As I close out my final business trip of 2023 (whoa, where did the time go!?), I thought I would share some steps I took with my kiddos to help them manage the change. Why? Because these are the same steps I recommend leaders to take to prepare their team for change.
Communicate change early (and often)
I began sharing my upcoming trip with my kiddos a week before I was leaving. This gave them time for them to ask questions, for the reality of the change to sink in, and for there to be no surprise when they woke up and I wasn’t there.
Explain the game plan
While I was dealing with young kiddos, it was important to me to outline the plan for them. Your clothes for the week will be located here. X will take you to school. I will return home on X day.
Ask for their input
Where possible, I asked for their input in the game plan. For instance, I asked them which toy could accompany me on this journey. Allowing them to weigh in on certain decisions gave them a sense of ownership to the plan. One caveat: I made sure to only ask the questions where they could provide input (everything isn’t up for discussion).
Create space for questions
I asked each of them at different moments if they had any questions about mommy’s trip. I got the usual questions: “how far away is it?” “who will read the stories?” “will you bring me pink lollipops?” Even though some of the questions were asked multiple times, it became clear that my answers helped relieve some stress in their minds.
Throughout the trip, I share pictures, voice memos, and video updates. This kept us connected throughout the experience as well as created space for questions to be asked and answered.
Mommy travel still is tenuous but with these steps, my family is becoming more resilient and better able to manage the change. I’m looking forward to seeing how 2024 travel will look. Continue to share any tips with me in the comments below. Solidarity to other mommy road warriors!