Business traveling as a parent


Being a parent doesn't require discarding one's professional aspirations - not anymore. It can be pretty tricky to manage both if you're not careful, but "pretty tricky" doesn't have to mean "impossible."

Check out a handful of essential tips that hard-working parents can employ to stay connected to their children while on business trips:

"Being a jet-setting working parent can be tricky, but it's eminently doable."

Give short notice, but be truthful

At young ages, most children don't properly understand time and may only rudimentarily understand "going to work," according to Parents magazine. As such, you should only tell them you're leaving on a business trip a few days in advance. You have enough time to (hopefully) convince them everything's normal and you'll be back soon, and they won't have enough time to worry.

That said, be completely transparent (up to the limits of their understanding) regarding the what, where, when, why and how of your company trip.

Spend quality time before you depart

To avoid your young ones stewing in crankiness or fear before you leave, Bright Horizons recommended using the period between dropping the news and embarking as dedicated family time. Maybe take them to the movie they really want to see that you're not keen on. Or schedule a day of multiple activities, with proven favorites like ice cream, toys, games and stories included.

Stay connected remotely

Technology will be a huge help here. You can video call on your smartphone or computer to check up on your kids' school days and ensure that story time continues in your temporary absence, along with any other traditions. Today's children are more used to technology than we might've been, so Skype communication may not seem quite as remote.

Maintain balance

If your children are relatively OK with your trip, this is fine: Don't call from the road too often or about minute things your partner or babysitter probably have handled. Figure out in advance what a reasonable communication schedule is, and stick to that.

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