Is your partner soon to start working away from home for long periods of time? If this is the case, I’m sure you are starting to prepare for it. To help you do this, I would like to suggest three areas where you can start.
Firstly, observe your partner. What do they do around the house? How do they help in practical ways? This will help you to know what you, the kids, or someone else needs to take on, and what your partner might still be able to do from a distance. Also observe the ways in which your partner interacts with the kids. What do they do together? What are the topics of conversation? This will be helpful topics to focus on on the phone, as this can often be a challenging area.
Secondly, decide on communication. How do you communicate when you are together? How and what will you update your partner about? Will this be a weekly email with bullet points? Or more ad hoc? Remember to consider how you will keep elements of fun in your relationship, so that not every call becomes an update. Will you text/say ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ every day? Will you try as much as possible to speak on the phone once a day? When will you spend time cultivating your relationship?
Thirdly, make space for your kids. What are their love languages? This can be a really helpful tool for showing love to your children even when one partner is away. If you don’t know, you can all take an online quiz to find out which of the five love languages you most identify with. Physical touch can be the most challenging when separated by distance, but there are ideas out there to make it a bit easier. For example, having a teddy bear from the travelling parent that the child can hug. They might also give a stuffed animal to the travelling parent to take with them on their travels. They can then both hug their stuffed animals when they want to hug each other!
Hopefully these pointers are helpful. Let me know how you get on with them, or if you have others from your own experience that you would like to share! I have prepared a worksheet that you can download here.