How my work affected my relationship with my children

Philippines
October 9, 2012 5:42am CST
I worked overseas for more than 8 years, I left my 3 children with my parents when they were very young. We never had a chance to build a strong relationship as a family before I left, I thougt that a constant phone calls and video chat/conversations would really help to make them feel that, no matter how far I am, they can still feel my love and care for them. But it didn't helped me at all. Everytime I spend my vacation with them, I can feel that they are not comfortable with me, and they cannot easily open up. I am guilty that I never been a good mother to them.
4 people like this
16 responses
@GemmaR (8526)
9 Oct 12
It can be very hard to balance your relationship with your children and your work life, and not all that many people can ever get it completely right. The good news is that you know about it now, and this might mean that you can do something to change it. You shouldn't give up work completely, but certainly trying to spend a little bit more time with your children might mean that they would be more likely to open up to you. It will be difficult, but over time they will get to know you better and you will be able to get the relationship that you want.
• Philippines
9 Oct 12
I agree, and I have to admit that I'm more focused with my work before. I just hope that it's not yet too late for me to win them back and start things out all over again.
@riyauro (6430)
• India
9 Oct 12
That is bad and i know it well and I understand you well because I husband and his siblings are like away from their father and the father too have no affection for them because all his life he was away from them. He was in Qatar working there and kids with the wife in motherland. Still there is the gap and it won't be fill because its been long like this. You had spent 8 years away from them and still have room for improvement. So talk to them and make them feel loved. They will accept you. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day ahead.
• Philippines
9 Oct 12
I know it will be a long and uneasy process, but I'm doing my best to fill that gap. I believe that we will be happy together soon..
@beamer88 (4268)
• Philippines
9 Oct 12
I don't think you were a bad mother. You chose to work overseas to earn better in order to provide for you children. It was a big sacrifice on your part to be away from your children for a long time. As to your children being uncomfortable when you're with them during your vacation, I guess this is something that could happen. I mean, they were very young when you left. They got used to being with their grandparents. Just give them time. I'm sure they'd eventually understand and won't feel uncomfortable anymore.
• Philippines
9 Oct 12
I understand that they'll need time to realize why I have to leave them, but I don't want them to feel or think that I just left them for work and I don't care about them anymore.
@jenny1015 (13390)
• Philippines
17 Jan 13
You are not as bad as you think. You left because you need to feed your kids. It is just unfortunate that you had you luck outside of the country. But that is what usually happens when a parents goes abroad to work. But, don't feel too bad about you. Your children will understand the situation when they grow up. But you can start talking to them as early as now so that they would feel a bit comfortable with you.
@ztuberi (396)
• Philippines
12 Oct 12
No you're not, I know you have very good intentions. And you're working for them, right? But also understand, that they are kids, the first thing they would need is your presence, your warm. Of course they would always adjust everytime you'll come for a vacation. Honestly, I would not choose to left far away for work and leave my children especially if they are that young. As you have said, you dont have strong relationships. I guess you should start thinking on staying with them while they are still young. It would be harder for you if they'll continue to grow up without you. I have cousins whom their mother is a career woman, and its really bothering, they always have misunderstandings.
@youless (91143)
• Guangzhou, China
11 Oct 12
I am sorry to hear that. I know how hard it is for you and your family. All of you miss many important moments because you have to work hard for your family since they can live better. If possible, you shall think about return home and stay with your family. Try to find a local job so that you can have more time with your family. Money is important but family shall be much more important, too. Especially when you think the finance is OK for your family.
@SIMPLYD (78758)
• Philippines
10 Oct 12
Don't feel that way my friend. You just did your part of providing well for their needs and provisions. It is just but natural for them to feel that way because you were always away from them during those 8 years. Just continue trying to be their "mother" and in no time you will regain back their rapport with you. Though, do not expect that it will surpass their closeness to your parents who were the ones who literally see them grow, my friend.
@sq2108 (95)
• China
10 Oct 12
With no doubt, you are a good mother. All you do is for your family and your children. But your kids are too young to understand you, they need time to grow up and accept you. But i suppose you should come back with your children now. You've worked overseas for more than 8 years.I guess you've made enough money to make your kids have a good life in the future. So i think money is not yours main problem now. You have spend more time with your kids. You should pay more attention to care for their live, their study and their growing now. But please be more patient, you've been away from your children for more than 8 years, so it's not so easy to make your kids feeling comfortable with you.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
10 Oct 12
Though I don't think that I would have ever been the mother that could have left my children to work overseas, I also have to say that I completely understand why you made the decision that you've made. You went to work overseas because of the fact that you wanted better for your children. I can also say that it does make sense that they aren't really comfortable with you because they are not used to being around you all the time. No matter what happens, you should never feel like your children don't love you even though they aren't the most comfortable with you.
@May2008 (179)
• China
9 Oct 12
Everyone konws that it is very hard for a mother to leave her children for a long time. Nobody wants to leave her children alone. Truely it takes time for you to let them feel easy while together with you. As they become older, they will understand your behaviour which is all for them and for the family. Just try to squeeze more time to spend on them. It will be a long process to mend your relationship. But believe that blood is the bond that connects you with your children together and nothing can break it and stop it. Cheer up! You will be a happy mother for you have sacrifice much for the family. One day they will respect you and understand you. :)
@plac44 (1)
• United States
9 Oct 12
Your not a bad mother... you just have to find a way to get closer with your kids. i suggest trying a family activity
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
9 Oct 12
Perhaps it's time for you to go back home and be with your kids before they grow old and don't really know you at all. I have a friend who did just that. After twenty (20) years working abroad, he decided that he needed to come home and spend time with the kids before they all graduate college and start their lives. He had saved up a good sum of money from working all those years and he did just that. He went home, spent what's left of the time with them and celebrated life when all 3 of his kids graduated college. Now that they're working and have their own lives, he went back working for a company that could allow him to come back home at least once every month instead of once every year. I think it's not yet too late. You could at least try. Have a great mylot experience ahead!
@asyria51 (2870)
• United States
9 Oct 12
I work full time an do not get as much time with my child as I would like, and I feel like a lot of people are in the same boat. you had the opportunity to be financially responsible for your family, and did your best to foster a good realtionship with them. As children grow up the go through phases where they do not open up to family.
• United States
9 Oct 12
I would never call putting your kids first being a bad mother. I would sure understnad why they would not feel comfortable around you. all they know id their granmother put them to bed,fed them sent them to school and all the other things you missed out on. when they get older and know the sacrifice you made to put food on the table and clothes on their backs they will respect you if nothing else.
@alexva (2)
• Panama
9 Oct 12
it is a common situation in which many people are involved today. The job distance us from our family and the time is no enoght to satisfy the necesity of sharing our family have. From my real life i am a part time worker because i feel that way i can share more moments with my daughter in her first years. She is very happy every time we can laugh and play. I teach her how to draw her first shapes and there is any more confortable and beauty than this. I love my family but it does not means i dont have my responsabilitys, sometimes we have to make sacrifices and i choose less money for more moments with her.
• India
9 Oct 12
Hi friend, welcome to mylot. Sad to hear about this, why are you thinking you are not a good mother? you have the ability to become a good mother to them, as you are in overseas due to your job, now you are with your kids and have the ability to spend a lot of time with them, use this chance and show your real affection to them