Parenting & Traveling for Business
She used to hug my leg and cry when she saw me begin to pack. She wouldn't let go. So one day I started to wrestle with her and it became a game. But the tears still came, just later, when we had to say goodbye, I felt horrible.
We know we set a powerful example as women who work and travel in the professional business world. And yet, we sometimes need to remind each other we're doing the right thing. This reassurance alone gives each of us strength and the will to carry on some days.
Our recent discussion on this challenge via our Go Jane Go Exclusive Group sparked remarkable and personal solutions to this unique business travel challenge. We've published them here - see if you agree. We'd love to hear from you, too, wherever you are. So find us on Twitter, follow us on Instagram, like our Facebook Page, and consider applying to join our Exclusive Group!
The Greatest Challenge for a Parent Who Travels for Business: Saying Goodbye
The sad goodbye or struggle to answer "Why do you have to go" question from our kids can make us wonder why we travel for business in the first place, let alone, break our hearts into a million fractured shards. The kids that struggle most adhere to no rhyme or reason. They are a diverse group and span an age range from toddlers to teens. If you've experienced the scene yourself, you'll relate to our recent discussion as we heard from so many of us, still seeing this struggle through.
See if you can relate to any of these scenarios:
My 5 year old sobs herself to sleep begging me not to go the night before.
If I am gone too long, she worries that the kiss washed off when she washed her hands and refused to wash her hands. 😂 Kid logic.
I’m ugly crying right now.
This is so heartbreaking.
It happens every time -- I ask her to be brave -- I remind her I’m only gone a few days.
“Mommy pleeeeease don’t go!"
For 4 years now and my girls still cry sometime when I’m gone.
My 10 year old daughter just started being really bothered by my business trips.
My 12 year old son doesn’t seem quite so bothered by it.
Still a weekly ordeal after almost 7 years of business travel.
My 9 year-old breaks down every time.
We are problem solvers - and as such, we've come up with some pretty innovative ways to deal with our kids, our jobs and our travel schedules. Check out these and share yours:
Make heart-shaped cookies to eat while you're apart, as a sweet "love you" treat.
Leave one paper lunch bag for each day (labeled with the day on it, and maybe a silly drawing). Inside would be a small gift.
Use a dry erase board to track trips and how many sleeps it’ll be until you get home.
Have your partner or husband institute the “No Mom menu” -- fun stuff that only happens when you're gone.
Write a letter to open each morning when they awake, telling them the special things you love about them.
Bring home a $10 gift - after a few trips they won't be able to wait to see what you'll bring back.
Plan something to look forward to doing when you get home.
Make little countdowns and hide little surprises.
Hide a little love note with a promise of an outing together.
Make a calendar with different colored days for when ‘mommy sleeps at work’ to show that there’s an end in sight.
Create special day trips or date nights with your partner or Dad while you're away. - Check in via FaceTime as often as they need -- sometimes you need to check in a lot.
Let them sleep on your pillow.
Lend a T-shirt to sleep with that has your perfume/lotion smell on it.
Let them pick a shirt to wear from your hamper.
Some really good resources include:
An awesome feature on 10 Touching Ways Moms Make Being Away Easier on Their Kids with great ideas and tips.
Try reading these precious picture books together;
Balancing the angst of leaving our family for business travel with our career goals and responsibilities is not something that's easily solved, and surely, it can be stressful and challenging. Hearing each other's stories helps us to think of more educational and empowering ways to make it all work. So thank you for sharing your wisdom. It's a powerful thing. We really can help each other figure out what works best for our careers and family.
~Journey On, Janes.