Are you apprehensive about returning to work after having a child? Many women are intimidated by the idea of juggling work and caring for a child, especially if their work involves lots of traveling. Whether you have to travel often or once in a while, staying away from your child or spouse can test you in ways you never thought of before. Here are a few tips and guidelines that can make your work-related trips much easier and stress free:
- Plan ahead: Keep a number of contingency plans in case of an emergency. Make sure your partner and your child’s caregiver has a list of phone numbers so they can reach you at all times. Make sure they know where you are and give them detailed information about the hotel you’re staying at, your flight number and travel times. You should also make sure that there is someone available to care for your child in case your spouse or babysitter has an emergency and/or has to leave. Remember to let any caregiver know about illnesses or food allergies your child may have. This will help keep you from worrying all the time while you are away. However, it should also be kept in mind that working moms can travel with your child as well. I know you usually don’t have time or energy to plan for a business trip which is why looking up family tour packs online is a good idea, especially if you are traveling with your child.
- Set a number of ground rules: After you return to work, talk to your employer and decide on a number of rules. For instance, trips for work will be limited to one night only, and the trips will be once a week. If the trips last longer than 24 hours, you will be allowed to take your child with you. This is particularly useful if you have a very young child. However, once your child is older and starts going to school, you will have to rethink this rule and find something else that works for you and your family.
- Take extra care if you’re a nursing mother: If you are a nursing mom, things may seem even more complicated. If you leave for a business trip that won’t last longer for a day or two; you can pump some milk in advance and freeze them for your baby. Label the bottles with dates so the caregiver can tell when the milk is no longer safe for your child. You can also stockpile on infant formula if you aren’t comfortable with pumping milk. Make sure you take proper care of yourself; eat well and get enough sleep.
- Pack like a pro: When traveling for work, pack light and make sure you have all the things you need. Use a large duffel bag instead of a hefty suitcase and keep your passport, ticket and visa separately in your purse. For a short trip, pack 3 sets of formal wear and 2 sets of casual clothing. Pack a pair of dressy shoes and a pair of casual sandals or flats. You should also pack your charger, any accessories and medication you will need. Keeping things simple will save you from lots of unnecessary stress and give you more time to spend with your kids.
- Stay connected to your family: Nothing can fill the void during the time you spend away from your family. However, you can make things easier by checking in with them frequently while you are away. Remember to call twice a day and get updates about your children from your husband or caregiver. Try to speak to your child before bedtime and you can even read them their favorite book or sing them to sleep. Video-conferences on Skype can help you stay involved in your child’s life even though you aren’t there with them. These things may seem small, but will make your trip much more pleasant for both you and your child.
Preparing well in advance for your trip and setting some ground rules at work can make life much easier for working women who have to travel. No woman should have to give up working after they have children, especially when there are a number of ways to manage both childcare and work. These tips will help ease your stress and anxiety when you have to travel for work and spend time away from your child.
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