While remote working might be revolutionizing the way that many of us think about work in the modern landscape, it’s not the only trend that’s on the rise.
Due to various economic realities, plus the fact that some of the best paying jobs are in very remote places, more men are looking working remotely from their homes and families. While it can be a great work experience and highly lucrative, it’s important to make sure that you’re playing a supporting role in the family, the way a father should be. Here are a few tips to help you do that.
Take the time to work it out together
Make sure it’s not just a case of ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ Take the time to work out what the realities of the situation are going to be when you move abroad. First of all, do all the essential planning for moving out there, including getting a working visa if you need, and finding a job before you head out. Find somewhere to live Understand the costs you might have to eat to get out there. Make sure that your children know in advance and make extra time for them in the lead up to your departure. You don’t want any lack of planning to add extra stress to what’s going to become a long-distance family setup.
Check in on a regular basis
When it’s the end of a difficult work day, especially if your work takes you out to do demanding tasks in remote locations, it can be difficult to muster the energy to do much other than find a way to relax and unwind. However, it’s important to get in touch with the family at least once a day when possible. Sending photos and messages through apps like WhatsApp can be greatly helpful, but you might want to look at face-to-face meeting software that allows you to spend a little more time touching base through more than just words or voice alone. Isolation can affect even the most stalwart of men, so make sure that you stay connected with your home.
Anticipate some challenging moments
Do not go into a major shift in your daily life and family structure with your blinders on. You can make it work, but that doesn’t mean that everything is going to go perfectly and feel fine all of the way through it. Working abroad can come with enough challenges, alone. Not being able to see your children or partner on a regular basis is added difficulty on top of that. Anticipate some of the frequent problems associated with a move for work, such as culture shock, loneliness, and homesickness. These can be pretty bad to go through, but steeling yourself against them and knowing what to expect can make them easier to get through.
Make sure that you’re there for the big days
If you’re working far away from home, be it in a different country, offshore, or in other remote locations, you can’t be there for the big occasions that really matter to family. Birthdays, anniversaries, and big achievements might be experienced remotely, which can be difficult for you, but you can still make sure that you’re a part of those moments. You should make sure that your kids, especially feel your presence, by making note of those special days and, if possible, sending gifts, whether it’s something like a virtual card to celebrate the day, or you’re able to post something to them. If you need to keep a planner or calendar, do it. Missing or forgetting these special days can fracture relationships more than you might expect.
Make sure you have a way to materially support them
If you’re working overseas primarily for the ability to better support your family, financially, then you had better ensure that you have a way to get the fruits of your labor back home to them. You might decide, for instance, to have your earnings sent to a joint account that your partner has access to, if that works. Otherwise, you need to find a way to transfer it to them. Depending on where you’re based, it might be easier to send money online than to try do it through traditional banking means. Just always be aware of the costs that come with any transfer, especially if you have to change currency.
Get ready for a long-distance relationship
It isn’t just your kids that you’re going to be taking some distance from, it’s your partner, too,. There are plenty of ways to make a long-distance relationship or even a long-distance marriage work, nowadays. The internet makes it increasingly easy to stay connected, stay in touch, and even stay intimate, both emotionally and physically. You can, for instance, take the time to research some marital aids (to use the old-fashioned term) that can be activated and controlled remotely. You might not need to get that high-tech with it, of course, but the important thing is that you have to make time for both emotional and sexual connection. A relationship needs time like plants need water. Don’t skip on it.
Touch base with your partner
The tips above look at a lot of the practicalities of how you can better support your family while away, but it’s important to consider the emotional essence of that relationship, too. In particular, you want to make sure that you’re having honest conversations with your partner about how the arrangement is working out for them and for you. Don’t just assume that everything is going fine, check to see if they have any concerns, if they feel they’re getting enough of your attention, and to see how they’re able to handle it in the long-term. If you need to adjust your plans for the sake of the family, it might be worth doing it.
It’s important to always be mindful of your work situation and how if influences your family life, and vice verse. Hopefully, the tips help you get the balance just right.