Business Travel


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about working moms who travel for business.  I had to take a trip this week and realized there are many pros and cons for us to a business trip. Some thoughts and tips:

  • Bring photos.  A fellow mom coworker gave me this great tip. Having photos of your kids when you travel at least gives some comfort.  My husband has another great idea- take photos with your PDA or cell phone and you’ll have photos of your kids wherever you go.
  • Wear an old suit.  If you’re like me, you haven’t worn your nice work clothes in awhile.  This past trip, I busted out a suit I hadn’t worn in almost a year, and it made me feel like I had a new wardrobe!
  • Go out to dinner.  No matter how tired you are, getting out of the hotel for a bite to eat reminds you that people actually do eat after 6 pm.  A glass of wine with dinner doesn’t hurt either.
  • Remember- you have more stamina than they do.  No matter how little or fitful sleep you get, it’s nothing like the lack of sleep that goes with raising kids.  Us working moms have it easy – we are very well prepared for lack of sleep and long days!
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    I think Lisa Foderaro of the NY Times should have talked to my friend before she wrote her article about mothers enjoying business travel.  I followed up with my friend who had to travel earlier this week, and who is still breastfeeding her 4 month old daughter. Mind you, she’s only been back at work 3 weeks, so in my mind she’s a hero for taking a business trip so soon.  Her trip went something like this:
    – Pump at O’Hare before she left (dumped the milk)
    – Pump at client meeting. Oh yeah, the client walked in on her in the bathroom. (dumped the milk)
    – Pump at LaGuardia airport. (dumped the milk)

    So I’m thinking that is about 28 oz wasted of precious breast milk for a 4 hour client meeting. It’s better, however, than another story I heard from another working mom (WM) friend.  This story goes something like this:
    WM kills time on flight by pumping in the bathroom when she hears pounding on the door.  WM tells person pounding they will have to wait.  More pounding.  WM says hold on. More pounding. WM gets a little edgy and says hold on.  Next thing that happens- air marshal kicks in door and finds WM pumping away.  Apparently people on the plane saw her go to the bathroom with a backpack (her pump) and decided she was in there too long and freaked.

    Working moms of the world- welcome to post 9/11 travel madness.  Apparently she got a lot of apologies.  I think a free flight was in order here.

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    I can’t wait to hear how this story plays out.  My friend has to travel for work next week and she is still breastfeeding her 4 month old daughter. So, she has to bring her pump to the client, figure out where she’s going to pump at the client and then, the kicker- try to figure out how to bring back a few bottles of frozen breast milk- all within the new travel regulations!!  Will she have to check the milk? Will it stay frozen? Where will she pump at the client or in the airport? Why does the government make it so hard for women to breastfeed while traveling, when they are pro-breastfeeding!?
    See how it all turns out next week. Anyone else encounter this? I decided not to breastfeed at all, so I don’t have any experience to draw from on this one.