My work as a fashion stylist often has me travelling across the world with little or no notice. It definitely impacts on family life – often making it difficult to commit to future engagements/holidays/play dates or having to rearrange schedules last minute. I couldn’t do it without the endless support of my husband who ensures our home-life runs like clockwork – whether I am there or not. The children have a fairly consistent daily routine that enables them to deal with these last minute changes, and I love that we are raising two boys who are seeing a working man and woman with interchangeable roles at home.
The work-life balance really is the Holy Grail but I think it is a learning curve. We have learnt that to have boundaries when it comes to working and family life is essential. Some things are just sacred and that is that!
The upside of all this is it has allowed us to embrace being spontaneous, and learn to enjoy the unexpected. Some of my best work trips have been those where the whole family comes with me (but it takes packing for a trip to a whole new level!)
My husband and I have always travelled extensively (for both work and pleasure) and I use to pride myself on being the most efficient of packers. That definitely changed when our first son was born – I could not believe how much ‘stuff’ we ended up carting around- even for a weekend in the country, let alone a trip across the world. It didn’t stop us though and by the time our second son was born we had again perfected the art of streamlining our luggage and working out what would actually be needed.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER PARENTS WHO ARE TAKING THEIR KIDS ON WORK TRIPS?
Planning and organization can bring harmony when travelling with little ones but don’t get so caught up in this that you become enslaved by the schedule/routine/plan – we have found that it can be incredibly rewarding and revealing to ‘go off-piste’, and it is actually a great skill as a family to be able to cope with the unexpected – we were delayed over 24hrs in Mexico and I was proud of how everyone took it in their stride. We never waited until they were older to take them across the world and I am so pleased we didn’t – with children I have come to learn that there is never a ‘good time’ so just do it!
Having travelled from a young age they are comfortable with all that it entails and have an understanding of what it is I am doing when I do go away for work.
With thanks to Nathalie Riddle X