Working parents who travel know it isn’t easy to be away from our kids. Tearful good-byes, rushed FaceTime conversations before school/meetings, and quick text-message updates from your spouse do little to replace the soccer practices, snuggles and bedtime stories.
When our daughter was four and I was pregnant with our son, I was fortunate enough to be promoted into a position where I didn’t work as many evenings and weekends. I was also incredibly blessed at that time to start receiving multiple speaking requests each year. I have always tried to limit my trips to one or two a year. As flattering as these invitations are, my priorities are my family and my job, so I make the difficult decision to turn them down.
This year, however, I am taking four trips in five months, which isn’t easy on our kids (now seven and three) or my husband (thank you, sweetheart!!). To give them something to look forward to from me while I’m gone (and let’s face it, to alleviate some of my working mom guilt), I get a little gift (under $5) for each of them for every night I’m gone. I wrap them, hide them and leave them clues to find them while I’m gone.
It’s fun for me, it’s fun for the kids, it gives my husband a break for a couple minutes and it makes traveling for work just a little bit easier for this working mom and my family.