I know a lot of people that never get to travel abroad on business that are jealous of those that do. I can tell you, it’s not a bed of roses. You rarely get to see anywhere when you travel in business, other than an airport, a cheap hotel, and a meeting room. And the trip can take it out of you -believe me.
Luckily that was a few times in the past however some of my blogging pals are getting more airmiles than Richard Branson so I really couldn’t wish for a job that involved international travel right now. The 3 hour commute is bad enough.
I couldn’t imagine the looks on their family’s faces when they leave. The kids are going to miss you – although not as much as you will miss them. And your partner? Well, they will know they are about to become a single parent for the next week, month, or maybe even longer. In short, it’s tough – but if it’s a job, you have few choices.
With all this in mind, I thought I would put together a few tips for any dad that travels for business. Whether it involves going abroad or not, I hope you find something of use that can help you and your families!
Understand the impact
OK, so when you go away, it’s obvious your family will miss you. It’s tough for your kids who are used to having you around, of course. Given they thrive on routine, it could cause a lot of upheaval to their daily habits. But it’s your partner that will suffer the most. They will be there all the time, doing the job of two, with zero respites. And that’s going to be hard for them – and you will feel a certain amount of guilt. Whatever you do, don’t start sending pictures of your wonderful hotel bed or Michelin Star dining experience. It won’t go down well.
Talk to your kids
It’s important to talk to your kids about why daddy goes away. If you don’t, they could see it as a problem they have caused. According to http://www.parents.com/parenting/, it can have a serious adverse impact on your kids. It can take a while for the message to get through, but you will get there.
If you are traveling to certain countries, you’ll need to get your documents sorted out as soon as possible. Let’s say you are going to America, for example. According to www.official-esta.com/requirements-for-esta, there is a lot of documentation to consider before you travel. Your business might sort this out for you, but if not, my advice is to get ready at least a few weeks in advance. When you have a young family, anything can happen, from illness to accidents. And if you leave it until the last minute, Murphy’s Law suggests you will regret it. Better organization means you can be there for your family until you travel – and not a moment less than is essential.
Make the most of your home time
Finally, no matter how tired you are when you get home, the kids are your responsibility. Take them off your partner’s hands and give her or him a break. And spend that time as best you can, having fun times with your kids. I know dads that go away for five or six weeks at a time. And you just can’t get it back. Make up for it at all times when you are home.
Whatever you decide to do work wise, ensure that you look after the mental wellbeing of the family as well as the physical side. A conversation when feeling low, a surprise present delivered or a simple text to say you’re ok. Think about them in the same place without you, at least you’re somewhere new.