Working moms, especially those who travel, are well known for their creativity. Whether you’re a road warrior by trade or a busy executive leading the charge at your company, you’ll never turn down an innovative tech tool or bright new idea to help you stay connected to your family. To best manage your responsibilities, you’ll need a few gadgets, along with an organized schedule and a little patience. Try a few of our favorite ideas, solutions and top-rated gear to make your days smoother and better bond with your baby.
Embrace Screen Time
Being away from home can make you feel like you’re missing out on baby’s milestones. Now that video chat is built into most tablets and smartphones, you don’t have to sacrifice watching your child grow up. Schedule at least a few moments per day to talk with your little one and marvel over their growth. Some moms like to read a bedtime story every evening, while others prefer a morning check-in with baby and their partner or nanny.
Create a routine that works best for everyone. It doesn’t have to be at the same time each day, as long as you commit to it. Save the session for a quiet place like your hotel room or an empty conference room. If possible, connect to Wi-Fi so you don’t lose a precious moment.
Share Photo Updates
Along with your face-to-face check-in, send photos of your day. They can be as simple as a selfie while you get ready in the morning or a shot of you waving at baby before you get on an airplane. These photos will comfort your little one while making you feel like you’re closer to getting home again.
Ask your sitter to snap pictures of baby, too. A photo of them strolling at the park or getting a bath will cheer you up. They’ll also reassure you that all is well.
Carry Photos and Mementos
Have your favorite photos of baby saved on your phone. When you’re missing their toothless grin or otherwise feeling homesick, you’ll get an instant lift. You can also save them as your background or upload them to view on your laptop.
Infants are comforted by their mother’s scent, so feel free to leave them a couple of your worn shirts or used blankets. If you’re just as in love with how they smell, you can take some of their baby clothes, like one of your favorite bodysuits or a soft sleeper. Before you know it, you’ll be back in each other’s arms again.
Buy Souvenir Gifts
Make your trips more fun by picking up clothes for baby in each destination. Most hotels and airports have a shop with one pieces, hats and tees for infants. Find a garment with the location’s city name, sports team or slogan.
When you get home, take a photo of your son or daughter in each outfit. Save them to a special folder in the cloud or paste them in a baby book. A few years down the road, you can view each picture together. It’s not only an excellent bonding activity, but a great way to show your child that you’re always thinking about them when you’re gone.
Go Digital with Your Sitter
Keep nap times, feeding schedules and play dates in control by sharing an online calendar with your spouse or babysitter. Ask them to write notes in the comments section of each event so you can stay updated when you can’t be there.
Tell them you want to know if they are feeding and sleeping well, and to let you know about any concerns they have. Once you get back, you will already know if you need to check in on your child or make any adjustments. You can also try one of the many baby apps available for Android and iPhone. Shop your app store for everything from activity trackers to educational tools to guide you through growth spurts.
Make a Vacation of It
If possible, take your family along with you. Have them come the entire time or ask them to join you on the weekend once you’re done attending to clients. Some corporations even offer perks like discounts on extended resort stays, breaks on long-term car rentals and great rates on museum passes, so take advantage of them.
Should you need extra hands, ask a friend or your nanny to travel with you. It can double as a vacation for them—just make sure you offer to pay for all expenses. Give them an afternoon or evening off to explore the sights. It’s a fair tradeoff for having baby close by.
Plan for Quality Time at Home
The years are short, and there is no substitute for time with your kids. Unplug as much as possible when you are home, so you don’t have any regrets later. Think about ways to show your baby you love and care for them. It can be as simple as taking over all feedings when you’re in town or being the sole parent to bathe them and put them to bed.
Consider making arrangements with your boss, such as working from home while you’re not traveling. You can also ask for a 4-day work week or more vacation time. While you may be worried it’ll inconvenience your company, remember that businesses are now more flexible and agile than ever.
Rock Your Career–and Be There for Baby
Being a mom who travels is never easy, but it helps to stay focused on what’s important. You’re not only providing a better life for your baby, but you’re also acting as a strong role model. Staying in touch and being present both on the road and at home will make each day and week go more smoothly. One day, your little one will understand and appreciate your love and dedication.