Staying connected with home while we travel takes creative thinking and practical considerations. As mothers, we need to be careful not to overcompensate by phoning home too often or overloading the home computer with a flood of emails; at the same time, we can’t underestimate the need to maintain some sense of routine and meet our children’s expectations.
It’s a delicate balance, but one that can be achieved. Here are some ways traveling moms stay sane and connected on the road:
•Webcams: Modern technology makes it easy for our kids to hear and see us while we’re away. Webcams (miniature cameras that hook easily into a laptop) transfer a live digital video or recording back home. We can sing a goodnight song or recite Good Night Moon across cyberspace. TIP: Stick to the book or song that you usually read or sing back home. The familiarity of the tune or story will help them forget you’re miles away.
•Puzzle Countdown: This one is great for longer trips. Print out a favorite photograph on heavy stock paper. Cut out puzzle pieces, one for each day you’re away. Put each puzzle piece into an envelope. Instruct your child to open one envelope each day and put together the picture. The day the puzzle is completed is the day you come home. TIP: Choose a picture of a favorite family outing. Plan that activity for when you return.
•Blogs: Create a simple blog (set one up for free with Blogger or WordPress.) Stay in touch by posting stories about your trip, and upload digital pictures and video. Blogs are fast, easy to use and flexible. You can post anytime; your kids can read them when they want to. TIP: Children have short attention spans. Shorter entries posted more frequently work better than lengthy manuscripts detailing everything about the trip.