Feeling bad...

Amanda - posted on 12/21/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have 4 children. 2 with an ex from highschool who sees our almost 7 yr old and 4 yr old every other weekend. Me and him have never really been civil and he hates my fiance which makes talking to him about the kids impossible sometimes so we mainly deal with one another through our attorneys. My 2 youngest are with my exhusband. We were actually married for 3 yrs but seperated before my youngest was born. Our daughters almost 2 and 3, see their dad every other weekend, and his family is really easygoing and nice so we get along really well. The problem I'm having is that my exhusband recently was deployed. I always knew there was a chance since he has been active duty since before we married. The thing is is that my almost 3 yr old daughter is breaking my heart everytime she comes back from a weekend with her grandpa and grandma(his dad and stepmom). They went with his parents to his sendoff where pictures were taken with him in his uniform and the girls in there mini ones he had ordered for them. My daughter will come back from a weekend with her grandparents, and talk about how daddy James is gone. He went far far away to a office where he can't see them. SHe says that he is scared and that he talks to her on the phone and tells her he loves her and her sister and that they need to be good for mommy. She'll come home and ask how long he's going to be gone...I'll tell her about a yr, and she'll ask how long that is and I tell her when she's almost 4 he'll come back. She gets a really sad look on her face. My youngest daughter doesn't really realize what's going on and so it's not really affecting her. But my almost 3 yr old is breaking my heart when she talks about him. I put a picture of the 2 at his sendoff on her dresser in case something were to happen to him, and she will ask to sleep with it, and I'll let her. She usually kisses it and sleeps with it tightly in her arms. It's making me feel so bad because I don't know how to make it easier for her. She will be okay for awhile but once she talks to him on the phone she'll go into a slump for a few days. I have played this Elmo Sesame Street dvd for her and her sister about parents deploying many times, but she still gets upset, which I don't blame her...I'm just wondering if anyone knows how to make this easier for her! :( It's breaking my heart and I don't like her feeling like this....

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Tah - posted on 12/21/2010

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you can do some things for her that will help her understand on her level. At that age, they don't really have that concept of a year, 18 months, etc. You can count the days of his deployment and make a chain, use whatever you like, popcorn, construction paper or let her pick, and put a picture of him at the end, Let them take a link off everyday. If they can see the link getting shorter, it makes it real to them. they will see after awhile that the chain is getting smaller and they are closer to daddy. You can also mark off a calender. Also, about once a month, let them send something to him in a care package, pictures they have made, snacks that they like to eat together, things like that, it doesn't have to be big and expensive, and tell them it makes daddy happy when he gets presents from his girls. you are doing the right thing by letting them keep the pictures etc but just getting them involved can help wonders. They are gonna miss daddy regardless, and it is a heartbreaker, my kids ask for my husband when he is just on duty for a day and a half so the deployments are hard, but they adjust as long as they can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Also make sure to show them towards the end that the chain is getting shorter, or if you use a calender that their aren't many more days left. I hope i helped.



o..sorry, one more thing...lol...allow them to do a weekly email update for daddy. pick one day out of the week so they have something to look forward to and when he replies, let them read those as well, he may not be able to reply daily so it will be a real treat when he does and it will also keep him going..

[deleted account]

that is sad...maybe some military moms can help with this one...Tah?
there is also a group for military families that might understnad what you and you're family are feeling.
xox.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/21/2010

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I feel your pain. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job at trying to explain this to a 3 year old. There is so mcuh they do not understand...but letting them try to talk through it definately helps. We moved away from my in laws when my son was 3. He had a hard transistion...she baby sat 3 times per week, and we were actually living with them for 1 year before we moved. So we skype every weekend, and talk on the phone as much as possible. I know that is not an option, but maybe you can have her draw him pictures? Have you narrate a letter to him? Stuff that will make her feel like she is a part of this. Sorry, I know this is hard. Best wishes!

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