When it Gets Tough

My husband is on a month long drill and this morning my three year old woke up screaming that “Daddy is downstairs! Let me go downstairs! I want to see Daddy!” When I finally calmed him down, he asked, “Is Daddy coming home tonight?”

Cue the sound of my heart breaking.

At least Daddy is coming home. And at least he is coming home in a couple of weeks. And at least he is not overseas.

How do you answer the questions when Mommy or Daddy is gone on a long drill or a deployment? How do you handle the meltdowns? How do you keep them looking forward to the homecoming without making the days seem overwhelming?

(Photo: U.S. Air Force/Justin Connaher)

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  1. We’re working on a deployment too, and I notice with little ones, the less you mention it, the easier it is on them…think about it…all those little comments you tend to make, sometimes under your breath to yourself, the kids pick up on it…they are like sponges. It’s okay to mention Daddy and when Daddy Skypes or whatever to call the kids over and say let’s talk to Daddy on the computer…but whenever we say things like “we’re talking to Daddy tonight” or other things like that…even if you planned those moments ahead of time…don’t do it in case of schedule changes downrange. It only sets them up for disappointment. Live in the now and talk in the now is what keeps the kids happy and healthy.

  2. Trooppetrie says:

    Have not been on your blog for a while. I miss military monday. How are you doing. Separations are hard rather it is a day or a week or a year. Glad you know he is coming home soon

  3. Homemom3 says:

    I recently had to do this with my youngest. He gave his dad a hug and kiss before he had to leave and we even told him he’d be gone a week. But how does a 4 year old really understand time? We got home after his siblings got out of school and he insisted daddy was hiding somewhere, he searched everywhere before I quickly called daddy and had him tell him he wasn’t coming home yet. I think sometimes we just have to tell them daily. Make sure to have pictures around of daddy unless you are lucky enough to have a “Daddy Doll” around for them to talk with when they really miss them. I never realized how hard it would be once out of the Marines and then into the reserves.

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