I knew the week away would be toughest on M, my three year old. I wanted to share some of the ways that I tried to help her through the week. (My one year old son seemed fine, as expected. I will post about what I did for ME another time.) Little did I know just how tough the week would be with being snowed into our home and M missing 3 out of 4 days of preschool due to snow!
- Daddy wrote notes. Before he left, Derek wrote a note to the children for every day that he was gone. I put them in their felt mailbox. Sometimes I even wrote a note for a sweet surprise.
- Daddy recorded a video. Before leaving, I recorded a short video of Derek talking to the children. I waited as long as possible before showing the children, but both loved it! (Derek did request that it not be put on the blog. He knows me!)
- We called Daddy during bedtime snack. Every night we talked to Derek before bedtime so he could say goodnight to the kids. E loved to hear his voice and laughed, but Meghan really talked to him.
- We went grocery shopping in the evening. So we spent the entire evening eating dinner and then shopping. There was no time to miss Daddy!
- We played with friends. This might sound silly, but it was really good to see some friends, though most days we were snowed in.
- We got out of the house! One night we went to the grocery store (before the blizzard hit us), and another night we went to a generous friend's house for dinner. M and E even got in some much needed rough housing with my friend's husband! They loved it!
- Mom played and played and played. I was probably a much better mommy this week than usual, giving LOADS of attention to the kids. Frankly, I am tired of pretending to be the Wonder Pets saving the blowfish, but hey, it works!
- Mom was flexible. One night M wore her dress to bed. She also had "breakfast" (cereal) for dinner one night, in addition to some other things, I swear! (I might not care if I eat fruits or veggies all day long, but I make sure my children do!)
- Mom was silly. I tried to be extra silly. It just helped to lighten the mood.
- M made a "Welcome Home Daddy" sign. I waited until the morning that he was expected to make it, but M was extremely proud of it. She also learned a new phrase, and used it to say welcome home!
What do you do to help your kids overcome a parent going away? I'd love to hear!