When your husband travels for work, staying in touch as a family has its challenges and rewards.
Consistency is everything, except when you have to accept change. Change can always become an opportunity – Ted LeCruex.
For my husband and dad of our two kids, who travels for work continuously, no truer words are spoken
Being away from family and friends takes a toll on your relationships—all of them. Especially your kids. Understanding how to communicate and finding the ways to achieve it successfully is as full-time a job as the one that provides a steady paycheck. Yet it is necessary to maintain a healthy family unit and friendships.
A few short years ago, social media in our house was seen as a form of entertainment. Gradually it became a way to keep in touch with those around us and far away. Now it has become one of the primary ways to stay connected.
As parents, being consistent in how you raise your children, express and teach values and show your love is imperative. Being able to embrace changing ways to do this can be challenging but also rewarding. Having the ability to text via internet and VoIP has become almost a requirement for our family to stay linked together—both figuratively and literally.
Often an icon or an Internet sticker becomes an emotional statement… they let my kids and wife know I miss them and love them daily when I can’t be there to show or tell them myself.
Now many will say, texting and stickers are not the same as talking—and my husband completely agrees. He shares that, when he sends a cute sticker to the people he cares about and he knows it makes them smile, it reminds them he never has them out of his thoughts. “When they do something good,” he says, “I send something goofy that lets them know I am proud of them and that I appreciate them. Sometimes, the time changes alone present a challenge that’s hard to tackle. My wife and I use an app called “Viber” that is VoIP/WiFi based and allows us to even chat internationally. We send “I miss you” stickers and “good morning” or “good-night” ones wishing each other a great day or a great sleep until we get the chance to talk again. These pictures say a thousand words when we don’t have the chance to.”
To some, this may sound trivial, but it has made a huge difference in our marriage and with our kids. The simplest things are often the biggest in any relationship. After all, nothing says “I love you” like “I love you.” Again and again, all of us find ourselves looking back at those VoIP messages and smiling when we are away from one another. Expect your kids to may act like they are a tad embarrassed at times, but secretly they have laughingly told me they love seeing them.
A few years ago, even cell phones were not so smart. You could only talk then if you had a good connection and were within a certain range of a location. Don’t get me wrong, there will never be a time that his voice and words will be less strong, but sometimes change is good. Sometimes technology is the only way to bridge the gap of miles and time zones.
“The key to the consistency”, he says, “like golf, is in the follow through. It’s good to be the great dad checking in and sending messages online and through their phones, but the win comes from what you do in person when you are at home. That’s when action, words, and touch come into play and those things cannot be replaced by the most intelligent phone. Nothing is more intimate than the conversations and laughter with those you love. For us, the time we do have together becomes that more important and enjoyable.”
“So do me a favor, if you travel or even if you find yourself working long hours and are away from your family and those you care for…send them a text or a sticker. Follow up with talking and spending your time giving them your true attention when you are around them. Use the changes, like technology for your home team advantage. Use them with consistency and you will always be rewarded and bring home the bacon at the same time.”