My husband occasionally has to travel for work. While this travel is usually an exciting opportunity for him, it also means a few things for our family…
- I will be the sole caregiver for our daughter and dogs while he is away (this means that there must be plenty of chocolate in the house – I know a lot of my fellow moms would insert wine or coffee into that statement instead, but I’ve never been a huge fan of either beverage. Chocolate is my vice!
- Our daughter will miss her daddy – she won’t get her big morning hugs or her goodnight kisses. She sometimes has a hard time grasping that he is not at home, and that he will be gone for several days. We make sure to tell her that he is going on a trip, where he is going, and when he will be back – this seems to help.
- My husband, while busy with work commitments, will miss his daughter. He too will miss those big morning hugs and goodnight kisses, bath times, and story times. It is hard to be away from your kids.
It is wonderful and extremely convenient that we live in a world with FaceTime and/or Skype – these amazing tools allow us to still see each other on a daily basis! Our daughter enjoys being able to actually see her daddy while she is talking to him on the phone – she likes to see what he is doing and she likes to show him things around our house (or wherever we may be at the time of the phone call). This technology makes the biggest difference when one parent is away.
Another genius idea that my husband borrowed from his co-worker, Lou, (who travels with his daughter’s friend Roo), was to ask our daughter if he could take one of her stuffed animals/friends with him on his trip back in July. To my surprise, she carefully selected Elmo to accompany daddy on his travels.
Now, I must admit, I was a bit hesitant about this. I could foresee this whole experiment going terribly wrong after my husband departed and my daughter realized that Elmo was no longer in her grasp. I was terrified of the impending meltdown…but, to my surprise, it never came.
My husband made sure to text us pictures of what Elmo was up to on his big adventure (riding the subway, hailing a taxi, flying on an airplane) and we checked in with Elmo during our FaceTimes with daddy too.
This one simple idea has made our times apart as a family,
somehow easier for all of us (thanks Lou)! Our daughter loves to see what her traveling friend is up to – it makes her happy to see her daddy with one of her favorite stuffies. And a happy toddler = a happy mommy! Plus, my husband gets a snuggly travel companion (I have to wonder if this is the real motivation).
To date…Elmo has ventured to the Big Apple, while Hedgehog recently had a close encounter with a cactus, and a hummingbird, in Gateway Canyon, Colorado.
Let the adventures continue!