It is not at all unusual for people to manage their careers from home or hotel rooms these days. Of course, if you work from home you have easy access to friends and family, even if you have to discipline yourself to schedule time for everything. Working from the road can be much more of a challenge when it comes to your loved ones, and we often hear of marriages suffering or children being scarred for life when a parent’s work constantly calls them away.
When UrbLife.com interviewed actor Carl Anthony Payne II a couple of months ago about his GMC Network show Love Me or Leave Me, we talked quite a bit about his work in stage plays around the country. Obviously this means that he’s traveled extensively for work, and has had to maintain strong family ties with his wife and kids regardless of his location.
We asked Carl for a few pieces of advice on keeping relationships strong when you can’t be there in person. People in casual relationships may scoff the idea of ‘reporting in’, but marriage is hard work! Read on as Carl gives us “The Married Man’s Guide to Surviving Life on the Road” and feel free to add your own suggestions!
1. Make sure that you have all your media (cell phones, Skype), and keep the lines of communication open and often. – Call, call, call as much as you can… almost like giving a report constantly of what you’re doing and where you are. Make sure you also talk every night before you go to bed. Act as if you were still at home, so they don’t miss you as much and wonder what’s going on.
2. Keep up with all your lubrications! – Keep a nice fresh stock of lotions and vaselines and all that.
3. Send the check home! – Have all the monies going straight to the crib, so they don’t think you’re out there with the extracurriculars, and they’re reminded constantly of why you’re there. The rent is paid, that’s why I’m over here! Basically if you’ve got kids, they’ll be like, “What’d you bring me?” – but gifts don’t really matter if you’re sending home the check.
4. Plan family meet-ups. – In the case of touring, sometimes you have a day off, so I would either say fly home as often as you can, or bring them out. If you can afford it, that’s definitely a way of keeping down on the drama.
5. When it’s time to come home, go home! – Sometimes when you have kids, you do want that extra day, but get your flights in order! If you’re smart, you’ll say, “I’m supposed to be home Wednesday…” but show up on Tuesday! Basically, you’ve got to catch the first plane smokin’. Get on the 7:00 am plane, not the 4:00 pm plane.
6. Don’t change up your routine. – Do what you do at home while you’re gone, so there’s no difference like, “This is the road me and this is the home me’. Be honest about your situations. “I’m at the club, hit you when I get in.” The problems arise when you act differently. If you are the type of individual that hangs out late [back home], it might be time to switch it up. When you’re on the road, you’re not going home, you’re going to your own hotel room. Get some ‘me’ time. Make the person at home feel as secure as possible.
7. Don’t put yourself in situations. – Don’t write checks your ass can’t cash. Stay focused and keep your eye on the prize – watch out for distractions!