1. Let Your Spouse Be The Parent
If you’re out of the picture, you’ll need your spouse more than ever. So, try not to be too critical about parenting variances.
Kaile Hilliard wrote about her experience —
By the nature of things, it seems kids generally want their mommy, and part of me enjoyed being wrapped up in that need. However, when I am gone, my husband has the opportunity to parent his way. I am not there to intervene or provide approval of his parenting methods. It has also forced the kids go to their dad for things that they always went to Mom for, and they realize that Daddy can meet their needs just as well as Mommy can. It stings a bit, but it is good for all of us.
2. Talk To Your Family Each Day
You can either call them on the fly or at a scheduled time. Use just a phone call or maybe Facetime or Skype. Kids often have an easier time seeing you versus just the phone call — plus you can show them around your hotel room or the airport terminal. For teenagers, texting can also be an option through wishing a child well on a test or asking how the day went.
3. Leave Behind a Chores List
Some families already have chores in place, so you’re set. But if you function more in the moment, then leave behind a list of responsibilities while you’re gone. And strategically consider some chores that might help everyone out, like washing the dishes, cleaning out the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, dinner plans, and pick-up toys duty. This way, if you have a spouse who isn’t as on top of the household care as you are, then at least you can help mitigate a complete shutdown by having the family pitch in while you’re gone.
4. Use Your Off-Time Well
Yes, you’ve got work to do when you travel. But, there will also be downtime without the household to look after. So, take advantage of the extra quiet time. You can spend a little more time in the hotel gym, more yoga in your room with an app (our favorite is Down Dog; and you can get yoga gloves and socks to go matless), read, organize digital family photos, take up a bit of photography with your phone and explore your nearby world, write, get a massage, call extended family to reconnect, and go to bed earlier than usual so that you catch up on sleep.
5. Plan For When You Return
It helps everyone to have family plans for when you return. Maybe it’s an eat-out for the weekend when you get back, or a walk to the park after school once you’re home. It can be really simple. But having someone planned that your children know about for when you return, gives them a sense of time and also a look forward to something really positive. It will help everyone’s focus move toward togetherness and care for each other.