Travelling to exciting destinations, staying in good hotels – everything you’ve dreamt about when you got your first job, right? But, fast forward about a decade and, well, every time you must leave home it’s like pulling teeth!
When you’re in your twenties being on the road was somehow simpler; trips were fun, fun, fun. However, as you got older it became more of a known upset. You miss your partner, the kids, pets, the house… Business trips can present extra challenges to family life and when you have kids, travelling for work – what many may consider a perk – often feels more like a downside!
Work travel is becoming more and more commonplace as employers become more global. But, balancing work (especially if you travel a lot) with family presents unique parenting challenges. And, to make everything just a little harder, decades of research and hundreds of studies have proven that the more involved a dad is, the more successful his children will be. Recent studies show that a father’s influence can determine a child’s social life, grades and future achievements.
Travelling will be part of life for many dads, and will continue to be part of their lives as long as there are roads and aeroplanes and jobs. None of this is unique, but, the point is dad, you are missed. A WHOLE LOT!
There’s no doubt that this lifestyle choice could impact on your kids, so, you’ll need a parenting plan.
This is how you can make it work:
- Have daddy days. Do a few special one-on-one things with each of your kids before you leave. Build up a reservoir of time. Go to the zoo, on a hike or have a picnic in the back yard.
- Wake up when they do. This is a tough one, but when you’re at home, wake up early and play with them for a couple of hours. They will love it! It’s like filling the bank account, the memories get withdrawn later.
- Make a colourful countdown calendar. Show him/her when you will be leaving and when you’ll be home.
- Decorate a special box together and have your child keep special items in it to share with you when you return. (Drawings, photos etc.)
- Don’t miss out. Have someone videotape a game or a performance that your travels may cause you to miss. When you get home make a big event out of watching it together.
- Prevent tough goodbyes. To make parting easier give your kiddo a hug and a kiss saying, “I love you, I can’t wait to see you when I get back, but I know you’re going to have fun.” Then leave.
- Use the technology to check in every day. Skype, Facetime, MMS, pics, text and so on. Maybe, create a blog just to upload videos for the home team.
- Leave daddy reminders. Put a photo in easy-to-find places like a toybox or a favourite shoe.
- Keep trips as short as possible. Squeeze in a late meeting and fly home instead of waiting another day, if possible.
- Bring them something. Just a small token to say that you’ve missed them. Get creative, maybe buy a magnet board and pick up a magnet every time you’re away.
So, dad, if you’re away from home more than you’d like to be, be intentional about making sure that you don’t lose sight of what’s important. And for now, keep on rocking at work and loving your kids with all you’ve got!
Source: planningwithkids.com, www.fathers.com, www.parents.com, www.brighthorizons.com, www.zumasys.com, www.hufffingtonpost.com, www.menshealth.com, fathersworkandfamily.com, www.goodtherapy.org, practicalkatie.com, www.workingmomsagainstguilt.com, www.parenting.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.