Business trips away from the kids -how to cope?

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Business trips away from the kids -how to cope?

Some time ago we compiled a Top 10 Travel Entertainment Ideas For Kids, to ease the boredom of a family journey.  But what about when they’re not with you?  When travelling for business trips, how can a parent deal with the unwanted travel baggage, the suitcase of guilt? It’s a daunting prospect for any loving parent wanting to be with their kids (literally) every step of the way and also wanting to provide an adequate lifestyle and future.

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It’s a true cliche, being a parent is not easy.  The extreme joy and love for your little one, is equally paired with a gnawing unease of worry and guilt… It is inescapable, but we learn in time to adopt various coping strategies to deal with life’s challenges and demands.

In a digital age, communication is not an issue, but the physical separation can be awfully difficult, especially with younger children.  When life presents you with the opportunity to be able to provide for your family with separation as the payoff, it is natural that a combination of guilt and concern will occur.  Worry that your children will be upset, miss you… alongside the anxiety of something happening to them or yourself whilst far away…the loss of control…the distance.

Situations will be created in life whereby separation is no longer a choice but a need. Sooner or later, coping strategies must be formed to work through these unavoidable feelings head on.  

With this in mind, here are some useful tips from travelling parents around the world:

“Eliminate bedtime routines that only one parent does (or can do).  If you co-sleep it may be a good idea to get into the habit of different sleep settings…in their own bed, at grandparents for one night a week, etc)” -Sarah, Marketing & Comms Executive

“Start with one overnight stay,  build up to three days and then a week.  This will give you a chance to test the waters and give you an idea of individual needs during this time.”- Nadia, Procurement Manager

“Bear in mind the possibility that you may be more anxious than your child.  Often, younger children don’t have the same concept of time and may be more easily entertained or distracted.” -Helen, PA

“Stay in touch regularly and have video calls instead of phone calls.  Send selfies keeping the family in the loop about where you are and what you’re doing.  Consistent updates will be reassuring.” -Georgina, Area Sales Manager

“Promise a special outing or bringing back a souvenir to give a positive purpose to the journey that involves your child.” -Roshni, Advisory Board Member

“Consider making a creative calendar, with pictures detailing when you’ll call, your child’s activities and when you’ll return home.  Conspire with the carer in charge to drop personalised notes of encouragement in school backpacks and think of various other surprises.” -Amanda, IT Management

For some more wonderfully positive tips, take a look at this article by Marisa LaScala, an associate editor at Working Mother and workingmother.com.

Are you a parent that travels away for work?  What coping strategies have you mustered? Any you would be willing to share with us in the comments below?

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