Thursday, March 2, 2023

Work-Travel and Parenting, the Pramadh Way

Our Morning routine while I travel <3 

I love my work and I look forward to my work travels. It is the time where I also get some me-time, I meet new people and am constantly learning in diverse social milieu. My work week is divided between days I teach at my alma mater, Mount Carmel College and days when I facilitate learning sessions for Corporate clients across the country. 

The last 5 weeks, I have travelled a lot and my next few weeks also look similar on my calendar. 

Over the years, there are things that I have discovered and learnt, support systems that am grateful for, a partner who is an equal parent and more and an adaptable little one who has learnt that when Mamma works, we still catch up about the day, at least twice through video calls. 

What has worked for Prashant, Ira and me while I travel has been some meticulous planning which translates to seamlessly functioning life , home and work environments. Are there adventures? Are there mishaps at times? Of course there are and what would life be if not for them. 

So, while I blog to share what we have done, I am sure many many women, many families have all found their own way to find this balance and integration. The fact is, we do what we can do. 

1. Plan and see how the month looks for each of us and also review how each week looks every weekend. If one of us is travelling, we usually know it in advance to plan. I make  a note mentally and in my notes and Prashant meticulously calendars it on an app on his phone. 

2. If we both are in Bengaluru, we also plan who will pick up Ira post school which day of the week. Prashant given his more flexible work schedule does this almost 95% of the time.

3. When one of us is travelling, we always prep Ira about the travel. Check if there are important school interaction days etc where parents are meant to be there. The last time I travelled, the school had a workshop on Sexuality Education for Parents and Prashant made it on behalf of us.

4. In moments like the above, in the last year we have slowly eased Ira into the idea of being home by herself, for a few hours. This is preceded by some safety dos and don'ts and also a set of activities that she does in that time. This could include some reading, some art & craft, drawing or writing and some tv time. Her snacks and meals are prepped and kept accessible for her. 

5. Sometimes, that may not happen as the duration could be a full day. At that moment, we have reached out to her next favourite adult (we like to believe we are her top two). Read Joy. He has come over and been with her. They play games, go on bike rides, watch movies , fight and play, while eating all their fave food, all with equal gusto! 

6. While we travel, we also cross check our groceries, veggies, fruits essentials. This may seem like common sense, but it always helps us. The reason being when I travel, Ira and Prashant eat some of their favourites, some food that we may not make too often because am allergic to and also all things cheesy! When Prashant travels, the menu involves all the veggies that are on his dislike list and also some comfort food like alu bhaate (Mashed potato with rice) for example. I am always curious to know what's cooking when am travelling. The two of them experiment, Netflix and have a chill time. 

7. We are also grateful to have a house help, who mostly heeds to the request of not taking leaves when one of us travels. 

8. Prashant and I have been equal parents and in many instances, he is Ira's primary care giver. The fact that he loves cooking and makes excellent food definitely makes life a colourful palate. 

9.  Set a routine where Ira knows that she will get to speak to us and share about her day. This is to also make sure that she doesn't miss out. This is apart from the innumerable messages, gifs, voice notes and even video messages that happen. Of course, once the travelling parent is back, there is mega chipku movement. 

10. The final thing is to normalise that working parents travel and not to gender the action as belonging to one parent. This helps us make the most of our work travels, set context to the fact that work is part of who we are, along with our role as parents. 

This morning, as I got onto the video call with Ira, she first told how Papa has made some crispy buttery toast and yummy omelettes and so she is having an omelette sandwich. She also showed me a neckpiece that she was wearing. I had bought this in 2008, on a trip to Pondicherry with Prashant. My little girl was thrilled with the stone pendant. I looked at her, smiled ear to ear and my heart skipped a beat. The joy of these calls while travelling is precious. 

So, to parenting and to new learnings, every step of the way. 

#Pramadhs  #Ira #Iraisms #IraAtEight #EffablesAtEight #WorkTravel #TravelTales #Us #Love #Gratitude #Parenting #NormaliseWorkingParentsTravel #IraAndPapa #IraAndMamma #IraAndJoy #SoloParenting

1 comment:

Piscean Angel said...

Wonderful read. Knowing the 2 of you reasonably well, I could almost visualize the planning process and the collaboration into planning your work travels. Keep rocking, Pramadhs 🥰

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