get trips away from their families to remind themselves who they are. Take the time and enjoy the silence or watch movies you don’t get to watch with the family.
I hope this helps some mommies out there!
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