Being away from your child all day long is no easy feat, even for a mom who loves her job and her childcare provider. But just because you’re physically separated doesn’t mean you need to be in the dark with regards to how your child spends the moments of his day. With a little creativity and effort, working moms with a willing caregiver can stay in touch in more ways than you may think.
- Leave a love note. Leaving a love note for your caregiver to share with your child during the day is one way to make a low effort, high impact connection with your child. A simple drawing of you two holding hands or a short note reminding her of the fun things you’ll do when you get home can go a long way in fostering a connection with your child while you’re away.
- Have a video chat. With technology you can literally have a video phone chat from the palm of your hand. If you’re traveling for business, a video chat would even allow you to sing your child’s favorite lullaby or read his favorite story before it’s time for him to go to sleep.
- Text photos. Asking your caregiver to text you a photo or two during the day can help you get a glimpse into what your child is doing and give you something specific to talk about when you return home. If your child made a picture for you, texting a photo of it to you and getting a quick response back will surely bring a smile to both of your faces.
- Have a daily call. Set aside a time each day when you check-in with your caregiver and say hello to your child. Since your child’s afternoon naptime is likely to coincide with your lunch break, making a quick call home at the same time each day may be something that you can easily incorporate into your daily schedule.
- Meet for lunch. For parents and caregivers who have the luxury, meeting for lunch on occasion can be a super way to stay connected. A small café or even an onsite restaurant at the office can be a great way to have short, but wonderfully meaningful connection. An added bonus? You get to show your child off to co-workers.
- Record yourself reading a book. Do you and your child have a favorite story? Make an audio or video recording of yourself reading the book that he can listen to or watch. Some books even come with micro-recorders that allow you to record yourself reading the story. As your child turns the pages, he gets to hear your voice reciting the story lines.
- Leave a video message. Make it part of your morning or evening routine to make a short video recording for your child. Leave it loaded on the laptop or iPad for your child watch. If you have a smart phone you can simply record the video and text it to your caregiver.
- Encourage your caregiver to keep a journal. Provide your caregiver with a journal that she can write in each day. Ask her to keep a journal of the things your child does. When you review the journal you’ll not only feel like you have a solid idea of how your child spent his day, you’ll also have an idea of what you can talk to him about. Your child’s eyes will light up when you ask him about his latest adventure and he’ll likely be thrilled to share details.
For some working moms, the hours can seem more like days when they’re separated from their child, and for others the time simply flies by. While with young children out of sight is often out of mind, setting aside a few minutes each day to make a connection can not only help to foster your parent/child relationship, but can reassure your child that you’re thinking about him even while you’re gone.