Dear Diary,

Does your job require travel that takes you away from your children? You can overcome separation anxiety and actually enjoy the trip by creating a pre-travel to-do list.

1. Pack Early: The first time I went away as a first time mom, I realized I could no longer wait until the last-minute to pack. I scrambled around the house, searching for matching socks and my daughter’s favorite pick blanket with minutes to make my flight. The night before, I picked up her playpen from my parents house and dropped it off at my sister’s house. I also stocked up on her favorite snacks and milk. Now, I write a list of what she needs a week in advance. That way, I have enough time to wash her blankets, locate her missing teddy bear and run to the grocery store.

2. Post a Pic: At my daughter’s daycare, the teachers created a family tree and asked parents to submit photos. They attached the pictures to the branches, which gave the kids a sense of familiarity in the room. Pack a framed family photo to send with your child. And put one in your own suitcase, so you can place it on your hotel room’s nightstand.

Click here for more tips on how to take a guilt-free trip!


About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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