Although remote work and distance learning took some getting used to, many families came to appreciate the time they had together. The pandemic created a means for working adults to be more involved in their child’s everyday life and build stronger bonds as a family unit.
The mass distribution of vaccinations and lifting of restrictions this year have prompted many companies to get back to “business as usual.” Families have adjusted to having both parents at home so returning to business travel may take its toll on the other members staying home.
While most employees ventured back to the workplace, others returned to commonplace practices like business travel. As a parent, this means leaving your family at home for days, weeks, or even months at a time to earn a living. The feeling is bittersweet for most working adults. Although you’re happy to get back to work, the idea of being away from your kids after being at home with them for so long is unnerving.
If traveling for work is part of your job description, you’re probably feeling a bit uneasy. Although you have to go, planning can put your mind at ease and ensure that your family is alright until you return. Whether this is your first business trip or you’ve been on a few in the past, here are some suggestions on how to prepare.
One of the first things you want to get squared away is childcare. You want to ensure that a responsible adult is caring for your kids at all times. Although your significant other, family members or friends may be willing to help, they have jobs and familial obligations as well. Therefore, you may need to consider hiring a babysitter or placing your child in daycare during the day. As childcare is expensive, you may want to dip into your dependent care flexible spending account for a bit of relief.
SCHEDULES & ROUTINES
Although things will be different while you’re away, your kids still need structure. Whatever routines and schedules are in place, you want to ensure they’re maintained. Talk with your significant other to figure out where they may need assistance. Then ask family members, friends, coaches, and other adults in your children’s lives to pitch in. Finally, have a conversation with your children about what’s expected of them, their responsibilities, and any changes to the schedule. Inform them of the adults they can turn to if they need help while you’re on your business trip.
SCHOOL & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Whether your kids are still distance learning or have returned to in-person classes, you want to ensure their educational experience isn’t disrupted while you’re away. Ensure that teachers, counselors, and the school administration is aware of your upcoming business trip. Provide them with a list of temporary emergency contacts. Finally, sign any necessary permission slips before your departure. If your kids have activities or events they’ll be participating in, make sure you have a family member or friend that can be there to provide support.
IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS & INFO
Last but not least, you’ll want to provide caretakers with essential documents and necessary information before you leave. They need to have things like health insurance cards and birth certificates. If your children have any allergies or special needs, write them down. Fill any necessary prescriptions in advance and provide a list of instructions. Then give a copy of your itinerary and a list of numbers where you can be reached if something goes wrong.
Chances are you’re going to miss your kids like crazy. Although you can’t bring them on the trip with you, there are ways to stay connected. You can schedule video chats to talk to them about their day, read them books at bedtime, or even have a watch party to keep up with your favorite shows. You can also share photos and send sweet messages to let them know you care.
Everyone knew that the day would come when you’d have to return to work. Be that as it may, adjusting isn’t any easier. After spending a year or more at home with your loved ones, you’ve come to develop a bond that you can appreciate. As if going back to the office isn’t emotional enough, some working adults have to return to traveling for business. Whether you’re heading to Las Vegas or New York, planning now and preparing your household can give you peace of mind while you’re away.