Parental guilt: Challenges of work travel #6

Blogs about the challenges of work travel

This is the final blog post in my series about the challenges of work travel. My previous blogs in the series included the impact of work travel on physical and mental health, the difficulties for children and high stress for both the travelling employee and their partner, and feelings of isolation and loneliness. This blog series was inspired by a workshop I facilitated for regional managers who frequently travel for work.

Feelings of guilt for the parent who travels

In her article, Kaile Hilliard points out that parents generally feel guilty for leaving their children to travel for work. Her comments are supported by research findings, in which parents who travel for work identified a number of reasons as to why they feel guilty:

  1. leaving their spouse and children and being separated from loved ones

  2. not being available if or when there is a crisis

  3. leaving their spouse to handle all the responsibility at home

  4. missing out on special occasions due to work travel

What can be done to help?

  1. When organisations allow employees to have more flexibility in their travel itinerary, they can plan to be at home for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and school events

  2. Companies can take steps to ensure that employees avoid weekend travel, such as organising events for mid week rather than on a Monday or Friday

How I can help

One way I can offer support is through coaching. My coaching sessions can provide practical strategies for navigating through difficult feelings, like guilt, and identifying helpful actions to take in future.