Is a business trip a mommy vacation? - Baby Steps in High Heels

Friday, January 22, 2016

Is a business trip a mommy vacation?

Is a business trip a “mommy vacation” of sorts? I have always resisted this idea, because I’m not getting away to relax; I am working. In fact, I have often gone so far as to resent the implications of suggesting that a work trip should be considered a vacation. Yes, I know that Husband changed ALL the diapers while I was away, but that shouldn’t exempt him from parenthood in general upon my return. (Disclaimer: he has NEVER expected this, but I know some spouses who do).

Over the years, I have been so resistant the this notion and the stage it might set if I accepted this line of thinking that I might have missed out on the ways that business trips can actually rejuvenate a tired momma. Last week, my sales meeting provided one evening of an ‘excursion’ for those who wished to take in the local sites of Palm Springs. Many chose the tram up the mountain. Others selected a casino night. I found myself, without any premeditation, on the bus with every other mom of young children … the dinner and shopping activity. It was too obvious to ignore: this four-hour stint was our little mommy vacation.

We ate dinner. We ordered food that required two hands to eat. We took more than three and a half minutes to consume our food. We had drinks. Fun drinks that we wouldn’t normally have ordered. We didn’t rush. We thought we might make it out to a little shopping, but were totally okay if we didn’t. We laughed. We relaxed. It felt like we were on a little vacation.  

On the short trip back to our hotel, I found myself reflecting on the ways that a business trip CAN feel like a vacation, and why it’s okay to embrace it as such….

Extra sleep leaves you feeling rejuvenated. Given that I have only slept through the night a handful of times in the last six years, I am grateful for any sleep-related bonus: sleeping through the night, having an entire king-sized bed to myself, waking up to an alarm clock rather than a screaming child trying to poop, having the option to hit the snooze button … these things alone can seem like a little slice of heaven for an exhausted mom.

The small things count: not having to rush through a meal, having time to shave your legs in a hot shower, and walking out the door with two matching shoes cannot be overlooked as perks of a little alone time. But that is just the beginning (and a bit of a sad-but-true testament to the nature of motherhood).

Butler Service. Okay, maybe not really butler service, but when you have somebody else making your bed and your food all day, every day, it can certainly feel like a vacation. I mean, in real life, we’re making 3 meals plus 2 snacks every single day for 4 people … a break from that alone decently rivals the view of my toes in the sand.

Me time. Am I the last person in the world to discover Serial? Probably. Regardless of that fact, though, I binge-listened to the entire first season and the first few episodes of the second while on my various flights last week. I’m not one to work on a plane, so I definitely had the time. It was fantastic. I can’t remember the last chance I had time to binge on anything other than a sleeve of thin mints. Speaking of which …

It’s okay to eat dessert. Really, it is. It’s paid for. It would be rude not to. Everyone else is doing it. You really don’t have a choice, so there is no point in feeling guilty. Eat the dessert. Order the steak, the appetizer, the coffee. Just enjoy it. It’s what you’d do on vacation, right?

So, no, we are not really on vacation when we travel for business. I saw more of a conference room than the beautiful dessert last week. (Really, it was dark when I flew in, dark when I flew out, and I only went outside that one evening for our excursion … the Hard Rock Hotel was pretty awesome, though!)

Buuuutttt … there are still quite a few perks that we should allow ourselves to enjoy. I can’t think of a single reason not to, so I’m going with: YES, yes we should absolutely enjoy the coffee and the sleep and the dessert. Mental vacations sometimes carry just as much weight as real ones.

Of course, now that I’ve finished this post, I think it’s probably time to just take a liiiittle peak at summer flight schedules ... 

1 comment:

  1. As a 100% travel momma, I can definitely relate. The 'business trip" comes with conflicting emotions for me. As you outlined, the "mommy vacation" is definitely a factor, but I also feel like I'm missing out on a lot (I think this is more so because of the sheer magnitude of travel). Good read!

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