When it comes to exciting trips away that arise out of blog opportunities such as the one I experienced recently, I’ll let you into a little secret.
For the longest time I patiently waited for such exciting invitations to come my way and then when this one (and this one) arose, I went into blind panic mode. Once the initial euphoria of being asked to travel to a beautiful destination subsides a little, organisational reality sets in!
As a mum, wife, dog owner and author of a full time blog, the thought of balancing business travel with family commitments can feel pretty overwhelming.
Not only that but my stomach starts to churn at the thought of being away from my family for any considerable length of time, i.e. more than two days! I’m noticing this seems to increase with every passing year too.
But once I’ve made the decision that the trip feels right and is really “me”, I’m one hundred percent committed to going and doing the best job I can of sharing the experience both here and on my social media channels.
once the initial euphoria of being asked to travel to a beautiful destination subsides a little, organisational reality sets in!
Meanwhile, as departure dates approaches, I dip and skydive between overwhelming excitement and anxiety about leaving the other musketeers behind.
Here’s a few things I do to try and help dissipate any worries and ensure I can leave with as much of a clear state of mind as is humanly possible…
Sounds glaringly obvious I know but in the crazy scheme of daily life, it’s easy to suddenly find yourself with two days until take off and nothing in place.
When I know I have a trip approaching (even a short two day stay in London) I have to factor in organisational time into both our family calendar and my blog editorial calendar. Sometimes it feels like all my To Do lists are converging into one big mess so at times like this, I transfer everything to one place on paper temporarily.
It stops me scrabbling about and living with the fear that I just KNOW I’ve missed something really important. I find that these planners from Elle & Co come in extra handy during busy periods.
make lists for those left behind!
Mr OS plays an equal part in both running the house and parenting but as I’m based at home and he works in an office in town, when it comes to the daily minutiae of life for JC, Biscuit and the house, it naturally falls to me as I have more flexibility with my hours.
That means that when I go away, even though he tells me “Don’t worry…we’ll just wing it!” I always feel tons better if I’ve left a bullet point list of what needs to happen and when. I know…total and utter control freak but I know lots of mums who feel and do the same!
Invariably when I come home, the other musketeers have gotten by on a mix of my pre-planning and a bit off-piste activity which is brilliant. Everyone still has all their arms and legs in tact and I know that next time I can go away safe in the knowledge that they’re all fine without me. Sniff.
call on help
Calling on help looks different for everybody. We don’t rely on family very much for help with childcare and so for us, it’s meant putting plans in place either with friends or extra paid childcare via the school if needed.
In order to run this blog and a family home I rely on a dog walker for two days a week and a cleaner every Friday. We work hard for those privileges and it means that time spent together is more likely to be quality time. It also comes in beyond helpful when travel is on the cards!
The one area I can’t delegate out is help with the blog and all the admin that goes with it – I’m not there yet but one day…who knows? So I’ve learnt to silence my inner “MUST POST CONTENT!!!” monster and have come to accept that with all the above organisation going on, I may have to cut back a little.
I am but one human being and would rather go away knowing that I’ve done as much as I can on the home front. I’m not saying I don’t get a little antsy about the lack of posts but hey, I’m still working on that one!
Get over the Mummy Guilt!
This is easier said then done and I don’t spout that nugget of wisdom lightly, trust me. At the point that the offer of that wonderful cruise came to fruition, I was really concerned about the sudden arrival of JC’s eleven year old hormones and emotions.
On and off we were (and still are) experiencing a bit of rocky patch on the journey to JC – The Teen Years. I’m painfully aware that she’s slowly losing the carefree days of childhood and swapping them for soon to arrive teen angst, adulthood and beyond. This in itself is a whole other post…and possibly a separate blog!
I expressed my fears to Mr OS about my leaving for six days and he imparted some wise words that I’ll always be grateful for. He told me if I pulled out of the trip to stay at home with her, I’d actually be doing her a disservice when it comes to her learning a little emotional independence and coping without me for a few days. And you know what – he was right.
Despite my own wobbles when I left and a hugely emotional reunion (me again!) at Heathrow arrivals gate, both she and I came through it unscathed. She knows that I have a life outside of being a Mum and I know that she’s taking baby steps on the path to becoming a grown up, independent woman.
So there you have it – the pep talks and plans I’ll be administering to myself if I’m lucky enough to have anymore travel opportunities down the line!
I’d love to know how you go about balancing business travel with family commitments and any tips you might have? Sharing is most definitely caring when it comes to the challenges of parenthood and running your own business!