I’ve been home for nearly two weeks since my last business trip. It’s good to be home, I admit. But I like being on the road too – it gives me time to be ultra productive and open up headspace that’s normally dedicated to figuring out lunches or how to get tomato sauce stains out of white corduroy pants (solution: don’t buy your 2 year old white corduroy pants no matter how cute they are). The interesting thing I’ve noticed as my travel schedule has gotten heavier is that it’s not my husband or other men that seem to have a problem with it. Most of the people that look up at me with disapproving eyes aren’t men – they are women!
“You are going for one week? That’s too long.”
“My husband was gone for a week last week.”
Um, Okay. Not sure how that’s different considering we both have similar level jobs and the same degree and make similar salaries.
“You can’t travel like that, your kids need you.”
“I’m lucky to have lots of great help from my parents and my husband.”
“But they need you, you can’t expect your husband to take care of kids every night.”
Uhhh – but I can be expected to take care of kids every night?
“Wait, you travel internationally for work?”
“But what about the kids?”
“Oh, I’m married. My husband is with them when I have to travel, and when I’m not we’re both with them.”
“Does he work?”
“And you travel?”
Oh god. Are we really back here?
We may have crashed down the walls limiting mothers from having high-powered, or demanding, jobs – but it’s a different world when you’re a mom with a lot of business travel. Interestingly, men seem to be more forgiving. I’ve not met a man that made me feel I was less of a mother because I travel for work, but I’ve met plenty of women that have. In fact, many of those women have demanding jobs themselves, it’s just that they don’t have to travel or their travel is limited and domestic.
So my question to all of you is: are we really back here? Jobs with business travel may be harder for parents to swing, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do (or enjoy) them.
Have Kids, Will Work