In the battle for work/life balance, we hear a lot about how traveling for work is difficult for mothers of young children. But some mothers, according to a new article in the Wall Street Journal, are desperate for an excuse to travel for professional reasons. The paper calls it the “Mommy Business Trip.”
These are not mandatory business trips for working mothers employed full-time. Instead, they are conferences for women who work part-time, or on side projects, from home. There are conferences focused on crafting, blogging, yoga, and direct marketing, to name a few.
Here’s how the Journal sums it up:
Mothers who work from home —bloggers, interior decorators, crafters and the like—rarely get to travel alone to escape the daily grind. Event planners, networking organizations, travel agents and consumer-goods marketers are targeting these women by sponsoring conferences and conventions. They have figured out a simple way to make them happy: Give them a reason to go on a business trip.
“It’s a fun and educational thing to do for people who are married with children and need a legitimate reason to leave home,” says the conference director for an event hosted by Yoga Journal. That’s the key: a “legitimate reason to leave home.” The women who attend can’t justify leaving their families to jet off to Vegas just for fun, but if a conference has a sheen of professional advancement about it, suddenly it becomes justifiable to pay hundreds of dollars to sip wine and socialize.
This is admittedly a somewhat cynical take, since it seems everyone leaves happy. But what does it say about the world we live in that simply needing a break isn’t a good enough excuse to take a weekend away from home? A “mommy business trip” is all well and good, but shouldn’t a “mommy trip” be good enough?