You guys know how much I struggle with this topic, as I’ve definitely talked about it before. It’s never easy having to travel for work and leave my family behind. Nowadays, I do a bit more traveling than I’d like – but today I’m going to share my thoughts and some tips I’ve picked up on how I make it work as a traveling/working mommy.
I know there’s no right or wrong answer to motherhood and it all depends on your family, workflow and what’s right for them, but here’s what’s worked for me given my work situation. Mommy guilt is something that I don’t think ever goes away. Every time I leave, I feel guilty but I know that at the same time, being a working mom is setting a great example for Chloe. And who knows, maybe one day I can take her with me!
I’m not really sure what parents did before the days of FaceTime! I love being able to communicate and stay in touch with Chloe and Allen, no matter where in the world I am! I try not to miss a beat when I’m gone, and even though I’m physically not there- I always try to make it for bedtime! Depending on the time difference and if my schedule allows for it- we always try to eat dinner as a family.
I’m so blessed to have such an amazing support system back at home. Allen is amazing at keeping Chloe on her routine (though sometimes he doesn’t always follow the bed-time rule that strictly when I’m gone! LOL!) We try to keep Chloe on a routine to give her some sense of normalcy, even when I’m away.
3. Hide Notes
When I have time before I leave for a big trip- I hide little notes around the house for Chloe to find! She can’t read yet- but she loves to find the little pictures I draw for her. She loves seeing them when she wakes up and finding them throughout the time I’m gone.
4. Countdown Calendar
Now that Chloe is older, we’ve been doing a calendar countdown for my longer trips. Most kids don’t totally grasp the concept of time- 3 days, 3 weeks, they don’t really understand how long that feels but with a countdown calendar, we can count down the days that go by and she can physically see it! Allen will tell Chloe that mommy will be back after however many “sleeps!”
5. Books of Places I’m Going
Before I leave, I always grab a picture book about the place I’m going. Since I travel to New York and Paris the most- she now knows that Mommy is either going to the “Statue of Liberty” or the “Eiffel Tower!” It’s educational and it helps her understand. She really loves these books in particular: click here and here!
This is more for me than for Chloe, but I always have a photo of Chloe in my wallet and passport holder. Anytime I see her little face it helps me stay motivated especially when I’m away from my family. I’ll always have my CloClo in my pocket and with me!
It’s never easy leaving my family to travel, but I hope that these tips can help any of you working mommies out there! If you have any tips for the working mommy, please leave me a comment below!