When Daddy is away…Posted: February 12, 2013
Before I even type one word, let me just say this: Thank you military moms or spouses! Your service to our country is immeasurably commendable and often over looked! You are awesome! I have tremendous respect and appreciation for you!
Single moms and widows: I don’t know how you do it! I think of you and pray for you often! You are amazing and I pray you find the Lord’s strength and patience to make it through this parenting journey!
My husband is not in the military but we have had two different seasons where we lived apart. There was another time when he worked three jobs. He wasn’t “away” but he was not around too much. And now we are entering in to new “fun” with him traveling a lot for his new job.
I have been trained well on how to handle “daddy being away”. My dad was in sales most of my childhood. He traveled a lot. My mom taught me a good deal about handling things alone.
Here are some tips:
#1 – Try to keep to the schedule as best as possible. Eat dinner at the dinner table, keep the same basic bed time routine. Have fun but some kind of consistency will help the kids.
#2 – For me, I am “at home” and so are my kids neither one is in school. So when my husband goes out of town, its a big deal. I could possibly go crazy. So, I try to get out of the house every day. If financially possible, I would eat out at least once a week. Fastfood lunch, a picnic or the mall food court are some cheaper options. There is always some restaurant offering “kids eat free” or .99 kids meals. If not possible at least get out of the house and head to a playground or park.
#3 – Naptime is non-negotiable! Neither one of my kids really nap anymore but I make them have room time. Give yourself a break. Don’t do laundry or dishes or cleaning. Give yourself a break also. If you kids share a room, put on a movie. That at least gives you 90 mins. Be sure physically separate yourself from your kids for a little while (with obvious safety measures in place).
#4 – Take things one day at a time. This past summer we lived apart because of a new job. We visited as much as possible but there was one stint we had to go 3 weeks with out a visit. The kids, who were 4 and 2, would ask when they would see daddy again. I found it was best to say “not today, baby, but soon.” They can’t fully understand time and usually this worked as a simple answer.
$5 – Have fun! This is something my mom taught me. We would have “girls night” and watch movies or eat dessert for dinner. She didn’t do this every night but every once in a while was fun. With my kids, I try to do fun things here and there to take their mind off missing their daddy. It works well for me too.
#6 – Utilize friends and family who offer to help. I mean does this really need explanation? Drop your kids off at grandma’s and go shopping, read a book or take a nap!
#7 – Cut yourself a break. Raising kids is hard. Raising kids by yourself for a week or two (and especially longer) is all the more difficult! If its a regular thing, you could very easily loose yourself in the drudgery of it all. Relax a little (this is me talking to myself), projects and cleaning can wait. Take time to take care of yourself too!
(I am not expert at this but these are a few things I have learned. I know the preschool world and that’s about it. I don’t know how to handle when “Daddy misses a game” or birthday or something. My husband had to miss one of my son’s football games earlier this year and it didn’t go over very well. I tried to down play it and I taped the whole game. We then all watched it together later. If you have tips on being a part-time, one week out of the years or full time single mom – do share : )