Sometimes no matter how hard you try to stay organized, things can slip through the cracks. I’ll never forget a morning where my husband and I were getting ready for work when he mentioned a business meeting in New York later in the week. I stopped, looked at him, and said, “I’m flying to D.C. this afternoon and will be gone until Friday.” We both froze and just looked at each other like two deer in the headlights. After a quick laugh, we discussed the importance of each of our trips, as well as the lack of potential babysitting options, and realized that one of us had to stay home.
As working parents, we’re often faced with circumstances that force us to ask ourselves, “What’s more important right now? This work, or time with family?” To minimize these snafus, my husband and I have found success in having a shared calendar and sending each other “FYI invites” for all business trips, work dinners, and other events that are outside our normal schedules. When we encounter a conflict in schedules, we talk about it and ask each other questions like, “How important is this to the company or your team?” And, “Could this possibly be rescheduled to another day/week?” About 75 percent of the time, one of us recognizes that our event can be moved or that we can ask someone else to attend in our place. It’s a give and take, and because of the respect we have for each other’s careers, we usually find the balance by simply talking it through.