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NY Times Article on Traveling Moms

A friend emailed me an article that appeared yesterday in the New York Times Business section. BUSINESS | November 1, 2006
Working Mothers Find Some Peace on the Road
For many working mothers, business trips have become mini-vacations.

I must say that the article totally frustrated me. As the mother of four who is required to be away from home 2 to 3 nights EVERY week, I find it insulting to read a headline that implies business travel is a vacation for working moms. Its doesn’t seem like planning for a vacation when I make 4 dinners on Sunday night so that my family has homecooked meals while I’m away, it doesn’t feel like a vacation when I pre-pack lunches for my children and it doesn’t feel like a vacation when I leave for an airport at 4am in order to fly to a meeting and return home all in the same day to eliminate a night on the road. I’ve been known to fly from Florida to California in a 24 hour period just to make it home by the time my children wake up. How many vacationers take a red eye flight home just to get home by 5:30am just to have the opportunity to make frozen waffles for four smiling faces? The “delicious” experience of having free time while traveling is far cry from accurate. Sure moms who travel once or twice a year probably do enjoy the time alone in a clean hotel room with total control of the remote but others of us use that free time to catch up on our online shopping and emails. I’ve been known to spend my off hours shopping at Target for the much needed socks or new underwear for my kids and then FEDEXing it home just to shorten my “to do” list. If this reporter thinks working mothers are having a delicious time as road warriors I would challenge her to feel the sense of lonliness when you see pictures of a school event you missed or the sense of hopelessness when a delayed flight prevents you from hearing your daughter sing in a choir or the sense of desperation when you get a call during a lay over that all four of your children have the chicken pox and you are six states a way. There are upsides as she indicated, you time to take a long hot bath, to read uninterupted and you have enough frequent flyer points for next summer’s vacation. However I’ve learned a lot of useful skills by being a traveling moms. I can now pack a week’s wortho fo clothes in one bag by selecting a single color o f clothing, package liquids under 3 oz in ziploc bags, uncover low-fat food in airports and navigate the security lines. Perhaps I can use these skills in my job as a mother, that is if I decide to come home from this week’s vacation.


4 Responses

  1. Wow, I see a lot of myself in your blog. I only have a 3 yr old but I =
    travel 2-3 times each month, sometimes more, sometimes less. My husband =
    seems to think that this is my ‘vacation’ time and it drives me crazy! =
    Thanks for all the ideas on how to use your time, I hadn’t thought about =
    all of the time I waste on the road. I hate those 16+ hr days that I =
    pull just to be home for the AM…but it’s so worth it! Thanks again.

  2. I can relate as I have two boys a 5 yr and 19 month old. I too travel 2 =
    – 3 days a week and I spend so much time missing my family. The hardest =
    part for me is getting on the plane. Once I am on the plane, then I am =
    fine. It helps that my husband will email me digital photos while I’m =
    on the road. Take care.

  3. The reason I love my online business? It’s not necessary to travel to =
    do it, my product is a wonderful nutritional product that improves our =
    lives. If I do travel it’s just because this company makes me enough =
    money to do so, and I can just spread the word about it while on a =
    beach!!! Meg

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