5 Must-Haves for Every Overseas Parent

  Working overseas. A tough decision, but it has to be done.   Especially when you have kids, the thought of being miles and continents away from them can be heartbreaking. But again, it has to be done.   This is why being an overseas parent is not for everybody. No matter how bad the need is for a more stable source of finances, some parents would rather work two or three jobs at home than leave the country.   For those who still believe that this is best however, go for it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to provide nothing but the best for your kids. Just make sure that you have these 5 essentials that every overseas parent should have:  
    • A strong internet connection

 

This is applicable not only on your end, but on those you’re leaving behind as well.

 

Investing on a trustworthy internet provider is more than worth it considering that this will give you the means to check on your kids on a regular basis. After all, what use is the laptop or the smartphones that you purchased for everyone if the connection is going to be intermittent majority of the time?

 

Also, just because you invested on an awesome internet provider does not mean that you would have to invest on expensive gadgets to use as well. If all you’re going to use is Skype or Facebook, you can always opt for cheaper gadgets that are able to run these programs the same way more expensive ones would.

 
    • An unbelievable amount of patience

 

Working abroad does not give you the same luxury of being in close proximity to your loved ones. This means that when news of your daughter dating someone reaches you, you can’t just march through the front door and demand for an explanation. When your son ends up in the principal’s office, there’s no way you can run straight to his school to find out what’s going on.

 

Home is far, far away from where you are, and flying back home every time something happens is not a possible (nor a practical) option.

 

Because of this, patience (buckets and tanks of it) is needed. The length of time between visits could seem endless, but breaking down and giving up in the middle of it all could ruin your chances of fulfilling your long list of dreams not only for your family, but for yourself as well.

 
    • The ability to communicate well

 

You may be the type of family that doesn’t really express how much they love each other when at home. Well, all that’s going to have to change once you leave the country.

 

Physical presence means a lot to your kids, regardless of how vocal you are about your affection. Once the physical connection is gone, you’re going to have to make up for it in other ways.

 

Once all you have are those Skype calls, kisses and hugs are not going to work the same way anymore.

 

Once you’re on Facebook chat, they won’t be able to see that look that you would often give them when you were still back home.

 

This time, everything would have to be spoken out loud, regardless if it’s a constant “I love you” or a stern “What happened?”

 

You’re going to have to stop relying on that killer look (that a lot of parents have often perfected) to discipline your kids. This time, a whole lot of conversations would have to happen for this to work. And if this concept has not been emphasized enough, you can never say “I love you” too often.

 
    • A strong will to follow through on promises

 

When you’re away, you’re going to find yourself making a lot of promises. It could be a way to make up for the absence, or something that allows you to minimize your guilt over not being there.

 

No matter how many promises you find yourself giving, you would also have to keep track of them and make sure you fulfill them.

 

If you promised to call at a certain day, make sure you do so. If you promised to send something, make sure you don’t forget to do that. If you promised to take them on a trip out of town when you come home for a visit, plan that trip beforehand.

 

This way, they have something to hold onto, something that could make them look forward to something. It’s something that could maintain the trust despite the distance.

 
    • A firm resolve to keep the connection alive

 

It’s easy to be distracted once you’re out there, experiencing a totally different culture with completely different people.

 

Sure, it’s going to be lonely at the start.

 

You’re going to constantly yearn for your family. You’ll miss the way your own home smells and looks. You’re going to look for both the bad and the good about living in the Philippines (yes, even the horrific traffic sometimes).

 

But once you establish a routine, make new friends, and start feeling a lot more comfortable wherever you are, things are going to be different.

 

All of a sudden, you’re social calendar becomes full. You start coming home later than usual. You start having friends over. You start having a life outside your old one.

 

When this happens, you have to remember the people you left back home. Sadly, this is one thing that some workers overseas forget as they start enjoying their new life too much.

 

Don’t forget to have regular conversations with your loved ones. Share your newfound life with them and make them just as excited as you are. This way, the connection never dies, and they would never lose their place on your calendar.

  Look at yourself. Do you have all five?   Special thanks to Stephanie Lorenzo for the main image.
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