Crazy Little Thing Called Work Travel

This week kicked off what I've been anticipating for the past 4 months: dueling work travel schedules. Yesterday, I returned home with Bunny from a weekend reunion, and this morning the Man of the House took off for meetings on the opposite coast. We reconnected last night over the changing one of the girls' sheets due to an 'accident.'

While travelling, we send each other picture texts as a way to keep each other somewhat involved in the moment:
From Me to Him, "Bunny happy in the car!"

From Him to Me, "Beads happy at the beach!"

Whether working from home or not, the issue of work travel, especially if both parents do it, can be a challenge. For many years, when I knew I would be home alone for many days, we would fly my Mom in.  That's a lovely option until we realize we'll be needing to fly her in every other week! So, I forced myself to face reality and look into getting help in other ways.

Many people have heard of Care.com, and that's what ended up being most helpful. Our situation is that we need someone between 4 and 10 evenings a month to either be an extra set of hands for me when I'm by myself with the girls or to pick up the girls from daycare if one of us is on the road and the other is stuck in a meeting on a work night,. The schedule is unpredictable and can be last minute, but that's what we needed. I posted my need on the website and was amazed that more than 20 care providers applied. The nice thing about Care.com is that all the applicants have background checks, and you can look at their resume and, in many cases, their references - all on the website!
Once I started choosing and interviewing candidates, it was still my responsibility to call references and all that, but wow! So nice to be able to have a starting point. And I was surprised at the number of people who were open to my crazy schedule or lack thereof.

In the end, we found someone who is perfect for our situation. She is a graduate student who wants a small job on the side to give her a change of scene from school work. Both her mom and grandma ran daycares while she was growing up, so she's seen it all. Her personality not only fits well with my girls, but fits well with me so that it feels comfortable when she's acting as "Mother's Helper."

Some might scoff at the fact that I'm hiring someone to help me out when my husband is out of town for a few days. I should be able to handle my own 2 kids for a few evenings, right? Ultimately, yes, But I'm also trying to achieve a balanced and happy home where we minimize the stress if we can. Knowing that "A" will be available every other night that I'm on my own helps me to not feel overwhelmed with trying to do it and be it all. And when the Man of the House returns, he comes home to a somewhat sane wife. This is a win in my book!

If you're in need of a sitter, a nanny or any kind of care provider in order to keep your life a little saner, you can save 20% on your Care.com membership by using this link!




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