Monday, September 12, 2011

Live: How we cope when Daddy is out of town...

Once in a while, my dh has to go out of town for business.  As it is, life with three young kids can be pretty unpredictable, but when Daddy goes away, it can be downright ugly at times.  My kids tend to be at their worst when Daddy is away.  They love him a lot {a very good thing} and sometimes let me have it {don't listen, argue, etc...} because they are just mad that he's gone {also a good thing}.  Ok so you are now wondering why letting me have it is a good thing?  So glad you asked... It's because they feel so safe with me that they can show me their worst and they know they will still be loved and they must love him an awful lot to be that disturbed by his absence.  They also know that when they misbehave as all kids do at times, they will run into a boundary, or limit over which they dare not cross out of love for us.

To minimize misbehavior while Daddy is away here are some things we do...
...before he goes:

 - Make a couple of meals ahead so that when Daddy is gone, I don't have quite so much work to do
 - Make sure we have enough food on hand so I don't have to go to the store more than once if possible {some trips are longer and this isn't possible always...}
 - Do as much laundry as we need for the week then forget about it
 - Clean the bathrooms because it won't get done while he's gone...
 - Do something fun as a family the weekend before Daddy leaves {hike, beach, zoo, you name it}
 - Daddy writes thank you cards to our kids before he goes away and when they have good behavior all day,        they get to open one.  Sometimes he even adds a sticker or two to sweeten the deal.

...while he's gone:

 - Stay busy out of the house for at least 3 hours on most days
 - Plan extra time for cuddling and reading books together
 - Make a paper chain together and take turns cutting off a link at the end of each day
 - I go to sleep earlier so I can be a decent mom from 6pm until the kids go to bed... {My mom brain is usually fried by 6 and in deep need of a recharge by sleep.}
 - We try to at least let them hear his voice once a day even if it's a voicemail, sometimes we can video conference.
 - Relax the rules a little bit, but not too much to give the kids enough of a boundary and enough room to learn to cope with major {temporary} life changes.

If your family has a mom or dad who goes out of town from time to time and you have different strategies for dealing with it, let us know.  That way we can learn from each other... ;o)

Keepin' it Real!


  1. That is so awesome!!! When my husband was in the military, there was a lot of talk with the moms about what to do to help your kids cope when daddy leaves. One of the great things they suggested was to have the dad read a few stories to the kids one night after they are in bed and you video him doing it. Then you have a great surprise for them a story every few days from daddy. :)

  2. That is a great one! We will do that the next time Daddy goes out of town. Thanks for sharing.


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