Today’s guest blog post is from Lee. If youâ€™d like to have your guest blog post featured on Work It, Mom!, send it in an email to email@example.com. Please make sure itâ€™s relevant to working moms and is around 300 words or so.
Take Me Awayâ€¦ or Not
We all know that traveling with young children can beâ€¦ challenging. Less of a vacation and more of a full-time job, on top of your other job (which you probably lug around via your laptop), right?
But what about business travel? I recently had to schedule my second business trip since becoming a mom. Thankfully, my first trip didn’t take place until well into my son’s second year. I wasn’t pleased, but I handled it. I was comfortable with our daycare and our normal routine. My son was 2, separation anxiety had waned. I would have been a mess if I’d had to travel earlier on; for instance, if I were still nursing my baby.
Alas, my coworker now finds herself in exactly that situation. She, too, has had to schedule a business trip, and she is nursing her five-month-old. In my empathy for her, I want to cry, “She just barely returned to work 2 months ago! And there are perfectly capable single people here, who could do this trip.” Instead, she’ll juggle her babysitters, burden her husband, pump and pump some more, and manage her emotions somehow. I feel bad for her.
Now I know, rationally, that we have chosen to work outside the home due to finances or career enjoyment. Our jobs come with “some travel required,” so we just have to be brave and do our jobs. Also, I realize that my friend and I don’t have to do this particular job — we could seek employment where travel isn’t required. But I wish there was a clause at the end of every maternity policy specifying “no travel for the first year,” because I think it’s just too hard, emotionally and logistically.
On the other handâ€¦ some working women I know really cherish the mental break. “A hotel room all to myself?” they ask. “Sign me up!” What about you? How do you react to a travel assignment? Or is travel a very normal part of your job? Do you order room service and a pay-per-view movie? Or fly out on the red-eye in order to get home sooner?
I, personally, take my bubble bath with me, but find this one of the hardest things to reconcile in my work-life balance.
Lee Thrash is a copy editor and web producer in Atlanta, juggling life with a 3-year-old and preparing to add another baby to the mix in 2008.