never there
November 29, 2012 8:33 PM   Subscribe

Did you grow up with parent(s) who loved you but were not around a lot? How did that impact you and the person you are today? How did it impact your relationship with you parents? What do you wish your parent(s) did differently? Do you think it is every possible to have a healthy family situation with parents who are gone a lot?

I am asking this question because I would to have children but I have a demanding work schedule and there is a high probably that future partners will also have a demanding work schedule. Also I am concerned if I had children I would spend too much time away from them and I have heard people talking about attachment disorder.
posted by seesom to Human Relations (30 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I didn't mind that I couldn't see more of my mom. But I was always sad that she didn't make more of an effort to find out what I was doing with my time, and share in the things that interested me. I always knew that she loved me very much, but I also knew she wasn't paying much attention to the details when she kept putting me in ballet classes instead of enrolling me in karate.

As an adult, this mostly just means that I don't bother to tell her very much about my hobbies or my interests. I learned as a child that I would only end up disappointed if I tried to share my passions with her. She just didn't make the time.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:41 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

My parents both worked full-time, which meant on weeknights I saw dad for a couple of hours before bed and mom maybe the same or maybe not at all (she is a therapist, and has to work when her clients can see her. This was more pronounced when I was young and she was less established.) Mom also worked half-days on Saturdays until I was at least eight or so - that was Quality Dad Time (read: diner food and TV.) When I was in high school, my sister had medical problems that meant for about six months, my dad lived halfway across the country with her and mom spent every other weekend there. So... that probably counts as "not around a lot," in aggregate.

I get along with them fine, always have, and am closer to them than a lot of people are to their parents - mostly, it seems, because mine are tolerably well-adjusted and did pay attention to me when they were around, came to sports events when they could, and were generally good people. My sister has a more tempestuous relationship with them, but she's a more tempestuous person, and it's still what I'd call a positive, healthy relationship. (Just... louder.)

The big thing, as I've mentioned before, is that the people who are spending time with your kids have a lot of access and a lot of influence. This went more or less fine for me (one incident will no doubt make a fine novella some day) but I think I mostly got lucky. (And my mom's a good judge of character - see above, re: therapist.) So yeah, totally possible, totally doable, but there are things to think about and things to pay extra attention to.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:51 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Be mindful in choosing a partner to co-parent with. Things got....different (i.e. miserable) during my father's frequent business trips, when my mother's nuttiness got even nuttier because she felt overwhelmed by 3 kids (and there was no adult witness to this side of her behavior).
posted by availablelight at 9:05 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Attachement disorder isn't what you seem to think it is. As long as you child has a loving parent and a loving full-time care-giver, your odds are as good as anyone else's.

My mother was a single mother for many years, worked long hours and travelled. My family had the same nanny from the time I was five days old for twenty three years. We were loved, well-raised, and secure. We loved Nanny enormously but that did not compete with or replace the love we had for our mother, or even for my absent, charming, problematic father. As an adult, I have an amazing relationship with my mother.

Get an awesome nanny, treat her like a member of the family, and pay her your bodyweight in gold.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:07 PM on November 29, 2012 [11 favorites]

My mom owns a small business (and routinely worked from 8-8) and my dad was a doctor (so call, and actually worked in another state 2/4 weeks a month for a while). They were the most devoted and loving parents a kid could have.

YMMV but it worked for me.
posted by Strass at 9:08 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, yeah I had an older caregiver who took care of me when I was younger, and picked me up at school and helped around the house etc. until I could drive. She was lovely and was pretty much part of the family, similar to DarlingBri's situation.
posted by Strass at 9:10 PM on November 29, 2012

We spent more time with my dad than we did with my mom. She had the big career and got home late most days.

Honestly, it was pretty awesome. We spent Summer days and after school pretty much on our own once we were about 8. We spent time at the community pool, the library, the shopping center. We got ourselves to girl scouts and piano lessons. We had chores which we executed without supervision including grocery shopping and prep chef for dinner. There were neighbors that we checked in with on a regular basis and we had to call my mom's office at specific times. Other than that - we had hours on our own. We did spend time with my folks on weekends, but during the school week we were able to roam free as long as we showed up at home when the streetlights came on at dusk.

We also absolutely knew that they loved us without question. I wouldn't trade that level of autonomy as a child for the world. We grew up independent and able to deal with problems. (Which other people do who grow up with other styles of parenting.)

I'm still extremely close to my parents. I've called them every Sunday night since I moved out of their house at 18. They come and visit me and my husband for a month at a time.

I'm not sure why it worked so well for us - partly my parents temperament, partly me and my sister's. It was just total sane for us.
posted by 26.2 at 9:10 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It wasn't the time I spent alone that was a problem. It was them constantly being at each other's throats and having poor emotional regulation / expression. Just keep the household warm and safe feeling.
posted by ead at 9:13 PM on November 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

Throughout much of human history, parents worked many more hours than you or I ever will (I'm generalizing, but not much) and managed to raise healthy happy children. If you want to be a parent, this should not get in your way.
posted by judith at 9:17 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

One night when I was a kid my parents took me to the circus.

What made the night very cool (besides the cotton candy) was the fact that they worked 6 nights of the week. So it was a special occasion indeed.

(Also, my brother didn't get to go too, so I had the entire back seat to doze off on the way back.)

If you don't have much time to spend with the kids, try to make the time you do spend with them special and noteworthy. They'll remember it (20+ years now!) and thank you for it.
posted by ditto75 at 9:24 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was a latchkey kid, and it was sort of awesome being able to figure stuff out on our own. My dad wasn't around as much as my mom by virtue of his job (retail manager), but the only reason I didn't feel as close to him for a time was because I was a teenager and we just didn't get along. Before that though, even though he worked some nights and weekends, he'd always make an effort to spend time with us. My mom later complained that he missed out on a lot of the annoying stuff (discipline, homework help, permission slips), but we knew he loved us. It also helped that he would take us to baseball games or concerts every so often - memorable one on one time! My mom usually would take us out to dinner the nights he worked late. It was sort of a party.

Looking back now, my brother and I really learned how to function and about responsibility because we were alone most afternoons. We were expected to help get dinner ready, clean up the kitchen to cook, and stuff like that. (My dad would pay us in ice cream if we cleaned up ant infestations before he got home. It was such a great deal.)
posted by kendrak at 9:26 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

My father worked brutally long hours. My mom had a more-than-full-time job, but she was home in time to make dinner and had off (technically) on weekends. My sister told me that when she was growing up, she "thought a 9-5 job meant that you worked part time."

For the most part, it was actually fine. Keep in mind that for many, many families, especially immigrant families, this is the norm-- at least one parent frequently works really long hours in a family business, and possibly both parents, leaving the kids to be supervised at home by the grandparents. These days, a combination of nannies, babysitters, and after school programs can fill in the gap.

There was no problem with "attachment disorder" or anything like that. I saw plenty of my parents, and in any case between school and sports and the like, I had plenty of stuff to keep me occupied. And I always grew up with examples of people who worked very hard, had a strong work ethic, and were successful. They were great role models that way, and they compared favorably with other parents I knew who weren't willing or able to put in the time towards their careers to become successful. They were very devoted in that their hard work was focused on supporting their families while also attending to their obligations. As children, we knew our parents were devoted to us while also learning the valuable lesson that the world did not revolve around us.

As to what I wish had been done differently: I got the impression that my father had ideas about how he wanted to raise us, be he didn't have time to spend on it. Certain things kids learn on their own, but other things require a lot of parental attention and supervision (music lessons, sports, helping with homework to the point where the kids master the material, etc.). While it was nice that money was never an impediment when it came to going to summer camps, taking advantage of educational opportunities, taking vacations, or paying tuition, I think my parents got a little too used to the idea that you could spend money on something, and that would solve whatever issue needed to be addressed, when in fact, sometimes things require time and attention to solve.

Honestly, your kids will have as good a chance as any other kids', probably better because they will be raised in an environment with better access to social capital and financial resources. My siblings and I are all rather close to my parents, though one of the siblings has a rather tempestuous relationship with them, and his problems didn't get solved on their own, and probably could have used more time and attention from my parents to address. My parents admitted that they were a little less willing to discipline us because they didn't have that much time to spend with us, so they time they did spend with us, they wanted to do something other than punish us for stuff we did wrong. And I think we could have used more discipline.

The other issue is that working such long hours and having a family can be socially isolating. My parents could have used some more friends and a better social circle.
posted by bright colored sock puppet at 9:27 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Elaborating a bit more...

My parents ran their own small business. My dad's schedule was pretty much 10 am - 10 pm... My mom ended up forcing him to wake early to take me to school, otherwise we wouldn't see each other at all. As to my mom, she'd pick me up from school and take me to wherever I needed to go, then drop me off at home, then head back out to work the evening shift.

If anything, the fact that my parents weren't around made me depend a lot on my imagination. Not just workaholics, my parents were also protective, so unless they knew the people personally, they wouldn't let anyone babysit me, and since they worked all the time... they'd just put me in the storage area with some toys and I had to entertain myself for several hours with them. I also read a lot. So that could be the root cause of my introvertedness as a bookworm.

Now that my parents are retired, we have a much healthier relationship, but all that time, I really didn't know my parents very well, especially my dad (see above for why). And to this day, some of the best convos I have with my dad revolve around how the business worked (since it involved food, those talks can get your stomach growling). Truth be told, at times I was jealous of their business; I even called it their "second son" ie coming between me and my (older) brother.

Still though, I think we had a decent family situation. My parents made sure we had what we needed for school etc, with mom spending that one hour she had after picking me up from school and before heading back to work to find me that new pair of shoes / pants / whatever. Basically when they were free, we were together. The one day that we as a family all had free was Sunday, and I can still remember some Sundays with my mom cooking in the kitchen, dad watching tv and my brother and I doing our homework before school started back up. What seemed like a typical night for a family (at least for someone bred on wholesome tv shows) was rather uncommon for us, which makes me all the more fond of them now.
posted by ditto75 at 9:31 PM on November 29, 2012

my mom worked full-time and my dad drove a semi so had a few overnights per week, and they ran a small blind-installing business, so were often gone on weekends and evenings for periods of time.

it was fine. there was lots of love and affection and interest when they were around, and they made an effort to be around when they could or needed to be for events and things. when they couldn't, we had a babysitter (nanny, really) an older lady named sandy, who was great and wonderful and who we loved like she was some kind of third parent.

really, it will probably be fine. all three of us turned out totally fine, I'm close with both my parents still, even after being moved out for almost a decade. I never felt at all neglected or anything, my parents just worked. they had to, it was always just a fact of life, and I don't think any of us felt like it was bad. occasionally people will say something like "it must have been hard to have both your parents working so much" which always strikes me as weird, because it just really wasn't. it was a complete non-issue.
posted by euphoria066 at 9:32 PM on November 29, 2012

My father worked in one state (NY) and the rest of my family lived in another (GA) for about four years. He would fly home on weekends and spend most of that time working on the yard or on his various projects alone. I was age 10-14 at that time. I have to say, it was pretty brutal for my relationship with him, especially as he was (and still is) not an emotionally demonstrative man, at least towards his children. He never once told me he loved me, for instance (although I know that he does love me). Love was shown through my mother or through money. It was really rough to be that age with a dad in my life who seemed to be a no more than a ghost. When I'd see friends interacting with their fathers in a more normal, healthy way it was like observing an alien life form. I spent most of my late teens/early 20s resenting my dad and/or not talking to him at all. I still don't talk to him much. It makes me sad, though it no longer makes me mad.

I've had some major challenges forming healthy relationships with men throughout my adult life. Related? Yeah, maybe a little.
posted by medeine at 11:56 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Due to my dad's job, which meant we moved house a lot, I went to boarding school from age 8. And my folks moved several thousand miles and a 24 hour journey away from my school when I was 13, so I saw them only in school holidays and was able to phone them only in the half term breaks.

I have a normal, healthy and great relationship with them and speak to them and see them regularly now. Arguably, I have a better relationship with them than some people who lived full time with their parents and strained at the leash, took one another for granted, or just found one another wanting in some way. I bypassed the difficult teenage years where living with my parents was challenging for any of us.

Every time I see my folks it is considered by both sides to be a treat and we have a great time. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see how hard it was for them, and how much trust they needed to put into me. Not least because the trip home, on my own from age 14 once my brother left school, was like planes, trains and automobiles (train, bus, airplane, another airplane, a third airplane, car). It didn't cripple me emotionally or stop me relating to my parents in any way. I grew up, I think, more independent and less scared of the world as a result of my experience.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:08 AM on November 30, 2012

I should add my childhood predated email or Skype also. My mum grew up in similar circumstances and she had an equally good relationship with her parents and remained close to them throughout their lives.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:13 AM on November 30, 2012

My father was literally gone a little over 50% of my childhood, and it was fine.

My father was a US Navy submariner, and was at sea for +/- three months, home for three months, gone for three months, home for three months, etc. etc. until I was 15 years old; even during the alternate three months (when he was on shore) he worked longish hours. Perhaps submariners have more communication with their families nowadays, but in the 1950s-1960s, as far as I was concerned there was effectively zero contact while he was at sea --- my mother was permitted exactly ONE 15-word message during each of those times, but for security reasons they kept radio communications to an absolute minimum. Obviously this was well before email, Skype etc.; we could write, of course, but mail delivery to him was iffy, and mail from him to us at home was even more rare. His homecomings were treated as small family celebrations.

I suspect it made my siblings and I more independent than if he'd been around all the time: with one parent home (Mom) and several kids, obviously there was a limit to how much one-on-one kid/parent time was available: so we needed to take care of more by ourselves, without as much on-the-spot backup and advice than if both parents had been available every day.
posted by easily confused at 4:20 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

My dad was a go to work - go to the pub - come home and go to bed person. My mom worked nights for most of junior high and high school years. I think it had a couple of effects on me.

1. It made me more independent. At 12 years old I was often responsible for getting dinner for my two younger brothers and getting them to bed.

2. It made me very adamant about not being like that when I became a parent. My dad maybe made it to 5 Little League / High school basketball games in my entire life. I coached my son's teams and I gave up golf years ago because I didn't like taking off for 6+ hours on a weekend when I could be doing something with my wife and kids.
posted by COD at 5:11 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had extremely busy but very loving parents whose careers often took them away from home for long periods of time. This was in India, so we had not just a nanny for me, but also a cook and a maid to take care of the house. Besides this I had grandparents on both sides of the family living close to home as well as aunts and uncles. I was an only child.

When I was very young both my parents were around, my mom in particular had a year off for maternity leave. Soon however, they both were traveling a lot and their job often led to their being posted in places that were overnight train journeys away. Usually one parent would be in my home town and I would stay with them, visiting the other parent on the weekends. When both were out of town, I stayed with one or other set of grandparents. My dad went to grad school when I was quite young (in the US) and was there for five years. I stayed with my mom in India for three years of this period, and for two years with my dad in the US while he was in grad school (which must have been incredibly tough for him to do with no household help, looking back) and my mom was in another grad program on the opposite side of the US.

As they became more senior, the amount of time they spent outside our home city decreased. From the age of about 10 they were pretty permanently based in my home city, though they both still traveled a lot. They made a huge effort to go to PTA meetings and sports days and debates and they were extremely involved (perhaps too involved) in my life. I had a great relationship with my parents throughout my childhood and I continue to have a great relationship with them now. I don't remember feeling deprived by the fact that they were traveling so much -- I was proud of their careers and happy when they brought me back souvenirs of the various places they had been. I thought they were much cooler than my classmates' parents.
posted by peacheater at 5:32 AM on November 30, 2012

Truckers, All Business sales forces, Soldiers, Client Reps, Actors, Contractors of every shape and size... All spend tons of time away from home.

Most have kids and don't create sad terrible murder babies.

In my experience (from both sides) it is harder on the parents than the kids.
posted by French Fry at 7:26 AM on November 30, 2012

On AskMe, it seems that no one is shy about talking about how they had a hard relationship with their parents or no longer speak to them, etc. I am not seeing a lot of that on this thread. I find that very telling.

(correlation is not causation, of course-- just that the stuff that ruins the relationship between parents and children doesn't seem to have a lot to do with "how much they were home")
posted by bright colored sock puppet at 7:34 AM on November 30, 2012

At times my parents were busy, but still able to spend an hour or two a week doing dun stuff with me. Those times were perfectly fine.

At other times my parents were busy and also emotionally drained from their own work and family stress. They didn't have the energy left to pay any attention to me. Those times sucked and really damaged our relationship.

So I think it depends.

One other thing to think about is that in our modern society, we do not trust children to go anywhere at all on their own. So if you are working all the time, your kid might not be able to spend time with other kids. In my opinion, if you have a job where you can take an hour to pick up your kid and drop him off at soccer practice before heading back to work for a couple hours, you're miles ahead of busy parents who can't.
posted by miyabo at 7:45 AM on November 30, 2012

When I was small, from three month to ten years old, my mom had a demanding career that had her out of the house for long hours. My dad had a small business with his dad so he was gone a lot, too. An elderly couple took care of me, and they became functionally a third set of grandparents that my parents paid to watch me (and my sister, when she came along). When we moved shortly before I turned ten, my mom took a job with more regular hours that had a long commute, so she was mostly gone from 7am-6:30 or so. My dad became a traveling salesman, so he would be gone from anywhere from two days to two weeks at a time.

I think it affected my relationship with my parents in good ways. I have a really good relationship with my parents, and I think being a latchkey kid made me more independent. The only bad thing was that I would be home for three or four hours alone every day in the afternoon after our move, and I had a vivid imagination and was scared of everything when I was younger (like ghosts and vampires and stuff). Sometimes I'd be almost paralyzed with anxiety in the afternoons before my sister got home. I never told anybody about my fears, which was ridiculous. So if you do have kids who are home alone a lot, make sure they aren't watching alien abduction shows on tv and scaring themselves silly.
posted by zoetrope at 7:47 AM on November 30, 2012

I had one parent who wasn't around physically and one who wasn't around emotionally. The emotional distance was harder to accept and more damaging then the physical. I could understand why I wasn't getting attention from someone who wasn't in the room.
posted by Dynex at 11:28 AM on November 30, 2012

My Dad worked extremely long hours: 7 am to 6 or 7 pm, home for dinner, back to work to finish up from 8-11 pm. Every. Single. Day. He also worked every 2nd or 3rd weekend. My Mom worked at my school, but she worked very hard at it and was also very busy raising all 3 of us kids. So there was very little 1-on-1 time. Yet I love them dearly and am generally happy with my upbringing.

Things they did right:

1. The house was harmonious. Work stress never came home, ever. I don't know how they did that. I think they just refused to get worked up (see #2) and instead relaxed and despite being busy, refused to make work their entire life (despite my Dad being in the office 12+ hours every day).

2. If they ever had a fight, I don't know about it. Not because they always see eye-to-eye, but because they both refuse to get worked up and instead made sure to compromise. I always admired their lack of egos.

3. If they ever had a fight / problem, I don't know about it. They never made their problems my problems. Sometimes I wish they had been a little more open, but between handling situations like adults vs dragging kids into it, I'll take the former any day.

4. They never made me wonder if I would see them. If they couldn't attend something, I knew right away and it was treated as a matter of course instead of like a disaster. Seriously, if you have go to a meeting instead of a play, don't catastrophize it because it just makes it worse for the kid.

5. They did make some time. Dad arranged his schedule to start coaching soccer when I was old enough, and he often made it home for dinner before returning to work. He was fortunate to have that flexibility, but I also credit him with using that flexibility. Basically, sometimes he compromised his family time (missing many weekends), sometimes he compromised his work time (leaving for soccer practice). I think the key there is compromising work for family as well as compromising family for work - if work wins 100% of the time, I suspect they'll notice. I wouldn't worry too much unless you are 100% certain that you will always prioritize work over family.

What they didn't do well:

1. Making me feel comfortable opening up to them. I could and did get in trouble for opening up. This could have been helped by more time together, but much more important than time is being caring and nonjudgmental. So this is a problem that can arise with lack of time, but doesn't have to - I would have talked if I had felt comfortable. I still don't really get it when my friends talk about confiding in their parents, or how their parents "are my rock." I'm much more independent, for better and worse.

2. Not getting to know me. I'm a pretty vanilla guy, but I think my parents still found me a little enigmatic. This could have been solved with just a few attempts to understand what I like - PCup's building a PC from scratch? Let's take an hour on a Sunday and have him show me the innards!

In the end, we have a nearly-drama-free family that happily gets together for the holidays. We almost never say the word "love" around one another, but it's there. My parents showed they cared and provided stability and a low-stress home free of the drama that tends to drive families apart. So I'd say there are ways to make it work. My guess is it's about the parents creating a happy (or at least harmonious) home in whatever time is available.
posted by PCup at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

My mom was an elementary school teacher who job-shared while my brother and I were young, but my dad worked a good deal, then went to night school to become a lawyer. While I spent a lot of time with my mom and away from my dad, my dad and I went on some great boy scout trips, where we'd spend extended time together. We have since gone on group hiking trips, and I've really valued and enjoyed this extended time together.

All that said, I'm close to my parents but not as close as my wife is to her parents. I often tell my parents that I love them (and I mean it) and they say they love me in return, but there isn't a closeness I've seen with my wife and her parents. There is a lot more openness, and a lot more interest going both ways. It's not that my parents are disinterested in my life, it's that many conversations seem to skim the surface, where my wife and her parents really discuss their daily lives and how things are going. I feel like I have to pry more from my parents, and there are things that aren't said to avoid embarrassment, awkwardness, and anything other than easy conversations.

In short, be engaged with your child/children whenever you are there, and when you're not right there, keep up with their lives and share about your life with them. Be open and honest.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:45 PM on November 30, 2012

My father had that kind of job. He would be away weeks at a time in other countries, and mum was fairly busy too.

- It made me fairly independent, I was looking after myself a lot. This also led to me moving out earlier than pretty much all of my friends, out of choice. The downside is that I was more inclined to look after problems myself, some of which in hindsight would have been better handled by an adult.

- When Dad was home, often he was stressed, or wanted time to himself. The arguments from both parents being stressed had a major impact on both my relationship with my parents, and my life as an adult in general. Often I would be dragged into an argument, or having no choice since I had to share dinner with my parents who were arguing - leading me to hate most family dinners.

- Being the only kid who didn't have a parent at a school event, or anyone to pick me up/take me to x activity (where buses didn't exist) did stop me doing a few things. When I was older, Mum hired the neighbour's kid to drive me to them, but it would have helped if that'd happened earlier.

If I could have changed anything, I would have changed the arguments and drama. Having absent and busy parents wasn't as much of a problem - having unhappy and stressed parents was.
posted by Ashlyth at 8:54 PM on November 30, 2012

I rarely saw my parents growing up- Mum worked 8-11 if she could get away with it. Dad lived and worked in another city for six years, and once he moved back with us he would work 8-8. Both of them love their jobs.

My siblings and I had four or five basically full-time carers over the years. My gran, and then local women that my Mum met through the playground/ similar. My brother was a difficult child, but whoever was caring for us would have had to deal with that and I don't think the situation would have changed.

-It made us all more independant, and therefore less likely to ask an adult for help. In some situations this was good, in others not so much.

-When we saw our parents it made it really special and good. Obviously as a child I didn't see the way they were stressed, and they never argued in front of us.

-My mum also would taxi us anywhere if we remembered that we could ask (see point one) which was her way of showing love.

-Them working so much gave us (a large family) a better lifestyle than we could of otherwise had, and I have a good releationship with both of my parents.

-You can always see your children more, so in some respects no amount of time together is enough for the parent, whereas for the child, to an extent, they won't notice until they're older.
posted by Braeburn at 11:13 PM on November 30, 2012

My dad worked 12-16 hour per day for most of my childhood. My mom stayed home with my brother and me until we were old enough to go to school, then started working 10-12 hours per day.

I do think it made both me and my brother fairly independent, and a bit reticent to ask other people for help.

We saw a lot more of my mom than my dad, and I feel closer to her than my Dad, although that is probably due to personality issues more than anything else. (Mom is more engaged and interested in what I have to say for its own sake, Dad is more interested in using what I say as a launching pad for his advice/opinions/wisdom).

I always felt loved by both parents, and think I have a better relationship with my parents than a lot of people whose parents were home more often.

In some ways I think the long hours were harder on my parents than they were on me or my brother. My dad in particular feels like he missed out on watching us grow up.
posted by creepygirl at 8:01 AM on December 1, 2012

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