This week I have had my first business trip post parenthood. I’ll admit that it’s a good job that this isn’t a pen and paper post as if it was it might be illegibly stained with tears. It’s true I have never been particularly good at solo travel. I like experiencing things with my loved ones and just having someone to chat to. It’s just the way I am. One of the worst travel experiences I’ve ever had was a ten day business trip to Washington DC over Columbus day weekend on my own. I ended up jumping on a plane to Chicago for one night to see friends just to counter the loneliness. Therefore it came as no surprise that I was dreading this trip. Not only was I travelling alone but I was also leaving behind my ten month old baby for the first time. Not something I relished and I’ll admit there was a love actually scene in the departures area as I said goodbye! As I was sat at the airport waiting to depart I was overcome with the Mummy Guilt and would have done anything I could have to avoid going.
Now as I hit post, I can say that I have been happily reunited with baby and hubby and the good news is I survived! my first solo trip post parenthood! It was never going to be the best trip but my survival strategy definitely worked so if you are a parent having to take a trip or business trip away from your baby these are my tips for how to survive!
It is really important to keep yourself busy and not wallow in self-pity or mummy guilt. I find that getting out with people is the best way to do this. Whether this is in the form of strangers and tour guides like those I met on the Melbourne Free Walking Tour or with people you know in the city. I had a great day on my day off going to the Yarra Valley Wine Country with some friends I knew from London.
Bloggers you know are a great source of knowledge for what to do in their home towns. The lovely Ali at What Ali sees provided me with great tips about the city and I was hoping to meet up with her but business and illness prevented this. Hopefully we can catch up when we visit Melbourne next year as a family!
Fill Your Days
As I mentioned above, keeping busy is key. Whether it is walking tours, visiting museums or checking out some local eateries it is really important to get out and about!
Work, Work and Work some more!
Keeping busy is essential whether touristing, working or perhaps getting a head start of some blogging! I made sure I had plans to write a plethora of posts in Melbourne! It’s great because it’s hard to get ahead of yourself and have lots of blog posts prepared when I’m at home with the baby and it also gives you something else to focus on.
Make Sure You Have Good Wifi
The Wifi in my hotel was sketchy. Good wifi is a must for those all important video calls. Trust me you’re going to want to do this a lot!
There is definitely going to be some guilt shopping! Lots and lots of guilt shopping! Make sure you allow yourself a budget for it as you will be doing a lot of souvenir shopping! Baby E’s book collection grew substantially on this trip! My favourite purchase for her has to be Possum Magic. Apparently it is a staple of Australian children’s book shelves. I think this could have also sprung a new souvenir collection for babies and children’s – children’s book from the area!
It’s ok to sneak in something of baby’s into your luggage and perhaps take a photo with you. I know we have phones these days but it is nice to have something physical
I think it is really important to have something to look forward to when you get back. For instance, we planned a nice family day out for the day I returned. Yes, I was tired but it was lovely to spend the day together as a family. We also have a little mini-break to Dubai in a couple of weekends time which is great as it means I’ll get to spend some dedicated time with the baby.
Overall I have to say it was did feel like a week of mummy guilt trip rather than a business trip but it wasn’t quite as bad as I expected and I think planning ahead was definitely the key. Have you ever had to spend time away from your baby for work? What are your trips for surviving? I would love to hear your thoughts