Juggling work and family life can be tough for those that work a regular 9-5 job.
So, how do you manage when you work in a Cabin Crew career where you’re away from home (not in another building or town, but in another country or continent) for prolonged periods, working constantly changing rotas, and often missing all of the big celebrations and milestones – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas….
There are many crew members who have partners and children at home, and who successfully balance their career and their family life.
So, what’s the secret?
A lot of it is about having a positive attitude, and thinking ahead. Rather than looking at your roster and thinking about all the events you’ll miss out on, try to look for the ones you can attend on your days off, and focus on looking forward to those!
Organisation also goes a long way – planning ahead to make the absolute most of the days you do get to spend with your family, and making sure that these times are ones to remember.
I sit down with my roster and the dates for term and term-time holidays and plan what we can do together on the weekends I’m not working and the dates that the kids have school holidays. It’s a win-win situation, as I have something to look forward to and also planning and booking things fairly far in advance quite often means that they are cheaper, rather than doing it last minute.
Lisa, Easyjet Crew
It can be devastating to miss out on birthdays and Christmases if you have children, especially while they’re young.
There are a lot of other professions who face the same difficulties with being away from home for the big events – nurses and doctors, firefighters, police… but it can just be a matter of adapting things slightly.
If I know I’m going to be away for Christmas what we’ve done in the past is had a ‘fake’ Christmas for the kids, where we all open some presents and have a big dinner either just before or just after Christmas Day itself. We’ve don’t the same for birthdays too, the kids are still too young to really bother if their party is on their ‘actual’ birthday.
Elena, British Airways Crew
Young children can sometimes get irrational worries about a parent travelling a lot and being so far away from home. One way to combat this is to involve them with your travels, sit down and read a book or watch a video about the destination you’re travelling to, or use Skype or FaceTime to keep in touch when you can – even just for a five-minute call!
Some Cabin Crew parents bring home a toy or souvenir from the place they’ve spent their last layover, or take postcards, photos and items such as tickets or flyers home to put in a scrapbook.
We’re not just talking about families with children though, as it can be just as tough for those with a spouse or long-term partner at home.
Again, it’s all about the quality time, and making sure that this is your priority. Keeping in regular touch through Skype or similar, and other messaging apps, can really be helpful.
At the end of the day, being away from home is just part and parcel of the job of Cabin Crew, and something you have to accept when you say yes to that offer of employment with an airline!
Think hard before you apply, because the application process and training is tough and time consuming – it would be a shame to get part of the way through then realise that the career of Cabin Crew is not really what you imagined.