This article contributes to debates about the temporal and affective implications of migration in Southeast Asia by presenting child-focused research concerned with children in rural Lombok, Indonesia, who have been “left behind” by their transnational migrating parents. The article explores the unpredictability of the temporality of migration and how parental absence can be indefinite or permanent, especially for parents who follow undocumented channels of migration. The article explores children’s lived experiences of waiting for their parents to return, often with no contact, and how multiple modes of waiting have become a distinctive part of children’s lives within transnational migrant communities.

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