Guilt – Traveling Dad Issues
For the past couple of years, my job responsibilities have really grown. As they have grown, so have my travel requirements! At first, this was pretty cool. LA, San Diego, Atlanta, Asheville, etc. I’ve even been able to bring my family with me a few times.
On top of that, it has afforded me opportunities that I could not have dreamed of. I was recently able to bring my son to his first MLB game with a vendor and he had the greatest time! I have been able to take my wife with me and visit Disneyland, travel to cities I have never been in and much more.
But there has been something else along the way that has been eating at me. Guilt.
Don’t get me wrong.. this needs to be said. My wife and kids are 100% supportive! But during these past couple weeks, it’s been extremely hard. In the middle of all this, I got a change to my job that allowed us to move from one state, to my corporate office in another. While this happened, I was traveling. Talk about guilt! My poor family had to go through a move without me! Thank God for a great support system in family to help!
So what does this have to do with anything “geek”? Well, it doesn’t… maybe a little. Here is what I have learned so far and I hope it helps someone out.
- Use Technology!
This is obvious, right? I have a wife and three kids and really enjoy seeing/talking to them. Here is what we make use of!
- Facebook Video Chat
- Facebook Messaging for Kids
These are the two biggest tools! I even got my kids ‘non functioning’ cell phones so they can use those apps and we can stay in touch wherever I am! That includes video tours of the private jet I’m on, or the latest hotel room that has a cool TV!
2. One on One w
This one is something every dad should be doing anyhow. But make sure you intentionally schedule 1on1 time with EACH of your kids when you are home. That means without their siblings. Let them pick what they want to do! If it gets crazy, just make a list of things and let them pick from it!
(P.S. Do this with your wife. But word to the wise, don’t make a list.. HAHA – Personal note, this is hard for me and I haven’t done it enough. But find a babysitter, do whatever you need to make sure SHE has time with you without the kids (If you have kids) – After all, she’s been with them 24/7 while you are gone!
3. Say No
This one is in reference to work. There are trips you have to take, I get it. But there are some that are optional. Yes, you want to look good and keep yourself on your leadership’s good side. But your wife and family should be be getting that same dedication with your ‘time’. You will “NEVER” get time back, so don’t waste it. If you have a chance to say no to a trip without harming your career or jeopardizing your income for your family, do it.
Okay, so now I want to hear from you! What do you do in order to keep involved with your family while traveling? Do you feel guilty? Not everyone has a supportive family like me.