Friday, June 26, 2009

Why Business Travel Can Be Good for You and Your Kids!

NOTE FROM SUSAN: A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Phaedra Cucina, author of My Mommy’s on a Business Trip, would be a guest blogger very soon. Well, today’s the day! Phaedra's column addresses the issue of “mommy guilt,” especially when you need to take a trip away from the children. She explains why traveling without the kids is actually good, both for you and your kids. She is also very interested in hearing what you have to say on this subject. So, I strongly encourage you to leave your comments or questions on this post, and Phaedra will personally answer them!

Business trips, or any trips without the kids, are a touchy issue in most homes and offices. Often trips to the airport start with tearful goodbyes from the children, and the nightly calls don’t always go so well either. Kids can certainly tug at your heartstrings and heap extra helpings of worry onto your already guilty conscious. To make matters worse, those few moms who don’t feel guilty about their time away often tell me they feel guilty about not feeling guilty! Let’s put a stop to this self-inflicted nonsense!

Traveling on business is GOOD for your kids - and for you! Here are just a few reasons why:

At Home:

• Kids and the grown-up taking care of them get special bonding time together that simply isn’t possible when you’re at home

• Kids learn to be more self-reliant and gain self-confidence (This does require a certain degree of proper preparation, which we can talk about in another post.)

• The grown-up in charge gains a special appreciation for everything you do while you’re home, and vice versa

On the Road:

• You get a rare, uninterrupted night’s sleep!

• You get to walk through the airport with only your own bags to worry about, stroller-free, nicely dressed, with perhaps even a hot latte in hand!

• You get to catch up on your reading!

• You get to be so thankful that the crying kid on the plane is not yours!

• You get grown-up conversation over dinner, hopefully with your girlfriends living in whatever part of the country/world you’re visiting!

• You get to give yourself a mani and pedi in the hotel room!

• You get to watch a movie – of your own choice!

• You can get your inbox under control while on the plane/train!

• You can call a long lost friend or family member!

• You can organize your computer files, playlists, and photos!

• You can work out!

• You can REST!

The choice is always yours – you can sit in your hotel room, worried about what’s going on at home and the office, or enjoy this special opportunity to treat yourself to whatever simple pleasure strikes you in the moment.

What’s one of your favorite things about business, or kid-free, travel? What do you can do to make your next trip more rewarding?

Posted by working mom, Phaedra Cucina, author of the children’s book, My Mommy’s on a Business Trip.


  1. I JUST went on a business trip last week. A couple of things that I did to make things go more smoothly were to arrange my flights so they left late morning/early afternoon. It gave my twins a sense of peace that I was there to make their breakfast and see them off to school with their dad. My flight back was early enough that I was home by dinner time and able to tuck them in. In my absence- my hubby took the kids to the pool, made a pizza and spent some time with them. I think he actually enjoyed himself! ;)

  2. Scheduling flights around peak family times is a great idea! I find it helps a lot to talk to kids about where you're going, but don't just show them a map. Really make it come alive for them and capture their imaginations by talking about what kids can do in that city, something that the city/region is known for culturally, what people typically eat there (Chicago-style pizza for example), some famous things you might see (they don't have to know you'll just be in a boardroom!) Your kids will be excited about your trip, not worried about your absence!

  3. I've also found that when I really take some time to nurture myself when I'm away (and tapping into what I really need--whether that be rest, girlfriend time, journaling, exercise, reading a new book I'm excited about, time for reflection), I feel so much more generous and present with my family when I return. It's the old "fill your cup first and you have more to give to those around you." Thanks for this great post Phaedra!

  4. Phaedra is right on target. It's not what you do as a parent but how you feel about what you do that children pick up on--immediately! And, they are always right. You feeling good about your business trips is the first place to start.


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