Monday, September 18, 2017

Deep Thoughts on Work Travel

In my former life at my company, I traveled some. When I first started out, I was on the road quite a bit. In my first 18 months, I traveled to Scottsdale, Washington D.C., San Antonio, Dallas, New London, WI, podunk Kansas...that's what I remember at least. As I progressed, my travel typically stayed in-state and got less frequent. By the time I became a mom, I only traveled in-state and was never away for more than 1 night at a time.

In my current role, I have traveled only a handful of times. 2-3 times a year for day trips to Dallas and Houston. HOWEVER, this week I am going to Chicago for 2 days with my WHOLE TEAM. This is significant because I've worked on this team for 3 years and have met 2 people in person {our team is now 11 people} - my boss once when she was in Dallas for a meeting and a teammate when I was in NYC on vacation {she used to live in the City and met us for dinner}.

Risa and me

We are all so excited to be getting together, and I absolutely love Chicago! BUT as a working mother who is the primary parent, it is tough to leave! Here are all the thoughts I've had and planning I've been doing/thinking about in preparation - notice that none of this relates to me, ha.

  • Organizing pickup and dropoff - I do 99% of the shuttling to and from school. Brent leaves for work by 7:00 and is home no earlier than 5:00. If he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid, so that is not typically what we try to do and the fabulous grandparents are always happy to step in. But adding Paige and her infant carrier adds another layer. Brent is having to take off Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons to get the kids, and Brent's mom is going to take them Wednesday morning.
  • Lunches - I am super anal about what the kids eat 90% of the time {don't ask me what they ate this weekend though}, so I make their lunches always. So Monday night I will make double lunches and have to organize them in the fridge so Brent knows which containers belong to who. I'm thinking they will need post-its??
  • Breastmilk for Paige - I have done a great job of not pumping like a maniac for Paige like I did for Trent and Drew. But now that she's in school, I am obsessed with making sure I keep up with what she eats during the day and pump exactly that or slightly more each day. I probably only have AT MOST 200 ounces in the freezer, and I've been giving some of that to our neighbors who adopted a baby 2.5 weeks ago {and is just the cutest little guy}. I really don't want to getting into the freezer stash because I want to make sure my supply is matching her demand. I know that sounds a bit psycho since she's 3 months shy of 1, but my goal is 2 years, so she and I still have a ways to go! {Sidebar: it's just so crazy how different of a nurser she is compared to Drew. Drew nursed alllllll the time - even when she was 2, I bet she was nursing 8-10 times a day. I have to nurse Paige in an empty room with no one around and if it isn't before or after she sleeps it is quite likely not going to happen. Sunday she nursed 3 times, that's it! When she woke up, when she took her nap, when she went to bed.} Anyway, I am super rambly here, so let me try and get to the point - I am trying to do the math of what she'll need while I'm gone - I'm guessing about 40 ounces. So I want everything already in bottles and all ready for Brent. And yes, I'll be pumping while I'm gone. I'm exhausted thinking about breastmilk!
  • Paige's sleep - Until a week ago, Paige had slept through the night a whopping 3 times, and I was the only person to ever go in her room at night. I have been stressing about her waking up while I was gone overnight {my first time away!!!} and not being happy to see Brent in the middle of the night. Yes, she loves her daddy...but he's not the one to come to her in the night! But...but...BUT she has slept through the night the past FIVE NIGHTS! All the praise hands emojis!!! We'll see if the streak continues, and I really hope it does!
  • Kids after-school activities - Tuesday afternoon Trent has Ninja Zone and Drew has gymnastics, Tuesday evening Trent has soccer practice at 6:30, but Paige will need to go to bed about 6:30. I need to ask Brent's dad to take Trent to soccer!
What I haven't thought about for this trip:
  • What to wear since nothing work-related fits
  • How to get to the office from the airport - my co-worker in Chicago says I need to take the L...I also don't know the address of the office as of yet
  • Packing - will I need to check a bag or not? I will be taking my breast pump, laptop and suitcase - can I squeeze it all into 2 bags?
  • What time I need to leave on Tuesday for the airport
  • I need a fridge in my hotel room
All of these thoughts for being gone not even 48 hours. I'm exhausted!


Kathryn Bagley said...

something else to add on what you need for your trip: to have fun!!! :)

katie@tulsadetails said...

You'll do great! It's always hard to go, but so nice to have a full night of sleep, someone to cook and clean for you, and a little break! Also, I feel like my husband really appreciates all I do when I'm gone! But understand the feeling! Also, I found my kids started sleeping better through the night when my husband went in because they didn't want him. Ha!

Emily said...

Oh my I had horrible flashbacks to work travel (with kids) after reading this. The breast milk was my biggest issue because I didn't have the freezer stash you did. He never ran out but he came super close. The biggest problem I found was that my supply MAJOR dipped on work trips. I'd come home with half as much as usual and it would takes weeks to recover so I hope you have better memory milk glands than I do. The good news (for Adam) is that the kids slept GREAT when I was gone. Like if he was waking up every 4 hours with me, he'd wake up every 6 with Adam. I attribute that to Adam pumping him with the biggest bottle of breastmilk possible before bed. On the packing side, I think you can easily get your pump bag into your carry-on suitcase and then use your laptop bag as your personal item. That's what I did and it worked great. Also I think every major hotel has a fridge in their rooms now but I still call to make sure. Can you Uber from airport to office? I would think deloitte would cover that as a travel expense.

BG said...

Please. Life has a way of keeping on without you, ladies. We don't need instruction, we simply agree to keep your systems intact. We'd make it just fine our own way.