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Connection Advice for Parents Who Travel

This week is a busy week for me. My kids finish school tomorrow. The next day – Wednesday – is the first official day of summer break for them and then I leave for a work conference on Thursday. My younger two kids do not particularly love when I travel for work, so last year around this time when I left for my conference, I made some creative plans to help them feel connected to me while I was away, and this week I will do the same.

Each day, I will leave a little gift for them to open. This trip, they will open a gift card to get ice cream with my husband, some glow in the dark light sticks, new dry erase markers for our board at home, and a new wiffle ball and bat (since our bat broke) so they can get a fun game of wiffle ball going once again in our front yard. Additionally, I will take some children’s books with me on my trip and each night at bedtime, I will call and read the younger two a bedtime story over the phone. In these ways, we will stay in each other’s minds and hearts and remain connected even though we will be 700 miles apart.

My kids know that my work is very fulfilling for me and they know how much I love it. My intention is to model for them a mom who loves them very much and also has a passion for the work that she does. I do not want to neglect what matters to me in a martyred sacrifice for them, but I also do not want to work so much that I am not available to them in the ways that I want to be. So I try to be fully present when I am working and fully present when I am with them. It is not always easy and I certainly do not achieve this fully each time, but that is my goal each and every day.

So, I will do my best to stay as connected to my kids as I can while I am away and then we will have a happy reunion when I return!

How do you stay connected to your children if/when you have to travel?

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Comment by Erin Taylor on June 22, 2015 at 8:25pm

Ashley Owen - my children loved when I read to them over the phone last year. It is also neat because they can visualize a favorite book instead of seeing it in person. They chose the books they wanted read, and it gave them something to look forward to each evening.

Comment by Ashley Owen on June 22, 2015 at 7:18pm

Great idea on calling and reading to them! I'll have to remember that.

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