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seperation from dad

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  • seperation from dad

    My husband will leaving to start a new job in a different state, in a week. Our daughter and I will be staying at home for now. Dad has not been away for more than one night, and I'm looking for any advice on how to help my daughter (2 1/2) with dad being gone. And any advice on how to explain moving to a new state, and about selling our current house.



  • #2
    oh mary! i'm so bummed you're leaving

    i know you and your family must be excited, though. i don't have any advice, but hope you stay in touch here!


    • #3
      Here are some silly things we have done.
      Owen will give daddy a special toy to play with while he is a way, and then he will take a picture of himself (with help) playing with it at the new location. 2 1/2 is hard because I don't think they understand far away and time very good yet. We have always tried to show Owen on the calendar when things will happen. Of course then I send Daddy a photo of Owen doing something so that when he calls to talk on the phone Daddy can refer to it and it makes Owen laugh!
      I think the hardest was on ME when hubby would leave. No breaks, no back-up, no adult understanding!
      Don't forget that aspect of it and invite adults over just to fill that void.
      Just talk about him, talk to him, look at pictures... keep him CURRENT in your daily life so it don't seem that he has disappeared. I think that would be a scary thought to a young one!


      • #4
        My husband is military and I grew up military so moving and being away from Daddy is all I know. We put small picture frames in every room of the house when my husband is away. They all have his picture, or one with the kids and him, in them. He will e-mail me new pictures of him in his current surroundings that I use to replace the older pictures with. We also do video calls when he is in a location that allows for them.

        As far as moving, we treat each move as an adventure. DD1 has moved several times and still gets excited about the new places we will see. DD2 has only moved once, so far, and I'm not sure how she will do when it is time for us to move on.

        Naomi hit the nail on the head with the whole "adult interaction" piece. Life is so much better when you interact with others. Play dates have become my source of sanity. I hope you are able to be with your husband soon and that everything goes smoothly for you!


        • #5
          I'll be back after dinner for some ideas that we do..


          • #6
            Daddy Away...

            Having Daddy away is so very hard. Kids easily adapt, but it seems that we wives have such a hard time... I have been seperated from my DH 4 times, due to work, and it NEVER get's any easier. You just adapt.. What we found really helped was to have DH read a story- preferably a new story or 3 on tape or video. Then at bedtime Mommy and kids can "read" with daddy every night. That's pretty easy to do- and it has such a lasting impression. You can also have DH record a conversation to your kids, songs whatever is their thing.

            SPEAKERPHONE!! We didn't have internet or video phone, and we would have a big picture of DH five by seven? or so- right by the phone and when Daddy called we would look at the picture and talk to daddy. Speakerphone works so well, because my kids would often get shy or were mad at daddy and wouldn't hold the phone or even listen. When he's on speaker- he can't be avoided.

            We also would talk about what daddy was doing.. where he was at odd intervals of the day, and if it's an option have daddy take pictures of where he's sleeping, working, living... so that your DD get's a mental image of where exactly he is.

            You will also have to plan for when daddy comes back. Things will be off for a few days while you all get re-acquainted. Allow for issues to pop up, and handle them knowing that it's all tempoary and this too shall pass. While your DH is gone, do small things for yourself that you don't normally do. Get a new book, take a bubble bath in the middle of the night, eat your favorite food or treats. Pamper you- because you are flying solo for a while. It's also good to recognise when you are having a bad day, tell your DD that mommy is sad that daddy is gone... and that you are going to have a "down day" rent a movie, make some popcorn, put on daddy's t-shirts and relax.
            Best Wishes.. It's difficult, but you will do great! When he does come home, you will feel supremely happy and content~ sending you hugs and strenght vibes!


            • #7
              Yang, very good thoughts here. I know who to come to with questions


              • #8
                Something else our daughter loved was a trip to Build-a-Bear. They created a dog together and DH put a recorded message in the paw. I would find her in her bed listening to Daddy's message. After DD3 was born, I would find DD2 playing the message for DD3.

                I agree with Yarngoddess about getting re-acquainted when you are all together again. It helps to prepare for the feelings that will come up as you begin the transition of living together again. The changes in daily routines with Daddy around it a little different than when he was away.


                • #9
                  Wow, thanks for all the great advice. Hopefully we can find something that will make the adjustment easier for all of us. I know DH will be missing us as much as we will be missing him.

                  I never thought about the readjustment when he comes home, I was just trying to figure out how to answer her questions and reassure her that daddy will be back, or we will be with him again soon.

                  Less than a week until he leaves, I need to get organizing some pictures, and stock up on photos of all of us. And maybe a special item for dad to give to daughter before he leaves and vice-versa.
                  Thanks again.


                  • #10
                    I am thankful for this thread and have gotten some good ideas also

                    My husband travels for a living and is typically gone 3-4 days a week, almost EVERY week. (But on the flip side, when he is home, he is with us almost every minute). For us, it definitely HAS gotten easier with time. Maybe we've had more practice

                    We do many of the things mentioned already, but here's some we do that haven't been mentioned yet-

                    I painted a map of the US on one wall in our house. My husband is in a different place everyday, so we move a little picture of him around and talk about the state he is in. I know this will become more meaningful as my son gets older. What about showing your daughter on a map where daddy will be? You could even look up together some things about the place where he will be.

                    A cut-down paper chain. I got this tip from another mom. Make a paper chain, one loop for each day until you will be reunited. Everyday you can cut one chain off and talk about daddy. I think its important to talk about daddy and to daddy as frequently as you remember so that your daughter can feel connected to him in his physical absence. The chain can be a reminder to your daughter how long she has to wait to see daddy.


                    • #11

                      aww Mary I am so sad to lose you from our group but so happy for your family if this is a good thing for your husband
                      You got great tips here so far


                      • #12
                        My DH is military so he is gone a lot. Some of the things that we have done are:

                        DH has recorded bed time stories on a VHS and DVD so the kids can watch it. The love hearing and seeing Daddy on the TV.

                        We've also done the paper chain but the kids tend to freak out about the long chain. Instead of the paper chain we mark off the days on a calendar.

                        The girls each have a picture of Daddy that they can carry around and do what they need to with it. The little ones have their Daddy picture in an unbreakable frame.

                        Daddy also writes emails to each girls and calls as often as he can manage.

                        The girls take turns sitting in Daddy's chair at the table.

                        The girls also take turns sleeping on Daddy's pillow.

                        Another thing we do and this may seem weird but Daddy leaves a shirt for me and the 2 older girls that he has worn and has his cologne on so that it smells like him. If he is gone for a long time then he will send us another one as the smell leaves.

                        Oh, DH will also write letters to the girls and leave them in their rooms so that they can find them later.

                        I know that there is more little things that we do but I can't think of anything else right now but as I do I'll add.

                        Sorry for the book.

                        and you will both get through this.