Traveling when you’re already a mom isn’t easy. In the last five months, my work had required me to be on two out-of-the-country business trips — one week in Sydney and 3 days in Singapore.
My younger and single self would’ve rejoiced at the thought of work-related travels. But now that I’m a mother, things are definitely different. I had a mix of emotions for being away even just for a few days. I was excited, thankful, sad and worried all at the same time! I was like crazy!
Despite feeling excited about work and travel, there were unavoidable anxities and apprehension. How would my baby feel without me for 7 days and vice versa? Would I be able to prepare all the things she‘ll need while I‘m away?
While I was blessed that my parents and my hubby were there to take care of my daughter while I was out of the country, I still felt worried and guilty to leave my baby even for just a few days of work and leisure. I guess it’s natural for any mother to feel that way.
My husband and I have our own reasons behind our resolute decision for me to remain a working mom, and I have to accept that short business trips are part of the deal. It’s a sacrifice working moms like me have to make. So rather than cry over it, I have to deal with it the best way I can.
Here are my survival moves when leaving behind my child for work-related travel:
Leave child only to someone I trust with all my heart
For me, it’s none other than my Mom and Dad. When my child is with her grandparents, I am confident that my daughter is safe and happy. My parents will surely take care of my child the same way they took care of me for more than three decades.
Prepare everything my child will need while I’m away
I actually made a checklist of what my one year old will need for seven days. 2 cans of formula milk, 2 packs of diapers, bottle cleanser, 4 packs of baby wipes, a pack of mosquito patches, and the list goes on. I bought stocks of these baby essentials before my flight.
I also turned over my little girl’s health card and baby book to my Mom in case of emergency.
Condition your mind and heart
While I knew that nothing could completely prepare me from being away from my little girl, it was actually worth a try. Months before our departure, I accepted the thought that I would be away for a few days. Mental preparedness helped me take on a more optimistic thinking. With lots of trust in God, I tried to just focus on the thought that everything would be fine. 🙂
Communicate daily through video calling
I thank God for today’s awesome technology like video calling. 😍 I couldn’t imagine being a working mom, more especially an OFW mom, back in the 90s where there was no free way to see and talk to your baby. During both my Sydney and Singapore trips, I looked forward to the end of the day when I can stay in the hotel room to talk to my little girl whether via Facetime, Facebook messenger or Skype. Oh, the advantages of modern communications! Good thing internet connection in other countries was so good, I was able to see my baby clearly.
Think of it as an opportunity to renew my mommy powers
It’s funny how we often wish for a day when we can have some “me” time, but when the time comes when we can be away for a while from our little ones, we freak out and shun the thought. I’ve realized that while having a long, peaceful shower in Sydney! While I missed my daughter so much, I thanked God for giving me a chance to relax, sleep more, take a bath a bit longer or just take a break from having to run after an energetic toddler.
Being away with our children will never be easy, but we have other roles to fulfill other than being a parent. So it is up to us how we will view this temporary “long distance relationship” aka LDR days with our little ones. Let’s choose to look at it with a grateful rather than miserable heart. ❤️