My oldest child lost her first tooth, something we had been waiting to happen for weeks, while I was on a business trip. The daycare teachers were very excited and did the perfect thing: they sent me a picture. Yet, when I received the big news, I still felt a sharp pang of guilt that I wasn't there to witness it.
I felt bad, I felt guilty, and I once again questioned why I spent so much time working. But then I realized--this could have happened while I was at the grocery store or while I was filling the car up with gas. It didn't happen just because I was working.
Working or not working, you can't possibly witness every single milestone. Remind yourself of this before you let the guilt begin creeping in.
This chapter addresses what comes when the separation begins. Acknowledge that the goodbye is over ... good for you! You have made it through what is likely to be the toughest moment of your time apart. Now let's look forward to the reunion!
Here are my best tips for making it from the moment after saying goodbye to the moment you are holding your little one again.
Use technology to your advantage: Technology has come so far, it is simply amazing. As you use technology more and more in the corporate environment, think about using those same tools on the home front and staying close with your little ones while you're away.
One of my favorite ways to stay connected with Parker, my youngest, is to bring his favorite Spiderman story in my suitcase when I travel. That way, I can read it to him over FaceTime before he goes to bed.
Of course, it isn't exactly the same as tucking him into bed, but it is a close second. We can laugh, we can look at pages together, and it helps us keep our bedtime routine, even if from a distance.
Skype is a great tool, too. I regularly use Skype to help Megan and Emily with their homework. Facebook is great for sharing photos (or keeping track of a teenager), and an abundance of smartphone apps make it easy to share and view pics or short videos while you're on the go.
There are a ton of tools available, and new ones are being released every day. I am certain that as I write this, I am already out of date. But the lesson is still the same: embrace technology and make it work for you.
Share activities while away: Recently there was a national study done by the Pew Research Center in which 1,500 school-age children were asked what they thought made a happy family. Surprisingly, they did not list any of the things you might expect young kids to say. In fact, there was little mention of material things like toys, fancy homes, cars, or even money. What was their number one answer? Doing things together.
For the last year, part of my routine with my son has been to sing songs together at bedtime. When I have to go away on a business trip, I keep this routine by singing to him over the phone while he lies in bed and falls asleep. I love that Parker still hears my voice, and hearing him respond makes me feel closer to home.
Likewise, Megan is an avid collector and has a great interest in rocks and archeology. While I am traveling, I make an effort to look for new and colorful examples of rocks from some of the places I visit. When I return, she is thrilled to have something new to add to her collection, and it feels great knowing that I am contributing to something important to her.
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Samantha Knowles is the author of Working Mom Reviews. To know more Purchase facts and tips check out SaleHoo Review. To learn tips on how to make a wise purchase - quickly check out SaleHoo Review.
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