It tears my son up when his daddy leaves, is there anything I can do?

Melanie - posted on 10/19/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My husband is gone for at least 2 weeks at a time, he is a truck driver. the place he had to pick up at on friday screwed up, and he was not able to get the load until Saturday afternoon so we did not get to see him until Saturday night. He had to leave out again on Sunday afternoon so we did not even have 24 hrs with him. My son is almost 2 and gets so excited when we go and pick up daddy, but when it comes time to drop him back off at the truck he does not want to give him a hug or kiss or anything. He cries when he shuts the car door and mopes around the rest of the day. Is there anything I can do to help him?
thank you

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BetteJo - posted on 10/31/2009

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Hey, Melanie. My name is BetteJo. Have dad make a paper chain with his son, or all the kids) to help count down the 'days til dad comes home' again. I did this with my girls (up to 60 days, it ran out of the den and down the hall) and every day they couldn't wait to tear off another link that would make it shorter and closer to time for daddy to come home. Tear off the link at the same time every day, so they have something to look forward to. The girls could see that time was going by and every few days they (we) would do "the count down" It was a game that made waiting a little bit better. The youngest was 10 months old when we started this and she even understood some of what was going on. It helped that the older one (4 years old) would help explain it in their terms. They knew when the links got down to 1 or 2, it was really close and the excitement really started to build. I hope this helps your family, too. Good luck.

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Amanda - posted on 05/31/2012

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Skype is a big thing too! And it's free! If you have a webcam and dad is able to have one on the road when he stops they can see each other and talk. It is great for us, we use it pretty often so the kids can stay in touch, with all family not just dad, but makes the travel much easier.

Chloe - posted on 11/13/2009

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hey melanie, i know how you feel my son 10 month old he ok on the way up to get his daddy but on the way up to dope him off he crys then on the way home its so bad the crying i have to stop all the time and it can take up to 2 hours or longer to get home. its hard to tell my son that daddy be back on the weekend again, its help a little bit when he gets a toy truck when daddy gets home because it keeps his mine on playing with the truck all week to daddy gets home and he gets a new truck

Amber - posted on 11/11/2009

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My soon to be husband is a marine, and each time he leaves my 2 year old and i she does the same thing.What seems to work for her is seeing alot of pictures of him. She kisses them goodngiht and such. Then she also talks to him on the phone. Whenever she asks about him im always reminding her that daddys at work and will be home soon and bring her gummy bears ( her favorite food ) she seems to understand pretty well and it helps alot.

Kerry - posted on 11/11/2009

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My husband likes to give our boys something very "special" to look after while he is away like his watch or his wallet. It helps our boys to understand that daddy will be back, but in the meantime gives them a little special job to do.

Cindy - posted on 11/10/2009

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I know what you are going threw. I am engaged to an OTR truck driver and we have a 22 month old little girl. He gets in once a week but for only about 24 hours or so. We have a cell phone plan where she can call and talk to him as much as she wants. There are some nights that she wakes up in the middle of the night crying for him and we have to call him before she will go back to sleep. I have pics of him and her on the computer that I let her look at while she is talking to him when she gets to crying for him. Her bed time is 8 pm and tonight she is still up (11:45pm) because he told her he would be home tonight and we would come and pick him up. She refuses to go to sleep until he get in the car. What helps her the most is she knows she can call and talk to him day or night. If when we drop him back off at the truck she has went to sleep - He has to wake her up ! If she doesn't remember dropping him off she is MAD for a day or two. She also doesn't want to give him hugs or kisses bye but He has to give her hugs and kisses. It tears his heart out for her to cry for him and him not be here for her. Again, the mobile to mobile phone calls have been a big help.

Stephanie - posted on 11/08/2009

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When my husband was about to deploy to Iraq shortly after having been gone for three months in Basic Training just before Christmas we took our two little girls-then ages 2 and 5 to Build A Bear workshop. We let each pick out an animal to stuff to represent daddy. Daddy came along in full uniform and went through each stage with the girls. THey very carefully selected hearts and rubbed them and so forth. He even went into the men's bathroom and recorded personal messages on little recorders you place inside the bears. Once stuffed and sewn up-we bought matching ACU's for each bear in a desert pattern. We even sprung for combat boots, berets, dog tags on chains and sunglasses. I can not tell you how many MANY times my daughters have clutched these special bears or as in one case-puppy close when they are missing their dad. After all-his voice is inside.

While he was in Iraq he began a game of tic tac toe with our oldest. He started it and mailed it to us and then she played and mailed it back and so forth until they'd start a new one and on it went. It was a special thing between just the two of them.

I mailed some paperwork from school and art work they made just for him just to keep him in touch. Personally I was drowning in trying to hold it together but we managed and got through it.

Now the girls are older- 4 and 7. They can get clingy when they know a seperation is comming. Two weeks without contact is much longer to them than 3 months with phone calls and internet talks. It's the same for me no matter what. Night time is the worste but I'm on call twenty four seven with no breaks. I sleep with a monitor still so I can go up to comfort which ever child cries out in the night and sometimes that child may come crash on daddy's side of the bed. Our girls sometimes pick out a t-shirt from Daddy's closet to wear to bed to feel closer to him as well. It's just the little things like this.. that make them feel closer to him even when he is physically not here.

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Hi Melanie. My oldest who is 9 used to cry all the time when she was about the same age. So bad it made me cry. After awhile she just got used to it and now she is okay withit. It just takes time. Hang in there.

Danielle - posted on 10/21/2009

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Hi, Melanie. I am new to this site, but I wanted to let you know I feel your pain. It is very hard on kids. I too am married to a trucker, and have been for 15 yrs. My husband started driving when I was pregnant with my first child, I have 3 boys , and my oldest is now soon to be 15. My two oldest were used to their dad not being around much, but it was hardest on my youngest who did have him around for a short while due to him being injured, he was 2 as well when his dad started driving again and he realized his dad would not be coming home like other dads after work. It used to break my heart many a night when he would cry himself to sleep over it. He's now 8, and does wish his dad were home, but has accepted it. I don't knw how long your husbands been driving, but it is a tough career for a family man. I wish I could say it gets easier, I don't think it does, you just need to adjust to the lifestyle the best you can. My husband gave my kids all his time when he came home when they were young, it is harder now as they get older, I was hurt deeply when my oldest told me he did not feel he and his father shared much in common anymore. We are trying to work on that now. Just let your little one know that his father loves him very much, and does not like to leave either, but he has a very important job taking care of the family, as well as the nation, we would be lost without truckers, and unfortunately they are seldom given the credit they deserve. Cell phones make things better these days, so take lots of pictures of your son when he does something special to show daddy, and have your husband take pictures of some of the neat things he may see as well. When your son is older, maybe he can make a little scrapbook, and keep a daily journal so he does not forget to tell dad the important things that happen. Just don't let those lines of communication end. Lastly, make time for yourselves as well, because as I said although my husband made time when he was home for us to do something special as a family, we kinda neglected ourselves, and are trying to work on that as now as well.

It takes a strong woman, and a strong family to endure the lifestyle of a trucker, but if you love each other you will find a way to make it work. Hang in there, and best wishes to you and your family.

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