Simultaneously being a mother and a successful businesswoman is challenging. Add business trips and travel into the equation and things get exponentially more difficult. How can you be a good mother while also traveling for extended periods of time? Contrary to what society may tell you, there are plenty of ways to make the two work together. Follow these tips to help you master the science.
Ditch the Guilt
First off, remind yourself that you aren’t a bad mom for traveling, and don’t compare yourself to other moms on the block. As long as you take the proper steps to communicate with your kids before, during, and after travel, they’ll be prepared for your departure and be fine while you’re gone. There’s no need to feel like you aren’t doing enough for them just because you travel often.
Tell the Kids Ahead of Time
Don’t wait until the last minute to tell your kids you’re leaving. It will upset and confuse them, especially if they’re young. Tell them about your trip a week in advance. If dates are difficult for them to understand, mark the date of your departure on a colorful calendar and let them mark down the days until you’re gone. It will give them plenty of time to get used to the idea before you leave.
Let the Kids Help Plan
Don’t keep your trip a secret. Tell your kids where you’re going, and give them opportunities to help plan it. If your work takes you to farther-removed destinations, whether it is Morocco or New Zealand, show your kids where it is on a map. Have them help you pack and even show them your itinerary so you can discuss the places you’ll be visiting. Listen to their input regarding things you should do on your trip and follow up with them when you return.
Make It Fun for Them
While you’re gone, you don’t want your kids to be a crying mess for the babysitter or your spouse. Create fun rituals that you or the babysitter can do each time you leave, such as reading the story The Kissing Hand and kissing each child’s hand. You might also leave certain treats or gifts to open on each night you’re gone.
Stick to Routines
Have something fun planned for while you’re gone, but don’t abandon routines. Bedtime, naptime, meals, school, and playtime should remain the same. Kids rely on their schedules, and if schedules are interrupted, it can be confusing and even scary for them. Sticking to the schedule is the best thing you can do to keep normalcy in their lives.
Technology is an amazing tool for traveling moms, and you should use various forms of tech any way you can. Send text messages, have phone conversations, and set up Skype dates to keep in close contact with your family. If your kids are okay with it, keep up with them on social media as well. Your older children may roll their eyes at your constant efforts to stay connected, but inside, they’ll appreciate that you took the time to talk to them even when you’re away.
Take Trips with Family Too
You may be sick of traveling by the time summer rolls around, but that’s the best time to take trips with your family, and you should do it. It will give them a taste of what you get to do and what you’re experiencing when you’re away. If possible, try to take one of your kids with you on your business trips. Your kids will greatly appreciate the effort you put into helping them understand your world, and it will help keep you satisfied as a parent!
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