Dan recently spent a week in Arizona on a mission’s trip. This was his first major trip where our daughter was able to (loudly) express how much she missed him. Here are some survival tips we followed while Dan was gone.
Stock up on cheap entertainment
Before Dan left, I went to the dollar bins at Target and picked up something for each day he was gone. Stickers, a small white board, a coloring book and some other small goodies came out when we were having a particularly hard time.
I know some moms who take their kids to a hotel for the night when their dad is gone. This isn’t in our budget right now but we did spend a whopping $8 to buy a little pool for our back porch. This was a lifesaver for the hot afternoons when we were feeling grumpy because daddy wouldn’t be home for dinner.
Do something out of the ordinary
We are a one car family so with Dan gone we had the car more often than usual. We took advantage of that and headed over to a friend’s house one day, went to the park another and ran some boredom busting errands throughout the week.
We were very fortunate to be able to ichat with Dan a couple of times while he was gone. We also talked to him on the phone. We all enjoyed hearing each other’s voices and seeing each other’s faces.
Offer a simple explanation
Our two-year old demanded to know where Daddy was each and every day. So each time I replied with, “You know how you get so excited to go to church?” “Yes!” she replied. “Well Daddy is helping kids who don’t have a church to go to; kids who don’t know about Jesus.” This simple explanation seemed to resonate with her (for at least 10 minutes until she asked again).
Give yourself a break
I’m the first to admit I don’t know how single moms or military wives do it. I miss Dan like crazy when he’s gone. And I miss his help. So when he is away, I try not to put too much pressure on myself. And when he gets back I take some much needed alone time.
What tips do you have for when your spouse is away?