I don’t travel that often sans children, but a few trips a year x the past five years of being a mama has taught me a few things. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re leaving your family behind to kick it at work conference, a girls’ weekend or maybe even just a solo excursion, follow these tips for a more relaxed getaway.
Get your house in order.There’s nothing worse than calling your hubs for an update when you’re traveling and getting the simple answer, “Everything is ok” without all the deets you probably want. What did the kids eat today? How is the baby feeling? When is the last time you changed his diaper? Leave a plan so you’re not wondering about all of the above. Either write out a schedule if your spouse or someone else is going to be taking on your regular responsibilities or leave menu ideas so you don’t come home to your kids’ having eaten pizza for four days straight.I like to leave my house as clean as possible, fridge full, and if I’m really on a roll, some meals prepped. This is not always possible, but it leaves me feeling much more at ease when I’m able to really get my house in order before leaving.
Book your flights at strategic times. My last trip, I planned to leave super early, so I could exit the house without a dramatic scene and also enjoy a little me-time in a sunny climate solo. The first part of this did not exactly go as planned. I barely slept the night before due to a night owl, energetic toddler. My twins then woke up with roosters overtired, cranky and sad to see their mom leave. Although I was well aware this all could have happened (although unplanned with my well-thought out plan), it was still a good idea in my mind and worth the risk. Sometimes I do the opposite here, I fly out on the last flight out or return home on the first flight I can catch to be able to do things I don’t normally get to do on a weekday-like school pick-ups or park play dates. Either way, think about what makes sense for your life and choose your flights accordingly.
Video chat daily. Find five or ten minutes to video chat your kids and show them where you are and what you’re up to. Ask them about their day, what they ate, what they’ve been up to. No need to do this more than once a day. It’s good for everyone to miss each other a little bit.
Have faith in your partner. If your hubs is the one in charge while you’re gone, don’t critique every little thing he does. Your kids will probably go to sleep later than their regular bedtime. They may not brush their teeth AND floss. They will also likely watch something on TV that is totally age inappropriate. It’s fine. They won’t be screwed up for life.
Let go of the guilt. Seriously.Just let it go. It’s going to be there, whether you’re leaving for one day or nine days. I know this is easier said than done. Know you’re setting the right example for your little humans, whether that be showing your commitment to your career or your valuing self care. They are learning through examples you set. Not going on these trips and holding resentment toward your family is your problem, not theirs. Put your positive pants on and catwalk through security, mama, because are a traveling mom boss.