Mums play an even more important part in the family than usual when their partners are away for long stretches of time due to work or travel. Mums can help avoid resentment from the kids towards a dad who is often away and misses important events. Find out how by listening to this podcast, or read the transcript below.
FIFO (Mum’s Involvement)
Fly-in-fly-out dads: sometimes its fly-in-fly-out to the mines or, like me, you have to go overseas to work. There are a few important tips, but can I just maybe speak first of all to mums in this situation.
Mums, you’re very important in helping the kids understand why dad’s away. Now one of my heroes in this regard is the Clough family. Harold Clough used to have to go away, but his wife was always encouraging the children. When he wasn’t there on their school assembly days, she would say, “Dad would be here, he would love to be here. You know he loves you, but he’s off in Saudi Arabia building a dam, and by building a dam all those people are going to get water for their fields, and they’re going to be able to eat properly, and they’re going to have electricity, so Dad’s doing some really good things.”
As a consequence, when Dad got home, the kids would run up to him and ask him, “Dad, how did the dam go? How’s the electricity going? Tell us how the people have benefited!” And the kids continued to love their dad and didn’t feel resentful, because the mother never made them feel resentful.
There’s a way in which mums can be really powerful in avoiding resentment and helping kids understand why their dad’s away – because he loves them and he’s working for them and for others.