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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

End of the summer travel adventure for this working mom

Within the last ten months, I've travelled to three countries. Kyoto, Japan in November 2009, Paris, France in June 2010 and this past weekend Santiago, Chile. If you find yourself wondering how a mom of a 4-year-old who works full time travels like this, you're not alone. I ask myself the same question when a travel opportunity presents itself. Can I really make this work? There are work and childcare logistics to consider - at a minimum. The honest answer is that it isn't easy, but it's doable. And, it's always worth it.

My husband's global business travel determines the locale of our adventures, but the rest is up to us. We enjoy these spontaneous trips and maximize our time together exploring what's special about each country we visit. This past weekend's trip to Santiago was tacked onto a long weekend and only one vacation day was burned. This is important to me since I work for a multi-platform media company that puts out a new product each minute, hour, day. I only receive two weeks of vacation per year, so strategic planning is key. In fact, all three trips were enjoyed in less than 3 days and four nights. Now that I think of it, Santiago was two nights and three days bookended by red eye flights out of Atlanta. Seriously? I'm amazed at all we experienced (see blog post part II).

You might be thinking I'm down right nuts to travel such distances for such a short period of time, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Even when I traveled for business, I'd sacrifice myself for the greater good of "family time". My trips looked something like this: wake up at 3:15 AM, drive to the Albany airport to catch the 5:50 AM to Detroit, connect to Milwaukee, drive an hour or two to said appointment, meet for one or two hours, drive back to airport, connect in Chicago, arrive in Albany airport at 11:55 PM and home and in bed before 1:00 AM. Get up at 6:00 AM the next morning... You get the idea. Leaving my son with grandparents for three or four days is my personal "comfort zone", so I tough it out to take advantage of once in a lifetime (more, I hope) adventures.

Traveling internationally is nothing new for me. My whole adult life I've been accused of having "wanderlust" or being an "adventure addict" by my family and friends. I've been traveling internationally since I was 19. When I announced to my college roommates after seeing a commercial on TV for a $99 flight to Brussels, Belgium that I would be "taking the bus into Syracuse tomorrow morning to get my passport", there was laughter all around. When I showed up in our suite with both a passport and plane ticket in hand two weeks later, they weren't laughing.

I was bold. I was an inspiration. I was out of my mind?

My family took a while to get on board as well, but friends and family alike accept that traveling is just a part of who I am. My husband, thankfully, is no different and I suspect our son will follow suit. We're currently planning a family trip to Ireland next summer.

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Blogger melissa said...

I think it's terrific that you've continued your love of travel even after becoming a Mom! It IS inspirational and you totally deserve it. Your son is fantastic and will definitely benefit from having a worldly, successful Mama!

September 8, 2010 at 5:40 PM 
Blogger Media Mom Lauren said...

Thanks, Melissa. Here's hoping!

September 10, 2010 at 9:19 AM 

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