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How to Deal with a Traveling Parent

When a parent is a frequent traveler it makes it very difficult for children. My husband and I have three beautiful children. When I was pregnant with my third child my husband began working out of state. My oldest child was four and my middle child was two, and here I was pregnant with our third. My husband was home long enough for the birth of our son and on the road he went again.

It is very difficult to be a mother of three children and no husband support around. I was a stay home mother. My husband was home on Friday nights and gone again on Sunday morning. This made it very difficult for my children to get close or to even know their father. This went on for three years. We had two daughters and a brand new son. As a father he was very excited that he finally got a son, but they never had anytime to bond.

My poor son lived in a house full of girls. Everything he learned from a girl. When my husband would come home the children really did not know how to react. It was like he was a stranger. You can not blame the children when this happens. He started leaving when they were a very young age. My son was potty trained to use the toilet like a girl. He would sit down on the toilet. My husband tried every weekend to make him use the potty like a boy. But the whole day he would have with his son just wasn’t enough to teach him to be a boy.

My husband had a very difficult time dealing with this because he just wanted to be home with his family. He wanted his children to love him, but he knew they really didn’t know him. Every time he would try to hug them or touch them they just screamed and cried. That hurt him more then anything. Here he was working out of town to pay bills and put food on the table, but he had children who feared him. He would call everyday to talk to them on the phone, but they didn’t want to talk to them. When he would tell them he loved them he never got I love you back. This was very heartbreaking for me and for him.

As their mother I would talk to them all the time about their father. I did not want them to feel like he was a bad person. I wanted them to know him. They would ask me all week when he was going to be home. But as soon as he got there the tears began. You can not make your children do anything. The best thing we could do was let them adjust on their own time. It was very important to both of us that they knew who their daddy was.

When he finally finished his job and came home it took the children months to adjust to him being there constantly. My son would not sit next to him on the couch for about six month and the girls wouldn’t hug him or kiss him for about three months. He wanted them to be excited about him being home, but that just wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. The pitfalls of “in and out” parenting are children will adjust to their parent eventually but it makes it very difficult to trust. The sad thing about a traveling parent is that they miss a lot of their children growing up. My husband never even got to see his sons first steps or ride his first bike.

We all have to give the traveling parent a big high five because they miss out on the most just to support their family. My husband has been home for fours now and my children woul not know what to do without him. He is their best friend. I could not ask for a better man to be the father of my children.