Traveling for work can be super draining, add a family to the mix and then it really get’s interesting… LET ME TELL YOU! I travel a bit here and there for my job and typically it’s not for long periods of time. A day or two here, maybe even three but typically no more than that. I’ve learned that I have to prepare my family and make sure they have everything they need before I leave. Although my husband is very capable of getting things accomplished on his own, me being gone for a day or two can really throw off his schedule. I try to do as much as I can before I leave to make it easier on him and on myself for when I return.
One thing I really want you to remember is….you most likely cannot and will not get to every single thing accomplished around the house before you go on your business trip. That is perfectly fine! Don’t beat yourself up over it! Do what you can do and move on.
Make sure you make the appropriate arrangements in advance in this area. Most likely if you travel for work your child is in day care or you have a nanny. If you have a nanny, make sure you communicate what days you’ll be gone and what changes in routine to expect with you being out of town. Maybe you’re in the same situation as me where we drop our son off with the sitter/daycare everyday. Typically, I drop him off in the mornings and my husband picks him up in the afternoon. Make sure you tell your childcare provider what’s going on so they know what to expect. If you have someone that’ll be picking/dropping off your child in your place, you need to make sure that your childcare provider knows who that person will be and that you’ve provided all necessary information they need in order for your child to be picked up by him/her.
I find it a bit hard when I’m away to step back from my events and make sure I call, text, or FaceTime before my family goes to sleep. It’s easy to get caught up in work, and all this time has gone by and now the whole family is asleep and you’ve been working all day. I don’t know why but I lose track of time when I travel for work. One minute it’s 1pm and I’m just landing, the next minute it’s 9pm and I’m just wrapping up an event for work and I haven’t had a chance to even tell my boys good night! I try to make sure my husband sends me several pictures of he and my son throughout the day. We also make sure we FaceTime before bed and in the morning. This helps me feel like I’m not missing out on too much while I’m away from them. It also helps quite a bit on those trips that are a bit longer than most so that I don’t feel as bad about being away from them.
If you don’t already meal prep, this would be a great time to start! I recommend that you prepare and even freeze a couple of meals for your family to have for dinner while you’re away. If you need help in the meal prep department, check out my 5 Tips for Successful Meal Planning. This is important if you still want to make sure your family is eating healthy and ensure that they aren’t eating Chick-Fil-A for every meal (but is that really a bad thing?). This will help you all save time and money and they won’t even have to miss your amazing cooking!
Clean the House
There is no better feeling than walking into a clean house after a trip! Now, most likely if you go on a work trip and leave the husband and kids…the house will NOT be clean when you get back. For me it just feels good for me to know that I’ve done some good cleaning before I left. Now when I come back, I won’t have so much cleaning to do. You don’t need to deep clean, just make sure the house is tidy and that for the most part everything is in its place.
I notice that I get much more accomplished if I pack the weekend right before I have a work trip, rather than the night before. Typically, the night before I’m trying to finish getting things ready around the house and maybe even working a bit later than usual. When you pack several days in advance, you allow yourself enough time to buy extra items that you may notice that you’re missing for your trip. It mostly just gives me a peace of mind that there’s one less thing I need to worry about the night before I leave.
I think if you focus on these points, you’ll feel much better about being away from your family, no matter how long it’ll be. Have you noticed that throughout this blog post I’ve use phrases like “for the most part” and “do what you can do”? That’s because sometimes I don’t get to everything on this list when I travel. I’m learning that everything does not have to be perfect and it’s not the end of the world if you didn’t have time to prepare a meal for the family for while you are away. Just remember to do what you can do and don’t beat yourself up for not finishing every single task before you leave. Do you have any tips that helps you feel better about leaving your family while you work? Let me know in the comments!