Once a traveling parent, always a traveling parent. Lisa, a speaker, author and consultant specializing in issues related to alcohol abuse and alcoholism, shared some of her experiences even though her daughters are now grown and in college.
Having children out of the house doesn’t mean there is wisdom to share with those who are experiencing the challenge of being a business traveling parent now. For example, the idea of leaving a “good morning” message is timeless and helpful to parents traveling today. (I wish I had the discipline!)
How many nights a month are you away from the kids?
On average, it was 2-3 nights/trip/quarter, four to five times/year.
What is the one special routine you have to keep you connected with the kids while you're traveling?
Before I left, I'd talk about where I was going and what I would be doing (meetings/what kind/ the people who would be there). I also would draw a picture with a good morning message for each day I'd be gone (one for each of my two daughters). Their caregiver (father, grandmother or babysitter) would give them my written pictures/notes each morning. In the evening, I would call at the same time. That way, their days were anchored on each end by a contact they could count on from mom.
Describe your feelings about being a business traveling parent?
As long as I knew they were in good hands and their routines were staying the same, I was okay and often really enjoyed the first evening away - I'd order room service and watch a movie and enjoy the "freedom." I also loved my job, which helped.
What will your kids remember about their childhood with you as a business traveling parent?
The hotel freebies I'd bring home (haha). But seriously, I think they enjoyed the change of having someone else in charge. There was never a "please don't goooo...," which, of course, made it easier for me.
Thanks to Lisa to Lisa for sharing her experiences
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