Husband works away from home and children acting out

Elme - posted on 05/09/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




Hi All,
I have not been on the site since my first daughter has been born. But I feel I need friends, and support.

My husband took a new job which has a promising future and will give us financial stability.

It has now been 5 months, and we only see him a couple of days every month. I have a 3 and half year old daughter and a 1 and half year old daughter. And for the last week I have felt like running away.

All they do is fight, cry and have tantrums. They have always been very good. Venuscha-Lee my eldest talks to my husband every night before she goes to bed but Scarlet-Mae the baby is scared of the phone. Whenever he is home, he spends all his time with them.

I don't know how to handle them anymore. I feel that if I punish them I am wrong because it is hard without their father. But if I don't they think it is ok to do what they want. We live with my parents and I get a lot of support from them. But Venuscha-Lee only wants her granny and not me.

The girls also fight over who get something or do something first. It is so bad, that in the mornings we have to drive them to school in two different cars. In the evening my mom takes one child in her house and I take the other, just so that they can stop fighting, crying and screeming.

I work full day, get home late. My mom has to help out where I am not available. It is so hard we feel so tired emosionally at night.

I give up, and need help.



Ange - posted on 10/16/2012




I'm in the same boat. Crazy Dance off sessions in the morning helps get everyone in a good mood. Get a theme song happening! Mine was 'dance the way I feel'. Split bath times. I do an early dinner at around 4/5pm. If the 3yr old isn't hungry then let her wait and eat watching her fav show while you bath the little one. That gives quality one in one time for the little one. Then one bub is in bed, start the bath routine with the 3yr old. Hang out and chat at the bath so she feels like she's had one on one. I'm going to agree that the acting out is probably symptomatic of hubby being away. Little people don't always know why they're upset and angry. Its totally normal & happens to all kids regardless of dad's presence though but if you have a feeling its linked then id go with your instict and discuss it with the 3yr old. I regularly sit my 3yr down when she's being a beast and ask her if she's missing daddy. I've even said to her, I think you're just feeling yucky today and it might be because you miss daddy. It's ok to feel sad but daddy's going to be back soon. Then I suggest we make something for him, like a card or just a drawing. I then take a pic on my phone and send it to him so that they have something to talk about. You can also post letters 'from daddy' to yourself so they can rush out to the letterbox.

Teach the girls to look after eachother. Not in the literal sense (!) but you could say to your eldest, oh look I think LO is missing daddy, shall we give her a cuddle? Or why not bake her some cupcakes etc etc... Anything to initiate getting the bond back. Fake it till they make it ;)

Honestly though, it's hard for a while. You have to adjust too and that's really hard. I know on the days that I'm flat out and things are getting ontop of me I even let myself go onto plastic plates and bowls. Because hey, that dishwasher is not going to unstack itself so I can re stack it with hordes of dirty dishes. Try and do a big cook off and do reheated dinners for most nights. Don't try new foods, stick to what they like, say yes more than no, they are little emotional ticking time bombs until they get used to him going and coming back & that everything in their world is ok.

Movie nights with my 3yr old are very successful too. 1.5hrs of uninterrupted cuddles & she thrives on it.

Give yourself time though. You're a mum, which means you're a strong as anything & you can handle so much more than you think. Definitely get a theme song ;)

Louise - posted on 05/09/2012




The girls acting out is nothing to do with your husband being away although it does not help. It is normal for siblings to fight all the time, what they are doing is vieing for your attention. Make sure you spend time with them individually if you can. Read the older one a bedtime story just you and her and ask her about her day. This is 100% her time. Then try and spend time with the other. It will settle down eventually when they are old enough to understand the concept of share and inside and outside voices.

In the mean time make sure you get some you time too. Ask your parents to babysit once a week and go out with friends to get away from it all. You need some serious chill out time rather than work and kids 24/7.

Also sign up to skype where your younger daughter can see and talk to her daddy. Also he will be able to see pictures and could even read them a book whilst sitting watching the computer.

Stick with it Momma, your doing a good job. Deep breath and carry on, it wont always be like this.


View replies by

Belinda - posted on 09/20/2012




Hi Elme,

i dont know that i can offer you any help, just an understanding ear! My husband started a new job this year also. For the first 5 months we also only saw him for a weekend every 3-4weeks. Now he's on "proper" swings. He is away 3 weeks and home 3 weeks. We have a 9yr old and a 7yr old.... We are all finding its taking lots of adjusting! Our 7yr old boy is taking it the hardest, he misses his daddys soccer and rough play, we all miss him. I'm lucky that i dont work full time, usually only work 2-3 days, so i'm around to be mum and dad and housekeeper and maintenance man etc etc.... It is a busy life!!

Your little ones probably wonder whats happened to their neat little family, Riley used to cry all night when my hubby first left asking me why i let daddy work away... Heartbreaking but it does get easier, i'm lucky that my kids are a bit older!

I'm all about routine these days! I find if i stick to a routine then my head and the kids cope easier. And i always TRY to allow a little down time every week to chill and just hang, watching a dvd or coloring in or reading or what ever. just cuddle and chill time.

I wish i had some insight to help make things easier.... Its hard work!

Chin up

Bonnie - posted on 05/09/2012




I am going to say the same thing, although it doesn't help that your husband is gone, the kids acting out doesn't have anything to do with him being out of town other than just not there in general. My boys always take advantage while my husband is at work. They behave much better when he is home. It's normal.

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