When a working Mom goes on a business trip, she has to prepare more than just a presentation or figure out what to wear. You have to get the kids ready for your absence, though you soon realize they hardly notice you are gone, which is because you have planed for every possible A to Z scenarios. Still, one my first business trip after having kids, I felt equal parts excited and scared at leaving the kids in Dad’s more than capable hands. I walked around with a ton of guilt, which was irrational because:
- It’s business. Treat it like everything else at work.
I am not going on a Spring Break, where I’ll get drunk as soon as I land and sober up on the plane back home. I am going to work.
- You are not just a Mom, you have to work.
Sure, Career Woman got trampled the second I found out I was expecting. While she may never fully recover, a compromise has to be made, since I refuse to be just Mommy. I love it, but that’s not all I am. A business trip is an opportunity for me to grow, learn new things, make friends with people who are not parents on the playground, well they might be, just not in this case, and broaden my horizons.
- Promise them the moon.
To make it easier and Mommy’s trip exciting for everyone promise a present if they behave well and plain and simple bribe your way back into their good graces.
- Payback time.
Don’t feel guilty for hubby, he can do it, probably better than you – given the chance. Besides how often does Daddy have to go on a business trip and the world keeps spinning? I have experience with being left alone with our kids. It’s a lot of hard work that too often goes unnoticed. I just might have a mean streak in me, because I’ll secretly, or well, perhaps not so secretly enjoy hubs sweating a bit. Let’s see how he can handle it.
- Prepare for everything.
Of course you won’t just pack your own stuff and leave without a care in this world. You’ll do major household preparations, talk to the kids for the umpteenth time about you leaving and hubby will finally learn where you’ve been hiding kids’ clothes, towels and linens all these years.
- You will be on call.
On your business trip you will stick to your phone, because you know there are so many possible scenarios out there, too many phone numbers or things they might require. There is no way you can write them all down or explain what to do and how. Even though you know they can handle it. What you really should try not to miss is to call them and wish them goodnight and listen to them explain their day. Just that connection, will considerably lessen the weight of the guilt.
- Enlist help.
Hubbs will do a great job but just in case and to make everyone life a little easier enlist help of friends to pick up a kid from school, while hubby is at the day-care center…
And that’s your survival plan for the trip. You have to go, but you should also plan to enjoy it, you are doing nothing wrong and the kids are safe. So, let go, of the guilt, the worry, the thinking too hard. And embrace the fun, just like they will, until you get back again. Oh, this didn’t sound right…