As those of you who follow Mom’s Cafe on instagram, probably already know, I am currently traveling for work. This is something that may fluctuate from twice a year, to “depending on the need.” *Ode to business trips* For this particular trip I will be traveling to Italy. That is approximately 4,014 miles/ 6,460 km, from my baby!
Can you say anxiety?
This is the farthest distance we have ever been apart, and also the longest time frame. So many things to worry about, figure out, not to mention coping with the heart wrenching feeling of missing your child. What if she can’t sleep at night? What if my plane is delayed? What happens if her school needs to contact me? SO MANY thoughts circulated my mind. For sure, focusing on meeting my work deadlines and intensive training seemed nearly impossible.
This is the second BIG trip this year.Same place, but I now have a few methods down-pact on how to bring both mother & child to ease.
- Formulate your Plan: Of course your game plan is top priority. Between pick-ups and drop-offs, night routine schedules, “in-case of emergencies”. In my case, this was a particular challenge because as a #singlemom, you do not have a spouse to ease some of these uh… “challenges.” When they say, “it takes a village‘….it really takes a village! Special shout-out to grandmas everywhere ! #MomSupport
- Formulate your Plan B: A plan B be may not even be feasable…plan A was challenging enough, but it doesn’t hurt to try! **If you are traveling for leisure, with a bit more time to plan, try your hardest to create a back-up. It will relieve some unwanted stress and allow you to enjoy your “time-off” with a little less worry
- Schedule Your Calls Ahead of Time:For this particular trip, I am traveling to a time zone 6 hrs ahead of our norm. For us, that meant, at 7:00 a.m. home time , it was 1:00 pm (for me) travel time. 5:00 pm travel time, meant 11:00 a.m. home time.
It was imperative for me to create a “Mommy & Me” call time schedule, so I get to speak to my child at a decent hour, and she knows when she will hear from me. It creates a routine, and also ensures we don’t go a day without being in touch. (As if I would ever let that happen…) With this type of time difference, my work hours were mostly her “sleep hours.” During my sleep hours, she was just getting out of school for the day. This created a challenge, but Game On!
Of course, if your child needs you, you are at their disposal 24/7, but scheduling specific call times also helps the caregiver, to ensure everything stops because “Mommy is going to ring.”This even creates a sense of normalcy for the child who’s normal routine has been slightly interrupted
- Communicate/Preparation: Depending on your child’s age, the level in which you communicate your travel plans may vary. At the time, 5/6 years old, my daughter was/is fully aware of the meaning of “Mommy has to leave for work,” minus a few details. Time Frame and location was definitely a question mark, in her inquisitive mind. To help translate the message to your child, it may be a good idea in the days/weeks prior to travel, to:
- Read books/Watch Movies of the places you will visit…
- Show your child on a map/globe“You are Here”… “Mommy will be Here”
- Mark/Countdown Days on a calendar, until your departure…and if they can mark on their own, days until your return. *It definitely helps if the calendar is of their favorite character or color such as this one:
Right now for my 6 year old minnie seems to be the favorite. Last year it was My Little Pony…
All of the above, make it not only a learning experience, but can also be tons of fun!
2. Communication Devices: If your child is too young for a phone, or you just want to introduce them to the idea, and have some control over how the device can be used, I strongly recommend smart watches ! During your travels, it may put both mom & child at ease if your child has the ability to contact you themselves, without waiting for a grownup. I probably will rave about this item until the end of time. I’ve purchased Verizon wireless’ Gizmo pal 2. A smart watch for kids. Excellent control features. Best thing I’ve ever purchased! Can’t wait to tell you the #Momstoryof how we first began using the GizmoPal, but that’s for another time… Everyone should have one!
If you wish to purchase this item, or see others like it click this link below. They look like this. I bought my daughter the pink one:
So mom, those were a few basics to put your mind at ease if you’re ever traveling away from your little ones. Relax now…have a glass of wine, maybe in a coffee cup 😉