My husband, like many spouses, travels for work. While the kids are growing up with this and knowing nothing else, it still makes it difficult. We have started a new “trick” to make the times Daddy is gone a bit easier.
Our oldest is begining to understand the concept of time, but it is still difficult. I have started by making a chart on white paper as a calendar for when Daddy is gone. It is divided into columns for days and rows for activities. Our son picks a symbol and color for each activity (breakfast is cereal, playtime a racecar, lunch a noodle, bathtime is splashing water, bedtime is a bed, etc.) and I fill them into the chart as appropriate. I add a small human figure for Daddy when he is planning to arrive home (erring on later than planned). We include special planned activities including swimming class, playdates or time at the Rec Center’s open gym. As the days goes on, we cross items off.
This has seemed to make a big difference. While he continues to miss his Daddy, letting me know he misses him, this chart helps the time go by faster. The added bonus is that it has helped me too! The “endless” time of handling everything myself doesn’t seem as endless.
Please pray for single parents today! I don’t know how they do it! If you can, please help out a single parent you know – give them (don’t ask as they could say no) a few choices of how you can help, and then do it.