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Fighting business trip guilt, one room service order at a time

Categories: Balancing Act, Working Women Issues, Your life


I am typing this post from a very nice and large and plush bed in a very nice and pretty room in a very nice and spiffy hotel in Chicago. No, don’t get excited, this is not vacation — I am here on a business trip for two days. This morning I left the house at 6am with a small carry-on bag, my laptop, and a huge load of business trip guilt. I wouldn’t see my kiddo for two full days. My husband will be shuffling around his meetings and schedule to manage drop-offs and pick-ups. And next week I have another trip, again for two full days. The guilt-meter is pushing to the max.

I am lucky to not have to travel often for my job. During a regular month I do one or two trips, and most of them are just for one very very long day. I realize, of course, that my daughter is absolutely fine and my husband is more than willing and able to pick up my slack for a bit. Still, try as I might I’ve not figured out how to get rid of my business trip guilt.

But I am here to report that this time I am at least trying — not just to get rid of the guilt but (loud ghasp!) to actually take this opportunity to chill out a bit and relax. I mean, here I am, in this great hotel room with a few hours to spare and without lunches or dinners to prepare, chores to take care of, and calls from my mom to return. I might as well enjoy it, right?

I called my husband a few minutes ago to say that he would be proud of me. After my meetings were over for the day I came to the hotel and headed straight to the gym. It doesn’t sound like enjoyment but it’s something that makes me feel good. When I got back to my room I took a shower that lasted more than its usual 7 minutes, called for room service and painted my nails. Yes, this is all rare for me. I then noticed a glass of red wine sitting on the table with a note from my husband to RELAX! Honey, you rock and as the red wines seeps into my blood I might just get closer to relaxing than I expected.

OK, now I am doing some work and will likely be up late doing it. But you know what? Doing work while sitting on a very nice huge bed, with pretty painted nails, my stomach happily fed and my brain forced to chill out a bit with some red wine feels almost like a mini-vacation.

Yes, I still feel guilty and no, I am not enjoying this enough to dance on the bed, but life isn’t so bad right now.

Do you have business trip guilt or do you find a way to enjoy some time away?

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3 comments so far...

  • Good for you!
    Enjoy. There is nothing wrong with that. Really, there isn’t. Your husband and daughter will be fine.

    Vera Babayeva  |  October 23rd, 2008 at 9:35 am

  • Here’s a few Guilt Trip Neutralizers!

    1) By taking the business trips, you are building a business that lets you work from home the majority of the time, which benefits your daughter immensely.

    2) By taking a short breather from family life (room service rocks!), you will return to your family refreshed…and having gotten some decent sleep!

    3) Your daughter gets some quality Alone Time With Daddy, which benefits them both.

    4) Guilt is wasted energy best directed to something positive…so re-channel it by doing something special with her when you get home.

    Jeannie  |  October 23rd, 2008 at 10:45 am

  • I second the “Good for you!” comment.

    I get to go away for work a few times a year for work, and while I fell a *little* guilty, I also try to enjoy my free moments.

    We sure don’t get them at home :)

    Angella  |  October 23rd, 2008 at 3:56 pm