anne_witkavitchI don’t often get asked to sing.  It’s not that I have a bad voice. I can actually hit the right keys and carry a tune. But playing the video game “Rock Band” is probably the closest I’ll get to performing live — except for each night around 9 p.m.

It’s not that I have a bad voice. I can actually hit the right keys and carry a tune. But playing the video game “Rock Band” is probably the closest I’ll get to performing live — except for each night around 9 p.m. That’s when I deliver a command performance of “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” for a VIP audience of two – my kids. 

We all have family routines, those things we do on a regular basis that give our children a sense of comfort, security and togetherness. Whether taking a walk after dinner, singing a special song, or reading before bed, these activities are a welcome part of our everyday lives. However, when rituals get interrupted because of a trip no one feels it more than the traveling mom.

I recently ran into a dilemma when I took a trip to Lithuania and The Netherlands with my mom and sisters. I would be gone for two weeks. Routines such as bedtime singing would be temporarily put on hold. Fourteen days away from my family meant fourteen days without “Raindrops.” But I had a plan. I recorded myself singing our song on an old micro cassette recorder. I left the player and tape with a note on the counter. If the need arose, I knew my husband would find it. A few days into my trip I made my first connection back home.  “Thanks for the recording,” he said. “We play “Raindrops” every night before bed. The kids really appreciate hearing your voice; it’s like you’re here.”  There are plenty of ways to stay connected while on the road. Whether it’s a recording of a song, leaving behind notes, or calling home at bedtime, maintaining a sense of routine and familiarity can help both you and your children cope with the distance until you’re together again.

Anne Witkavitch TMOM’s resident sanity expert. Send her your questions at annewitkavitch@comcast.net, or visit her at www.csuitecommunications.wordpress.com and www.theeclecticwriter.typepad.com.