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When work keeps one parent on the move
Rupal Patel
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May 21, 2007

Parents who travel frequently due to career committments miss out on several significant moments with their children. Strong bonds with the spouse can also weaken when one parent is gone for a long time, and the other is left to singlehandedly care for a child and keep up the daily routine.

Children may also feel abandoned, and may not understand why Mummy or Papa is away from home for so long and so often. They miss the parent who is away, more so if they share a strong bond with that parent. The traveling parent, the stay-at-home parent and the child all end up having to deal with a lot of issues. It is important, therefore, to alleviate the stress of such situations -- a little bit of communication and a lot understanding can help make things easier for everyone.

The travelling parent

Parents who are travelling fequently due to work-related issues usually miss home very much. They feel like they are missing out on their children's lives and important events that come up. They may not be there for the first milestones in their children's lives -- the first step, the first word, the first time they perform on stage, etc. They may not be able to attend school events such as annual functions, sports days, parents' day or anything that is important to kids.

These parents often start feeling lonely, and sometimes come to believe that their family responsibility has been reduced to nothing more than providing a paycheck. When they return home, they may feel like they are intruding, and are not part of the daily routine. They may feel like they have no power to make any decisions for their children, because they are never around. A travelling parent may feel like he/ she is not involved in the children's lives like a real parent should be.

Presented below are a few tips for the travelling parent to help make such separation easier.

Before leaving:

While you are away:

When you get back:

The stay-at-home parent

Stay-at-home parents often feel overwhelmed and alone. If they are not living in a joint family set-up, they feel even more burdened with running a house, caring for the children, managing finances and a social life. They may even be employed, which makes things even tougher. A stay-at-home parent may start feeling like a single parent without any help. Resentment towards the travelling partner may start to build; they may even envy their spouses the peace and quiet of a hotel room.

Here are a few tips for the stay-at-home parent.

Before your spouse leaves:

While your spouse is away:

When your spouse returns:

Every member of the family should keep the communication going, and remember to express love and appreciation at all times and in all ways. And most importantly,make the most of the times when your family is together!

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