International Work Trip for one week - advice? — The Bump
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International Work Trip for one week - advice?

I work at a college, and I have been asked to accompany one of our professors and her class for the week long trip to Amsterdam that is required for her class. This would be paid for fully by work, and I have never been there, so it is a pretty cool opportunity. The students are 12 grad students, but half are pretty young (22 years old - they are doing a special master's that comes right after their senior year). I was excited about the idea at first, but am a bit nervous because this is Amsterdam, where everything is legal. I'm talking with my boss about liability concerns. But I'm also getting more nervous about DH being home for a week with the two boys. I know it would be a long and hard week for me if the roles were reversed. DH said he is supportive of me going, but I wanted advice from any of you that have been gone for this long (it would be from a Saturday to a Saturday) on what I could do to help make things for DH as easy as possible. He works part time and stays home with the boys a few days a week, so he is a very hands on dad. But a week alone with two kids is exhausting for everyone!
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Re: International Work Trip for one week - advice?

  • I have travelled internationally for week at a time.  It sounds like your husband is more hands on than mine :)  But I usually leave a daily schedule for both my husband and nanny.  This includes reminders of anything special that has to go to school or get done.  In your case, I would recommend making frozen meals ahead and maybe seeing if a trusted family member or babysitter could come in 1-2 nights to give your husband a break.
  • What a great opportunity for you!

    I agree with what the others have said:  Stock up with groceries for the week, make sure all the laundry is done, make some meals to have on hand or have easy to heat and serve meals ready and see if a family member or good friend/neighbor can come by on Tuesday/Thursday or something like that.  I'm sure if he's that hands on they will be fine and have a great dudes bonding week!
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  • I would also make sure you have any "emergency" items in stock too in case someone gets sick while you're gone - Children's Tylenol and stuff like that so if one of them get sick he doesn't have to run to the store to get medicine, kleenex, etc.
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  • BTW, I think it's really funny how us working moms have to make extra preparation before going on a business trip.  Our SOs don't.  I know that moms usually take care of most kid related items.  But I told my DH before my last business trip that he would be in a world of hurt if anything suddenly happened to me.  To which he responded, I would have the same problem because he does so much around the house.  And to be fair, he is a great husband about helping around the house.  But I told him I could hire out his chores easier than he could mine

    :P
  • I have left for 5 days at a time, My husband does just fine although he is usually verry happy to have me home, LOL. If you are concerned I would just set up family or a babysitter to help. So maybe in the middle of the week have a sitter so hubby can just have some me time. Good luck and it sounds like an awesome opportunity!


  • He'll be great, your kids will be great, and you will have a great time! I agree that it is silly that moms worry about how their husbands will get along and do all this extra stuff to 'help' yet they generally do zero if they have to travel & don't think twice about it. If he is worried, tell him it is ok to have someone over to help or whatever.

    As for liability, they are adults so if they choose to check out coffeeshops or whatever, that is on them, I wouldn't worry. Going there w/ high school students would be a totally different story.  That would be like saying if you took a class trip anywhere w/ students over 21 & the students got drunk outside of class time on their own and something bad happened, the instructor would be liable. The best thing to do is to give them info about being safe, making sure they know areas to not venture into after dark and they'll figure their own way through.  As an instructor I probably wouldn't visit a coffeeshop while I was there just in case though (and I don't necessarily mean to partake in what they're selling, just in general, I would personally be cautious about being seen there).
  • laurakaz13laurakaz13
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 250 Answers 250 Love Its
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    edited January 2014

    I traveled to Korea for 4 weeks last summer.  It was fine.  DH was also deployed at the time, so my parents came down and took care of DD.  But honestly, DH has stayed with DD for up to a week before and they had a blast together. 

    Just go and have a wonderful time! 

    Edited to say that I also think it's ridiculous that women are expected to make extra special preparations for their husbands to care for their own children when they go away.  My DH is perfectly capable of going to the damn drug store and buying Tylenol for DD or calling her doctor if need be. 

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  • I don't think it's ridiculous to prepare.  I just don't think it crosses many men's minds to leave instructions/extra supplies/etc.  I agree that marriage requires us to help each other.  But I don't think my DH even thinks to arrange/suggest that I get a babysitter/family member to come help if he's travelling all week for work.  It's just assumed that since the majority of kid related things falls to me, I can handle it. 

    I guess this brings up an interesting question on how "traditional" are the household duties split in your life?  I know my husband is a huge help in our family but it's typical male duties... lawn, paying bills, handyman, dishes after dinner, etc.  And I handle more typical female duties... kids, shopping, cooking.  So I don't feel like he doesn't pull his weight.  It's just that his items are not as critical during a one week absence.

  • I traveled with my daughter (when she was <1 and still nursing) and my husband has traveled solo for 2 weeks. It's rough but doable. What really helped was my husband only using half his per diems and "sharing" the rest with me as in adding it to our family budget so I could order in more and hire a babysitter one day. I think it was really sweet of him and it made things easier on me. 

    If you get a lump sum per diem allowance, and don't have to submit receipts, then see how much of that you can save for your husband to use for the help he needs while you're gone. 
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  • DH has been away all this week and most of last week. Before he left, he worked his butt off to help me get laundry done, the house fully stocked with food and supplies, and he cooked big meals so I had leftovers in the fridge. I took some time to myself and made sure I got enough sleep before he left so I was starting out in a good mental state. We would do the same stuff if I was the one leaving. I considered hiring the neighbor girl to be a mother's helper for a few hours in the evening, but decided to just work 7 hour days and use some vacation time. It sounds like a fun trip, and your DH will be fine.
    Formerly known as ms.mittens Jude 12/31/2008 Ezra 2/10/2011 Nora 7/23/2013 Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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