Transforming Work Trips into Self-Care Opportunities
Updated: Nov 21, 2023
As a working mom, the delicate balance between career and family can sometimes feel like an overwhelming act of juggling far too many things. The guilt, the stress, and the constant demands can take a toll on your emotional well-being. Add to that the requirement of traveling for your job, and it's easy to feel like things are out of control. But here's the good news – your work trips can be more than just another item on your to-do list.
As someone who travels regularly for her job, I know firsthand the additional planning that goes into work trips. But over the years, I've learned how to turn these trips into precious opportunities for self-care, embracing the chance to regain a little peace and find solace in the midst of a full life.
I vividly remember the early days when work travel became a regular part of my life. I was a mother of three, each under the age of three with one on the way, and the thought of leaving them behind during my professional journeys stirred a whirlwind of emotions. It was a constant struggle to balance the responsibilities of work and family, especially with young kids. From the challenges of navigating airport security with breast milk for my infant to the disapproving feedback of strangers regarding my work travels, my journey as a traveling working mom has been emotionally charged at times.
Yet, amidst the chaos of work and parenting, I recognized glimpses of quiet and peace that came during some of my work trips. Instead of viewing travels as burdens, I leaned into the hidden gem of self-care opportunities found within these journeys.
When we think of self-care, we often picture bubble baths and massages. But honestly, it can be something as simple as finding moments of peace and quiet. These precious moments during work trips - whether they were on a plane reading a book, listening to the podcast I've been dying to absorb, or sprawling out on a bed all to myself in a room full of quiet - allowed me a chance to reset.
Whether it was on a plane, in an Uber, or in my hotel room, these instances of tranquility became my personal oasis. I could call a friend I've been meaning to catch up with without interruption, write an article for publication in my personal pursuits, or merely sit in silence. Embracing these self-care moments made my work trips an opportunity for personal growth and rejuvenation, instead of just another task on my checklist.
One of the most significant challenges for working moms during travel is adjusting our expectations regarding what's happening at home. Early on, I used to micromanage every detail, fearing that my family wouldn't function without me. I quickly, learned that it's crucial to let go and trust the support system in place. By allowing my husband to take the lead while I was away, my kids had the privilege of spending quality time with their dad and creating fun along the way. They created their unique memories, ones I didn't want to interfere with. I let go of the need to constantly check home security cameras to make sure they were following the provided itinerary I carefully crafted, understanding that they were perfectly capable of handling things in my absence.
By reframing our perspective, adjusting expectations at home and practicing effective communication, it is possible to turn your work trips into moments of rejuvenation and personal growth. To my fellow traveling working moms, remember that these trips are not just another task on your checklist. While they're an opportunity to grow professionally, they also provide a chance for you to nurture your own well-being. Embrace the moments of self-care that these journeys offer and allow yourself the gift of tranquility. Even if they're only 5 or 10 minutes here and there. You deserve it.
To hear more insights for the traveling working mom, be sure to check out Episode 18 on Working Mom Moments!