I think we’re alone now; the impact of business travel on family life

It’s not unusual these days for any working parent to be asked to travel abroad. In the world of global commerce that modern technology brings, it’s unavoidable that from time to time, faces need to be in the same room.

I get it, I really do. I had a proper job once, and I travelled the world. Denmark, Germany, South Africa, Ireland and err, well that’s it actually so maybe not the world, but it was pretty awesome back in the days pre-kids. Being an American company, the big USA trip was often on the cards, but never materialised (much to my disappointment, having the US of A pretty high up my travel bucket list). But, sometimes things happen, like pregnancy, babies, redundancy and site closure. So nowadays, the furthest I travel on business is Aldi when the kids are at nursery, with an agenda packed with child free shopping bargains.

Free stock photo of flight, flying, aerial, plane

As a family, we all accept the situation. Decent jobs sometimes come with hard sacrifices, and this means from time to time we both, as parents, have to fly solo. We both have a role to play; his job is the one keeping a roof over our head while my job is keeping us in kids toys and parenting paraphernalia and the occasional splurge we may have otherwise had to forego. But what is the real impact of business travel on the family?

For him*

I have to go away on business, and I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself.

I don’t really want to be away from home for a week; I hate leaving the family and my home comforts. Five star hotels aren’t much fun alone, when you can’t sleep from jet lag and you have to be up fresh for a full on day at the office with colleagues you’ve never met.

Black and Grey Bedspread on Bed and Pillow

The constant ‘business smile’ is exhausting, and I’d really rather skip the dinner soiree for some casual wear and Celebs go dating.

I was knackered before I left home, and I’m even more shattered after all those hours in airports, killing time that seems to go on forever. Although I left on Saturday night, I was gone in mind Saturday morning, as I checked and rechecked the travel details and bags. That presentation has been playing over and over in my mind and I hope it all comes together – all eyes  are on me and I can’t mess this up.

I am homesick, I can’t wait to get back, although I’ll be so exhausted I won’t be able to function normally for a good day or two, so hope she hasn’t got big ideas for that weekend I get home.

I feel bad for leaving her there, with the kids, alone. I have Dad guilt big time. She’ll be tearing her hair out by Wednesday and there’s little I can do from here.

Business travel sucks**.

(**It does, but I’m also grateful for having this job, so she can be at home with the girls. And actually, the trip has been quite productive. So I just gotta suck it up, it’s not all bad).

For her*

He has to go away on business, and I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself.

Seriously, it’s hard to sympathise with someone who has complained about long hours of silence at airports when you haven’t had a millisecond peace in four days. The reclining bed on the plane, endless movies, refreshments and ability to read at one’s leisure must be a REAL nightmare.

And a king sized, freshly laundered bed in that five star hotel room you’ve been showing me in the emails…with room service, posh shower gel and fluffy clean towels, it doesn’t look too bad to me? Not compared to two kids climbing all over you in a under filled tepid bubble bath and disturbing you from your deep slumber in a tag team fashion throughout the night. They’re plotting against me I swear it.

Free stock photo of man, person, love, people

And don’t even get me started on the food situ. Eating from a menu, three meals a day, cooked by SOMEONE ELSE. It’s the stuff of dreams, and over the course of a week is equivalent to t w e n t y o n e lunch, brunch or dinner dates. Just minus the date.

So although I know it’s a labour of love, and that he’d really rather not be there, is it wrong that a part of me thinks it sounds pretty nice? To admit that I’m even a little bit jel?

An opportunity to see a far flung corner of the world, tick it off your travel bucket list, in the lap of luxury, and it isn’t going to cost you a penny? It ain’t a bad gig really is it?

Sure, there must be some worky stuff to do, blah blah blah, but surely it’s same shit, different location?

I know he hates it, fights against it at every opportunity, but is it really so bad?

But alas, this isn’t the worst day competition take two. We are a team, both taking one for said team. It’s not all bad home alone – the laundry pile has reduced by a third, the remote control is in my domain, and life goes on, to the beat of my drum.

But I do miss my sofa dwelling partner in crime, big time, and I really bloody can’t wait till he’s home.

Business travel sucks**.

(**It does, but I’m also grateful he has that job, so I can indulge in my growing enterprise. And actually, I’ve had dinner cooked for me by lovely family at least twice. I just gotta suck it up, it’s not all bad.)


For the kids

What’s for dinner?

[In response to being told off by Mum] I want Daddy.

Can I have a snack?



*Based on my actual real life situation the traveller is the male counterpart of our relationship. Please feel free to switch in with her, or a gender neutral ‘traveller’ if you wish.


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16 thoughts on “I think we’re alone now; the impact of business travel on family life

  1. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville Reply

    Ah, it’s absolutely normal and OK to feel a bit/ lot jel…I sometimes feel jel when hubster catches the train into London and heads to work!!! (I miss that sometimes). Though as you said, I too feel incredibly blessed that I can pursue my writing whilst being with the kid – best of both, perhaps?

  2. anywaytostayathome Reply

    Oh I so get this! Double edged sword isn’t it. On the odd occasion I get to travel on my own for work the trips tend to be awesome, love blogging, but I’d still rather be with my family and meeting new people is exhausting for me. But I make the most of every peaceful second of it. Husb takes his travel forgranted a bit I think. Though it’s never as fun. #coolmumclub

  3. Jenny Curtis Reply

    I quite like a night alone when my daughter is in bed to watch what I want/ eat what I want. A whole week though would be far too much and I only have the one kid! I guess it’s something you just get one with, like a lot of parenting! #coolmumclub

  4. Emma T Reply

    I can imagine that’s just what it’s like. For us it would be me away, thankfully I don’t have to in my role anymore. The OH would just dump responsibility on his mum for N. #coolmumclub

  5. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    I remember Mr C used to hate travelling! Basically everyone ends up feeling sorry for themselves…it sucks! Sending #coolmumclub love your way and hoping you guys are enjoying being reunited again! xoxo

  6. Morgan Prince Reply

    I totally get this. Back when Hubby was the head of a big company he had to travel lots for business and I hated it. At the time I only had BP at home but I was young and it was hard. I had never been anywhere “on business” and didn’t really get the whole missing home thing… until I stayed overnight in London on my own before Britmums. Then I got it – BIG TIME. Despite being in a lovely hotel and in London where there are bright lights and things to do all I really wanted to do was be home. Brilliant post. xx

  7. oldhouseintheshires Reply

    You are so right about the kids just wanting food! I feel lucky because my Hubbie has his own buisness and I’m a teacher so we have a real routine that we rarely deviate from. It must be tough for families that have to go away for buisness. #coolmumclub

  8. Eva Reply

    I really get this. We used to travel both a lot both for work and leisure. Now it’s really hard being left with two small children at home, so my husband tries to decline whatever he can, but he stil has to spend a night or two away every week. Whilst I’m happy for him having a night away in a hotel, a decent breakfast and not to deal with the children at bedtime when they are tired and whiny, I have do all of it on my own and some days all adult conversation I’m getting is blog related #coolmumclub

  9. Life Love and Dirty Dishes Reply

    This is so true and I really love how you have written it. It can be really hard to see things from the other persons perspective but so important to try and know that the grass isn’t always greener. Just different! #CoolMumClub

  10. viewfromthebeachchair Reply

    My husband is away one night a week. It is hard to manage but we get by. It is never easy. He will be gone 2 weeks this summer to Mexico. We may join him on that one! #coolmumclub

  11. Tubbs Reply

    I have similar conversations with my mum friends … It’s a trade off – the extremely well paid, high powered job with long hours and travel enables one of them to stay home with the children and have the kind of life they have. You could switch to something different, but that might mean two of you having to work rather than one. There are no easy answers.

  12. absolutely prabulous Reply

    I’ve been on both sides of it having travelled in two of my previous jobs and literally not being the country much over a six week period at one point. It was exhausting. My husband has travelled for work for years and was even away for two months at a time for a period of almost two years when our third child was really little. It nearly broke us. I could say a LOT on this! #coolmumclub

  13. The Queen of Collage Reply

    Parenting is challenging enough without one being away for a while too. #CoolMumClub

  14. Mum in Brum Reply

    This is all so true to reality, I always think my hubby has an easier gig and he always says how much he’d like to spend a day at home, even though we know really that we wouldn’t have it any other way and neither role is the ‘easiest’. Kids really do shift the perspective in everything xx #coolmumclub

  15. sensationallearning Reply

    Haha, well-written and very true! ☺️x #coolmumclub

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