Working mom or not, there are several instances where a mom might have to travel solo without kids and significant other. I personally have had to travel a lot for work and a few family events such as this one. Here a few tips that have helped me survive and keep the tears (the children and mine!) away.
6 Encouraging Tips for Moms Who Travel
1. Leave early in the morning
I always try and schedule 7 am or 8 am flights so that I can leave before the kids wake up. I keep their bedtime routine completely normal the night before and remind them that I leave for a trip in the morning and that I will return in a few days. If leaving early isn’t an option, I will leave during the day after morning drop-offs. My goal is to keep the kids’ schedule as normal and routine as possible.
2. Make arrangements and then let go
Help your spouse and/or caregiver by making the arrangements upfront (sports practices, music lessons, play dates, school activities, etc), but then understand that you have to let go of the execution while you are away. Example: you purchase a costume for favorite character day at school that is occurring while you are on your trip. You lay out the costume and communicate to all parties including your child. On the actual character day, your child dresses in something different. Doesn’t matter, just roll with it and make sure to ask your child what their favorite part of character day was.
3. Bring artwork and pictures
If my trip is longer than 3 nights, I like to bring pictures of the kids and any recent artwork to set on my nightstand. This keeps me centered and focused during the trip. I also love showing the kids this on Facetime! Speaking of Facetime…
4. Avoid Facetime at bedtime
I discovered by accident that Facetiming at bedtime was a horrible idea. This is the only time my kids would get emotional that I wasn’t there. Therefore I check in at least once a day around dinnertime with the kids and in the morning with the spouse and/or caregivers.
5. Don’t forget a small present
I usually grab a kids book about my work trip destination before I board my flight home at the airport. This helps even little ones make the connection that you actually went somewhere. It also helps create a great kid library.
6. Last and most importantly, do not feel guilty!
The worst my mommy heart has ever hurt is while traveling. I have to remind myself of the big picture and why I am on this work trip. I then try and take advantage of the alone time to recharge my batteries. What is more empowering as that for a mom?
P.S.: Check out this Twin Cities Moms Blog article on How to be a traveling working Mom.