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Have You Ever Stayed Away From Your Young Kids For Long?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous in Parenting' started by SGBV, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi moms,

    I have a very unique situation in my life, where my career requires frequent rotation; hence change of duty stations min in every 2 years. Sometimes, depending on the requirement we may be asked to report to a different office/in different city within a year too.
    And the duty stations are classified as Family or Non family stations; and it is pure luck whether we get family stations all the time. If we happen to get Non family stations, then we are strictly prohibited from tagging our family along to the city/country of work.
    (PS: For those who have confusion about the above description of work arrangements, kindly note that I work for United Nations).

    I am a career oriented woman, and my career is my important identity and my main support system.
    After having stayed in this organization for nearly 13+ years, It is nearly impossible for me to change my career now.
    Secondly, my family needs my salary (this kind of fat package) for many reasons. Mainly due to the fact that I am the primary bread winner at home, and my H's salary and contribution is still not reliable (and it is a diff story).
    Besides, we have established a kind of luxurious life style, and that's what our circle is all about. Now that, changing it to a simple living is not an option for long run.
    Two, kids and responsibilities associated with them forces me to stay in this job, plus this job has other promising offers that I dont wanna lose after having spent all my life here.

    Having said that, I have a serious condition where I can't drag my family along wherever I am transferred to.
    Earlier I was able to take at least my two kids, and mom (though H had other priorities and unable to leave everything behind to be with us all the time). But now, with kids' education and all, it is impossible to move frequently.
    And the risk of getting Non-family stations too...

    My kids are young (9 and 6 yrs old), and I know that they miss me.
    Now a days I am around, and I try my best to return to home on Friday nights, and spend the weekend with family and leave only by Monday mornings. I make sure I am on phone with home as much as possible, and often direct everything at home front remotely.
    My H and mom are the main pillars of my strength and they make it very possible to work stress free by taking good care of the home and kids at my absence. We have support aids too.

    This is the best that I could grab in recent time, as all my previous positions were in far places, where I could only go home once in 6-8 weeks (for 2 weeks break). And I believe I could drag this for another 2 yrs possibly.

    Now that, I need opinions from mothers like me whether I am on the right track or not.
    I know my life style or the family is not conventional, but this is the package I am blessed with. I don't wanna give this up and dwell in a much harder life style hurting everything financially and emotionally down the line.
    But I am also guilt about making my kids live like this. They deserve to live with their mom more than this, specially at this stage.

    Your opinions would be much appreciated
     
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  2. mrunalini01

    mrunalini01 Moderator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    Am in same boat; though my story is different.
    Let's hope things sort out soon.
    My prayers for you.
     
    SGBV likes this.
  3. gorgeous23

    gorgeous23 Silver IL'ite

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    hi SGBV, same here, being in government job, we are posted all india.
    now i had not been posted in far off area before, but his time, i have been & due to various reasons i hav not been able to take the kids along ( 6& 8), so DH manages at home with a full time maid & my or his parents chip in.
    again as you say, the pay is good, in fact very good, plus it is a permanent job & more important i have worked hard to reach here.
    as my husband cannot be transferred, he has to stay & i am reluctant to move the kids to a small city, shift their school s& day care. now i wud hav done that too had my husband said ok, manage it.'but in our case, he has put his foot down that he is not going to tolerate it for more than a year.
    i have to be away for weekdays, only get to meet kids on weekends, that means all school work/studies/prep etc are done only on sunday of if i am lucky, on monday, which definitely puts a toll on me as well as kids.
    just now i was talking to kids on phone, enquiring about their homework etc, but i cannot do much from here, i had to ask the older one to study for dictation tomorrow which i know kids wont be able to manage on their own.

    so there are lots of thoughts going on in my mind:

    the past few months have altered my very fundamentals of life.
    1. i am doing this job so that i can provide well for my kids, but if this job means kids dont get to stay with both parents, then wat is the point ?
    2. as it is, i m not much involved in their lives, being away for full day, now on transfer, i feel i am not even part of my kids day to day life, is it worth it ?
    3. i have worked hard to get this job, struggled, worked my bum off to reach & maintain this position & now should i leave because of a transfer ? wat about getting to a new place, new people, new culture? the exposure which i thought was so necessary for myself as well as kids?
    4. i have identified myself with my job, as if i leave, what identity do i have ?? but this job has given me a lot: financial independence, confidence, friends, exposure, learning new things, meeting different people every day, the thrill of getting thing done... etc..
    5. kids are going to get old very soon & fly away & when i leave my job, what will i do with an empty nest ? how will i fill my time?
    but if kids are going away soon, then dont i need to spend my time with them?

    many of the above dont make any sense, i know, i am just thinking in circles.
    All the women i know, havent faced this situation.

    i too want to know what other women in similar situation are doing.
     
  4. SinghManisha

    SinghManisha Platinum IL'ite

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    My husband travels all the time and I manage the kids schedules, homework, driving everything. It is working ok because he makes the bread, butter and jam for the kids future. If I was the breadwinner, I would do the same. My husband does not feel guilty , so why should you ?
     
  5. Angela123

    Angela123 Silver IL'ite

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    Yes. we have a similar situation in our life. My husband has a job with a lot of travel. Sometimes local (with in US, but sometimes international and he stays for 2-3 weeks on the other side of the globe). What works for us is, call (read facetime or skype or something video) whenever possible. if he couldn't call during the day, he will definitely call before the kid's bedtime. We send pictures and messages all the time, so that we are not missing the life because of the distance. We have a very strong bond in our family so we work to keep that connection. the kid write letters and art for him and i take pic and send it to him so that he can send voice / pic messages to reply.

    My husband and I lived in two different places for the past 6 years, and the kid lived with me. What we do to keep the connection strong is use video call to talk. Even very small silly things we communicate. Also, when kids talk, we have to listen actively, ask good questions. So that they trust us in communicating their thoughts. I had to leave my kid for a few months with my parents in India while I stayed back in the US for my masters. it was a hard time. But I used to skype with her everyday morning and evening. She has the same bond when she came back to me after 5 months.
    It is great that love your job. You have to talk to the kids that's why you are away, but you love them so much and you can provide them better. Also, tell them what you do at job in a day, so that kids will also tell you what they do in their life daily. More over remember important things in their day, tell them about yours too. When you know what is going on every day, you will not feel like you are away. that helps the kids too.

    Every kid is different, but when you show love and care, and makes sure they know it, most problems goes away. Hope this helps!
     
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  6. Sandyr46

    Sandyr46 Finest Post Winner

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    You are absolutely in the right track ! And dont ever give up the job. I know its tough but since u mentioned having a good suport just rest ur mind and focus. Alternatively u can have nanny cams and frequent face time with ur kids. The cam helps. I used to b in this kind of situation a few years before. I used to carry two laptops n the sole purpose of one was to watch my kiddo. I used to travel a lot too. I used to regret not being available often but now just because of the savings I have for the sacrifices made then is paying the returns. Now my kid is 8 years old and the demands are varied. Luckily making hay while the sun still shone did gud for me :) All the best !
     
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  7. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Ladies for your assurance and experience sharing. It did help a lot.

    I know that I have a choice to stay at home and be the best (or whatever) mother, but I also know it means losing my family's chances of better future. That's why I am here, working and being the bestest mother for them. All I needed was some validation and assurance to go on.

    I've seen many men work elsewhere, and spend very little time with the family for the prime reason to provide better for their family. They have no guilt at all. And their families don't suffer anything seriously to comment either.
    But the only difference is, the society see them as saviors, and praise them for their sacrifices and capabilities for what they do.
    In my case, I don't know what the society has to say... But my family and friends have all the negatives to comment about my decision.
    I know they are not really my well wishers, thus there is some jealousy in the way they react.
    Even then, something inside me makes me insecure.
    Apparently, it is OK for a dad to stay away from kids, but not for the mom.
    It is OK for the man to focus on his career, and earning, but not ok for the woman.
    Not fair, but that's the society we live in.

    Thanks again for making me feel comfort in knowing that I am not alone here, and it is OK if that is the best choice for my life.
     
    gorgeous23 likes this.
  8. Sandyr46

    Sandyr46 Finest Post Winner

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    Just ignore dear, patriachy still persist and thats not gonna change soon either. Focus on ur career. Make enough and dont forget to judiciously care about 'YOU' too. All society will do is judge you so ignore them. Focus, work hard and save well ! More power to u ! Stay Blessed..
     

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