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April 29, 2010

On The Road Again…

No matter if you’re a working parent or stay at home parent or somewhere in between, there will come a time where you need to hit the road.  Be it for business, pleasure or some combination, it is great to get away, but also sometime excruciating to leave little ones behind.  With Who’s Your Mommy on the road this week, it got me to thinking about how we try to keep it together when one of us is on the road.  Here are a few things we do in our house to make travel easier on everyone:

  1. Web Video – with webcams in every laptop it is even easier to stay in touch while you’re on the road.  Web video is an easy way to say hi face to face from anywhere in the world.  For little ones, you can play peek-a-boo and old kids can share their days, projects, stories, etc.  Skype (www.skype.com) has been a major tool in our house for all travel (and staying in touch everyday with extended family).  See some video chatting basics from the Wall Street Journal at With Video Chatting, It’s a Small World After All
  2. Local Photos – Your iPhone or Blackberry has a camera in it, so use it.  Take a photo of yourself in the city you are visiting and email it back to your kids.  It is a great way for them to feel connected to you while you’re gone. 
  3. Local Weather – Ask older kids to check your local weather each day.  When you talk on the phone, let them tell you your weather.  It is a great geography lesson and also keeps them connected to you. 
  4. Gift Ritual – Frequent travelers can make it a regular part of coming home to bring a small gift that relates to the city or country you visited.  Try to keep it small and if you’re always rushing, perhaps even something you can get at the airport.  Landmark souvenirs, keychains, dolls or local snacks all work great. 
  5. Direct Flights – It seems obvious, but sometimes a direct flight that is a few dollars more will save you a ton of headaches and time from missed connections, weather delays and disappointed kids. 

Happy travels, but get home soon.  Your kids miss you.

April 28, 2010

Take Help – Stay Sane

"Wanna Party?"

 Having a baby enter your family is one of the greatest joys I have known. We talk all the time about how we can’t even remember life before the Little Man. Then five years goes by and you think to yourself, “When was the last time we went out?” Before kids, the concept of “Date Night” was completely foreign because every night was date night.  Before kids, you and Lionel Richie partied “All Night Long” right? 

Well those times may be over, but as parents, you can’t lose your identity as the couple who started the whole thing. Hold on too tight and you will squeeze the fun out of parenthood. If you are lucky enough to have family and friends willing to help out occasionally to give you some “me” time or “us” time, I strongly suggest you take it.

Your family or friends may not do it exactly as you do. They may give an occasional treat or let bedtime slip by a few minutes, but your child will survive. We all did. Look at it as broadening your kids’ horizons while keeping yours from shrinking to the size of a nursery.