Why I take the red-eye - business travel and minimizing time away from the kids


My husband and I travel fairly frequently for business. For me, the vast majority of those trips are to New York City. I love the evening hours when I can be with my kids and learn about their days. I especially love tucking them in to bed with sung Sh’ma and longer hugs and kisses.  In almost 8 years, we’ve only had one night where one of us wasn’t home – unless it was on purpose for a couple’s vacation..  Because I love this, my choice for cross-continental travel is the red eye.

The kids don’t like that we travel at all without them. Our middle son, Taylor, asked me why Neal and I couldn’t get jobs that never needed us to travel. The truth is we both like the intellectual stimulation of our work and the variety of occasional travel and we haven’t found or formed something locally that meets our intellectual, achievement and financial goals. We adjust our personal time to focus heavily on just being with the kids. For example:

  • You already know about sacred time.
  • I’ve balanced volunteering to drive for field trips or conduct a class during Choices or attend a camp event with the schedule of my career. 
  • Neal too - today he’ll take Taylor to his brother’s first concert at Rock Band camp (it’ll be on YouTube shortly after it happens). I missed that – but there’s no way I’m traveling next Friday for the second concert.
  • Every Friday night, we have a family Shabbat dinner and we make sure to talk about our favorite part of the week.

The world doesn’t revolve around how our kids might want – but we strive to balance what they want, what we want and the work we enjoy. I know that this stage where the thing they want most is to be with us is fleeting and we spend our weekends and most evenings absorbing as much of that desire as possible. To do that and do the work we enjoy – a trade-off is the red eye. What’s yours?