Working Mom Diaries: The Perks and Pits of Business Travel

photo 4As I write this from a hotel room in Portland, Oregon, I’m on day four of a five day business trip. Because the company I work for is 100% distributed (i.e., there is no central office, everyone works from home or the library or Starbucks), these trips involve more “getting to know each other” and less “sitting in a hotel conference room for 16 hours a day.”

So it’s been a great trip. I have really fantastic coworkers, and we’ve worked on projects, eaten great meals and sampled the local brews. I’ve had my own hotel room to sleep in! Need I say more?

While this all sounds idyllic, it’s not perfect.

Is there guilt? A little bit. Not a lot, mind you. Having a job that I love and makes me feel fulfilled (and helps pay the bills) is too important to me to give in to guilt. I don’t really believe in Mommy guilt anyway. Maybe a little wifely guilt? Nah, because while my husband might disagree, I feel like I’m giving him the gift of bonding time with his boys. Gosh, I’m so kind!

There have been more logistical problems than anything else. Since we’re two hours behind, it’s been hard to coordinate times to talk to the boys. And never mind sleeping past 6:00 am. It’s just not happening. My body is not getting the message that I don’t have to get up that early!

Maybe I simply just miss my family. Miles lost his first tooth and Linus lost his second this week, and while I am confident my husband performed his Tooth Fairy duties flawlessly, I hate missing these little milestones.

Possibly the best part about business travel is bringing back just the right souvenirs. Since the boys couldn’t care less about Portland-themed gifts (though I’ll bring them back snowglobes no matter what), I had to remember to order the Sonic the Hedgehog stuffed toys from Amazon that will be their “being good for Daddy” gifts I’ve promised. And my gift will be seeing their smiling faces when I walk through the door tomorrow night.

Do you travel for work? Love or hate it? Or both?

Pam Kocke
My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)


  1. I travel for work on occasion too and feel about the same way you do. I LOVE the nights to myself, but I never end up sleeping good despite all my hopes for a silent room and luxurious bed to myself. For me, I need the alone time now and then to come back and be a better mom and wife and I wouldn’t change it for anything.


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