Working moms and travel

31 Oct

I just read a post on Work It Mom blog about whether working moms should have to travel for business. I don’t know whether women should be allowed or justified in not traveling when they are breastfeeding an infant — there are so many complex issues surrounding it. I would like to say yes – because after all we can’t help the fact that we are the ones that can breastfeed. It isn’t our fault that we are the ones that carry the babies and that we are the ones that have the goods to feed the baby. But at the same time is that requesting that women get special treatment? I very much also believe that women need to just do their jobs as well as possible and not get caught up in the gender wars.

I know this – I was lucky enough to not have to make the decision. When I have to travel and have had to travel since my babies were born, I bring them along. My mom has been able to come with me and take care of the babes while I deal with my meetings or seminars or talks. Sometimes, because my husband and I work together he and I travel together and bring the kids.

While I know that I am extremely lucky. But this also means that business travel is completely draining and exhausting. I never get to read on the plane, enjoy the silent hotel room, or spend some time just by myself. I come back after a long day at a conference, or some all day meetings and while it is incredible to have my beautiful boys with me, it means dinner at a hotel with toddlers, bath time, and bed time in a strange hotel room (which is to say the least, challenging). But at the end of the day I can climb into the King bed in the hotel with my babies, smell their hair, and kiss them goodnight.

So should we have some laws protecting women in the workplace from suffering at their jobs if they choose to say no to business travel when breastfeeding? Probably not. But what if companies could chip in and offer to pay a companion airfare so that a woman could bring her mom, or sister, or babysitter? Maybe at least then everyone could have it both ways!

Oh… and wish me luck. Tomorrow I get on a plane from San Francisco to London with my husband, 3 year old, and 1 year old. We have a business conference in London on the 2nd of November. I hope we all survive!

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3 Responses to “Working moms and travel”

  1. el-e-e October 31, 2007 at 12:45 pm #

    Gosh, good luck in London! Great commentary on that article, and another angle I hadn’t thought of.

  2. Leticia Ramirez October 10, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    Hello,

    Thanks for your article. I have been traveling a lot, and my baby is just going to be 2 in a month. I was able to continue breastfeeding her for 22 months using a breast pump, and as much as I could I traveled with her. My mom in law or my mom would come with me. But this last months has being very intense work schedule, and I have preferred to live her at home (my boss also suggested it). Now I am thinking in changing my Job. I am not sure what I want to do because I do like my job, but it seems very hard to combine it and I really miss spending time with my daugter.

    I would really appreciate if I could have a short call or chat with you.

  3. Nicole Kingsborough January 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Thanks for the post, it makes me feel a lot better! I wish that I would be able to travel with child and a family member or friend/nanny. My company frowns on working mothers because they associate a woman that has kids with a decrease in productivity. I am really scared to tell my boss that I am due in 5 months, I see him next week and my heart is in my throat.

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