Last week, we ventured into new territory. Cleve and I both traveled for work, and we took the kids with us! It turned out pretty well thanks to our unique working conditions and support system.
We’ve covered what happens when Dad travels - you hold on to your hats and keep the kids busy. But what happens when working moms have to travel?
Here are some things we’ve either already tried or are trying in the near future:
1. Take the kids along.
This one works if you have reliable help for the kiddos at your destination and if you’re traveling by car (because who can afford to fly with a family of five?).
Fortunately, last week we were spending a week in an area where we used to live, so we already had understanding and support for our family. (Huge blessing not everyone has!) With the high cost of childcare, it made more since to take the kids than to find a sitter. It was far more cost effective to fly my sister up for half the week ($69 one-way plane ticket and ride back in the car with us) to help us out than to pay sitters on-site.
Best of all, as a nursing mother, I got to have my kids close by and sneak in trips to the mall and park with them.
2. Support at Home
Leave the kids in great hands at your home.
I also have a trip planned coming up that will be a quick overnight trip to New York where I plan to leave the older two kids with my sister in our home. I’ve had babysitters and family come stay at our house overnight a couple of times to ensure that the kids keep their routines and have their own beds. Obviously, family support is wonderful, but great babysitters are fun too. In my experience, a flat rate for the night (or two nights) is good - as opposed to paying by the hour.
3. Take a sitter
When it’s really needed, pay the extra expense to travel with a sitter.
I first took a sitter with me when Cy was only four months old. I had been accustomed to traveling occasionally for work, so I just made it work after having kids too. Again, the cost of taking a family member (if possible) is typically cheaper than paying a nanny at home.
As with most of my posts, there’s no rocket science here - just powering through the practical dilemmas life throws at me. Who says you can’t be a stay-at-home mom who still works and even travels occasionally for work? I’m having a great time doing it all! (Just a lot of laundry not getting done.)