Some jobs require travel from their employees and some do on a frequent basis. Many employees view this as a perk that comes with the job but for working single moms, business travel can be a nightmare.
You can take the stress out of traveling for work by having a plan ready for those preplanned or impromptu trips. Travel preparations will allow you to travel with a lot less worry.
This is your first and foremost concern when you have to travel for business. For trips where you are given some advance notice, you have a little flexibility in finding a caregiver. It is the unexpected trips that can really play havoc with your life.
You need a support person who can step up at such times. Ideally, the children’s father would be the best choice. If however, that is not an option, a grandparent, aunt or uncle who understands your situation and has agreed to be on standby for these types of situations is your next bet. With an understanding in place, a quick phone call should take care of the details.
Naturally, you have to pack for yourself, but you also have to pack for the kids. If it is just an overnight trip, you might do well to just leave a change of clothes at your care giver’s home at all times. This takes the rush out of those last minute trips. If your trip is longer, you’ll need to pack for several days. You can keep a suitcase with a package of underwear and socks already tucked away. Add the clothes, toothbrushes and other essentials and you’re set. Don’t forget any medications that they might need. Grab the kids backpacks – loaded with their books, homework and school supplies and you are ready to go.
Make up a list of contact information. Include your cell phone and the number of the hotel where you will be staying. Also include back up caregivers such as the children’s father, grandparents, aunts and uncles. And don’t be afraid to make clear what you want. That way, if your caregiver runs into scheduling difficulties, they can contact someone your children are familiar and comfortable with. Don’t forget to include any doctor or dentist information.
School and Day Care
If you use a daycare provider or your children attend school, you will need to let those facilities know about your travel and who to contact in case of an emergency. You will also have to be sure that they are aware of who is allowed to pick up your children. This information may already be on file but if time permits, it never hurts to make sure the staff knows what is going on. Read also this post: Can mothers have a life of their own?
Also, remember to pack anything the kids might need while you are gone like their instruments for music lessons or uniforms for baseball games. If they have a special project that will be due while you are gone, make sure they have the project and anything they need to finish it. Kids can scrapbook, too! So make sure you’ve got it all set.
If you can prepare the basics well in advance and have them stored in a convenient place, you will reduce your stress when it comes time to pack and say goodbye.