When you’re a parent, it’s hard to have a job that takes you away from home. After all, parenting is essentially a 24/7 job. If you’re not around, it can be hard to fulfill your role. But for many, part of being a parent is providing for their family.
Truck driving can be a great way to do that. Job availability is at record highs. Payment and incentives continue to rise. However, you do have to face the issue of being away from home.
It’s definitely still possible to be both a truck driver and a good parent. You just need to be especially intentional. Here is some advice we’ve gathered from other trucking parents out there.
Make the Most of Your Time at Home
When a truck driver returns from a long haul, their first instinct is often to rest and relax. Rest is certainly important for a truck driver. However, you should also soak up time with your kids while you can. Whether it’s playing games, going out to eat, attending their school events, or something else, make sure you’re investing time with them.
But also, be respectful of their time, especially if they’re older. Especially once they become teenagers, kids start to have a life outside of the house. Make sure they know when you’re going to be around so they can plan accordingly.
Keep in Regular Contact
Staying in touch with people from a distance has never been easier. Smartphones are with us wherever we go. Not only can you text and call, but there’s a variety of social media apps that allow you to engage with your children. Make sure you do so, even if it’s simply sending a text saying, “hope you have a great day”.
If they have a smartphone, you can also try to use an app like Snapchat to send them funny pictures and videos. Ask them what they’re using and how you can keep in touch with them better.
Try Doing the Same Activities While Apart
Another great idea is to participate in a shared activity while you’re on the road. This can be as simple as reading through the same book together. You can set a point in the book you’re trying to reach while you’re gone. Then, when you’re back, you can talk about what you read.
This can also be done with a game. If your kid is playing a game on a smart device or a portable gaming system, you could play along in the same game as they do. It might not seem like much, but it can really provide something to relate to while you’re around.
Take Photos of Your Trips
Today’s smartphones have some really impressive cameras on them. As you travel along the countryside, try to capture some photos of your trip. You shouldn’t be doing this while driving, of course.
Once you get back, you can show them the pictures and tell them the story of your trip.
Find a Company That Provides Quality Home Time and PTO
The longer away you are from home, the more difficult it becomes to maintain a relationship with your child. While all the suggestions above are great ways to stay in touch with your kids, you still need to see them in person on a regular basis.
For that, you need a trucking job that stresses regular quality home time.
At Woodruff Enterprises, most of our routes are within a 500-mile radius, which means are drivers are usually only gone one night at a time. The next night, they’re right back at home with their families. This allows them to stay active in their kids’ lives.
Additionally, we offer paid-time off for extended stays and trips.