Coping When Daddy Travels with Work

waiting at the airport

Coping When Daddy Travels With Work

I have mentioned a few times that my husband has accepted a new job. It’s a great opportunity, but one we deliberated for a while. His old job involved regular travelling, but a maximum of 4 days at a time. His new job requires him to be away for two weeks in a go. Which is quite a lot of in a 4 and a 1 year old’s life.

We knew it would be something our son would struggle with. He has a lovely bond with his Dad. After debating pros and cons over and over and quite a few sleepless nights, my husband decided to accept the role. It was such a good opportunity for him and we know that many parents travel for much more.

The last two weeks saw my husband’s first two week spell away and as I suspected it has been a tricky whirl of emotions for my son. From tears to anger. There were times I wondered who had stolen my child and replaced him with someone else. I’ve had tantrums and regression. Perhaps more sadly tears, bad dreams and waking in the night with stomach cramps and nightmares about his teeth, which doctor Google informs me is probably anxiety related – but coincidentally his dental check up is handily this week anyway. At one point rolling around on the floor crying that he wanted Daddy, and at his real lowest point, and most unlike him, he hit me. Then there were small things like he wanted to going back to using hooded towels like his younger sister does – rather than a grown up towel. I expected him to struggle, but not as much as did. Perhaps in hindsight I had been a little naïve.

I don’t think it helped that the first week coincided with half term, so that already meant a change in his routine. Then the first three days we all got upset stomachs, the three of us all taking it in turns to be poorly. So it meant the first few days were decidedly dull and TV filled.

My plan was to keep ourselves busy with activities and seeing friends and family and we did do a fair amount of that. But maybe because of this he seemed to veer between big highs and lows. We face-timed with my husband every day and both of the children came to say hello and my husband asked Logan about what he had been up to that day. But they seemed to bore of chatting to him quite quickly – I guess they are still quite young.

There were inevitably times when I wondered if we had done the right thing. And then other times when I thought it’s only two weeks, and surely next time will be easier?

For my husband’s next travels I am determined to be more organised and have a bit of a plan in place. I am hoping now that my son has seen that my husband does actually come back after he’s been away will help. My ideas include:

  • Having a countdown chart until Daddy returns
  • Having a daily fun activity planned that we only do while Daddy is away – I just need to work out what this will be
  • Giving my son something of his Daddy’s to look after for him while he’s away. I’m thinking this could be something like one of his t-shirts that will have his scent on
  • Finally, doing something a bit special as a treat on the day he goes away

On the positive side, their reunion at the airport was absolutely wonderful. We had to wait for a while after an issue getting the cases off the airplane, but I think that this picture says it all. And of course, Daddy managed to bring back a toy for each of the children too. Which always helps ease the troubles away.

daddy reunion

Does your husband travel with work? Do you have any tips you could share with me?

A Cornish Mum
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

38 thoughts on “Coping When Daddy Travels with Work”

  1. My two love to make things for daddy when they don’t get to see him in the week. Pictures/crafts etc. They leave them all on his pillow for when he gets home! x

  2. Back when BP was young (I’m talking 2-3) the Hubby would travel with work. It wasn’t often but when he did he would be away for a week at a time. It was tough. We had many video chats and phone calls to ease BPs troubles.

    Perhaps try out Google hangout or Apple’s Facetime the next time he goes away? Maybe being able to see Daddy would help your little ones. xxx

    • We did try to Facetime daily, but I just think that they’re a little too young to fully get it. Although my son did tell Daddy what he had done at pre-school each day. Thanks for commenting x

  3. OH great ideas, I like the countdown chart – educational too – and fun daily ideas. My husband is in the military and is about to go to a school for several months… I’m not sure how we’ll handle that.

  4. This post made me so emotional. It must be so hard but so lovely for L when Daddy comes home again. That photo is just so lovely! On a different note, could he have gone with a girlier suitcase?! hehe x

    • Aww thanks Donna, it was a really intense and emotional time because of the wonderful bond that they share. The reunion was so heartwarming.

      And lol on the suitcase and it’s mine but the only one we had in the right size without having to buy a new one, so he just decided to go with it 🙂

  5. This was a lovely post Laura! I understand the emotions your son must ave gone through! I think the things you did were great ideas! Hopefully it will get a little easier next time and be more normal. fingers crossed!


  6. Oh Laura well done you for getting through a tough two weeks. I’m guessing the first time will always be the hardest as it is new for all of you. I think your ideas for next time should help. Maybe you could get your kids to pick out a little teddy that Ben takes away with him each time. The kids might like to see it during face time and he could take pictures of it in the different places he travels to (we used to have an office dog that we all used to take on holiday with us – the worlds best travelled animal, but it was an excuses to have a lovely notice board of nice photos from all our holidays).

  7. Awwww lovely, the picture is soooo cute!

    I think it was a big change for your son (and you) with your partner being away. Hopefully he will get used to it and get used to the routine and that he will come home (and maybe have a treat… family day out etc? to look forward to).

    I don’t think it was the best timing (not your fault!) for your partner to go begin his job and being ill will have affected him too.

    I think everything happened at once and it was a huge change. Maybe next time, it will not be as hectic and all over the place and things will flow a lot better. I am sure it will.

    Gemma xx

    • No, I agree the timing wasn’t ideal, but out of our control really unfortunately. I am hoping next time will be easier once everyone has adjusted.

  8. They are some fab ideas lovely! And I think with time it will get easier for Logan! Like you say, now he understands daddy does indeed come back should make it easier for him. Maybe get the hubs to give him something to look after rather than you giving him something might be a good idea? And he can ask him about it when you FaceTime. Xx

  9. What an adorable picture!!!!! I love your ideas for next time. They’re brilliant and I think they’ll really help. My partner doesn’t go away but in Summer he works 80+ hours a week (he’s a chef) and is gone from 7am till midnight everyday. It’s so hard to do it all alone and whenever Evie gets used to him being home and then something like half term comes and he’s gone again, things do get really hard. I’ve never thought about introducing systems like this, but it’s a brilliant idea. x

    • Oh that must be hard work Chloe and exhausting for both of you. I think it’s the hard days when no-one is coming in in the evening to give you a bit of relief that are the hardest. I hope some of my ideas help you too x

  10. Oh I do feel for you. My husband regularly travels for work and fortunately the twins are used to it now. I borrowed a tip from a friend, when daddy travels he is at Big Work and they don’t expect him back in the evening, when he is in the office he’s at Small Work. #PicknMix

  11. Such a heartfelt photo! You’ve got some great idea’s there Laura. When Mr B goes away or works for long hours where our girls don’t see him they put a picture of him under their pillows. Miss C has slept with her dad’s T shirt before which helped her alot. I hope it gets easier or more acceptable over time xx #picknmix

  12. Oh Laura, that must be tough. Two weeks without your husband and two weeks for the kiddies to be without Dad. Well done you for managing it. I would be lost without my husband.
    It is a tough decision when great jobs involve travel like that, but I’m sure you guys will have made the right long term decision for you. You just have to trust that everything happens for a reason and is all for your highest good 🙂 #kcacols

    • Thank you Lucy for your lovely comment. You’re right sometimes you have to have faith in the journey you are undertaking don’t you? I really appreciate you stopping by x

  13. Oh no Laura!! I know this is so hard for you but look at that picture at the end!!! That says it all!! What a beautiful bond your hubby has with your son!! How unlucky that you all had stomach bug. I hate those bugs. They make you feel awful! That didn’t help at all! 🙁 Your ideas for the next trip are fantastic. I think it will make a huge difference. Logan will love having something from daddy to keep save while he is away! I also love the countdown chart! He will be excited to see that! Nick doesn’t travel so we don’t have this problem and to be honest with you I don’t think I would cope not having him around. I would collapse to the floor. Maybe because I don’t have my family around so I would feel too lonely! You are so strong and I can see that you have now all more organised for next time! Fingers crossed it goes well! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. So happy to have you as always!! 🙂 xx

    • Thank you Franca, I think when your partner is away the thing you really need to be is organised. I hope that my plans for next time make it easier as we think he is going to be away in January and February so we need to find a way to make my son cope. The bond they share really is wonderful though and lovely to behold.

  14. Well done Laura for surviving a tough two weeks! My husband has to go away for work, although the longest so far has been about 5 days. Your ideas so far are all great. Here’s some thoughts from me…
    – try to just get through one day at a time, rather than thinking about the whole period he is away. I try and do this to make it feel less overwhelming.
    – maybe make the countdown chart into a sort of advent calendar with a little treat for each day?
    – Try not to worry about housework, keep to the bare minimum.
    – Get easy meals in, and a few treats for you!
    One thing I will say is that it gets easier when your children get older. I used to hate it when my OH was away when the boys were little – it was so relentless. Now they are 6 and 4 – they are usually really sweet and helpful when he is away. Maybe you could give your little boy some special grown-up jobs so he feels like he is helping you?

    • These are lovely ideas Lizzie thank you. I did some of this, definitely easy meals for me! I like the idea of big boy jobs for me son when Daddy is away, that’s a nice idea. I have to confess there were some days when it felt a bit relentless, and i collapsed when I got the children to bed! But I am remaining positive that it will get easier.

  15. Mr Tin Box is in the Royal Navy so travels regularly as part of his job. We’ve been really lucky in the past few years that it’s only been for a night or two each time but since mid-October he’s been away during the week. He’s doing that right up until Christmas. I’ve found it really hard sleep wise with a two and a half year old and a six month old. I think my eldest might be waking more at night when he’s not here but otherwise she’s not really been affected. My youngest doesn’t know anything about it yet. I wish I had some tips for you as it sounds like you’re having a really rough time. I’m sure as my kids get older Mr TB’s trips away will also become harder on them. I hope things are easier for you next time X #KCACOLS

    • Thank you for your kind comment Claire. I think my husband’s absence definitely affected my son’s sleep too – I have wondered since if it is him looking for reassurance and checking that I am still there. I hope things are not too tricky for you with your husband being away x

  16. Aaaàh such a beautiful and emotional picture, it’s just so precious! I truly hope that the next time round it will be a lot easier on your son, and that the things you have planned will help him through the time apart. Xx#KCACOLS

  17. James travels away reguarly at least a week away in each month. Sometimes he is away for 3/4 days and others a whole week. This month he was away last mon-wed and then he left again this morning and isn’t back till next Tuesday. The boys miss him but it’s a bit different as he isn’t their real Dad and they are used to people being in and out of their lives 🙁 I definitely notice a change in Ava she is 13 months and is clingy and teary when Daddy isn’t here. Sorry no tips but I find each trip gets easier and you kind of just fall in to a little routine. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

  18. That picture is truly adorable! You can tell from that alone how much Daddy is missed, it speaks volumes…BUT he is doing a wonderful thing and creating such a better life for his family. It must be rough on all of you! You will get there, things will get easier but for now you are doing a fabulous job keeping your children happy and entertained. It’s just what they need, double the love from Mummy! #KCACOLS

  19. Bless you lovely how typical to be ill when he was away as well! Hopefully it will get easier as you all get used to it, that reunion picture is so cute 🙂 Donna beat me to commenting on his suitcase, which is lovely by the way and probably easy to spot on the carousel!
    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix
    Stevie xx

    • Ha ha ha the suitcase keeps making me smile 🙂 lucky he is pretty relaxed about things like that. I am hoping things will get easier too and i adore the reunion photo also thank you x


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