My toddler has lost it because DH is out of town- help! - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-31-2005, 01:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess this goes here. My DH just went out of town for work for an extended period of time, and my DS is falling apart. They've never been separated before. My DH and DS are very very close. DS used to sleep all night in the bed beside us, but since DH left (only 2 nights ago), DS is up all night thrashing beside me (can't sleep at all where he usually does). He won't let me hold him, just tosses and turns beside me all night. I have maybe slept 3 hours over the last 48 hours. He has severe separation anxiety- screams while I'm taking a shower (even when he's in the same room), screams if I fix something to eat for him and me and am not giving him my full attention, screams if I go to the bathroom and leave him in the room with my parents (who are visiting). I know he misses his daddy, and can't express it. We have had 2 videoconferences with him, and he has videos of him to watch (reading to him). I am emotionally drained and exhausted, and it breaks my heart to DS so upset. He is normally a very happy, self-confident boy with no separation anxiety. Any ideas to help him feel better (besides distract, distract, distract, which is the only thing that seems to work)? Can anyone give me a time frame on when he might start to feel better? I'm afraid this will permanently hurt his sunny personality.



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Old 05-31-2005, 02:45 AM
 
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Sorry, no advice. Just wanted to give you a hug. {{HUGS}}
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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Well... Being the Dad of a toddler who is VERY attached to me and I have to travel sometimes (thankfully not very long), I have a little advice. First off... Pictures Pictures Pictures, pictures of daddy everywhere seem to help my dd. My wife just prints them out and dd carries them around with her. Also she doesn't quite understand how the phone works yet, but she knows if she takes the cordless to my dw and says daddy that she has a good chance of hearing my voice on the phone. I hope this helpsl, just breaks my heart to think of a baba missin their daddy.
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Old 05-31-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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We're halfway through our second 7 month deployment in 2 years (DH was home for 4.5 months between).

Quote:
Pictures Pictures Pictures
Alaskadad, you got that right! We've got pictures of Papa on the fridge in plastic frames w/magnetic backs. Hannah can cart them around to her hearts content w/out destroying them. Plus they stick to her trike! She also has a mini photo album she looks at w/a little supervision.

We've actually found that the videos of Papa are a bit overwhelming, so we watch them sparingly.

Could part of the problem be due to your parents' visit? Does he see them often? How does he usually react to them?

I know this is probably stating the obvious, but have you told DS what is going on? Where Daddy is, how long he'll be gone, that he is coming back, that he still loves DS, etc?

Some things that might help:
-Keep as much of your routine as possible. Hannah kisses Papa's picture goodnight, for example.
-Baby DS. Can you wear him in a sling on your back while you do essential tasks like cooking?
-Do things w/DS that he enjoys doing with Daddy. I make it a point to rough-house w/Hannah while Papa is away. (Not something I do naturally!)

As far as a time frame, for about the first 2 weeks or so this time Hannah looked for Papa around the time he usually came home from work & asked "Papa?" every time there was an unexpected noise in the house.

Also, don't be surprised if DS has a really hard time saying goodbye to his friends during this time!

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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Old 06-01-2005, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice. We do have pictures everywhere. I enclosed some in contact paper, so he can manipulate them and manipulate them. I guess I really haven't talked to him about Daddy coming back, since he's only 15 months, but I guess it's worth a try. I know it must be so confusing for him to see him on the screen, interacting with him in a videoconference.

He did a little better last night. He slept next to me, and actually seemed to sleep ok rather than tossing and turning as he had done the first 2 nights.

AlaskaDad, always good to get some advice from dads. I know it's very hard for my DH to be away.

Sgaydeski, I don't know how you've done 2 deployments in 2 years. My DH is also military, but this is supposed to be the only deployment of DSs life. We're getting out, but couldn't avoid this one. We have been trying to stick to his routine, but there are some gaping holes in what was Daddy's part of the routine. I'll try the rough-housing idea- I'm not very good at that either, but DS likes it.
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Old 06-04-2005, 03:28 PM
 
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Hey, Nosy!

How are things going? I hope they are looking up! It gets a little easier once you settle in to a new routine.

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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Old 06-04-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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Just wanted to suggest Flower Remedies might help, like Rescue Remedy and Walnut for stress and change. Also Chicory can help with over attachment (not to remove the positive feelings but to help with this sad time).

Hope this helps.

Who stole my signature!
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Old 06-05-2005, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it might be getting a little easier. He seems to be sleeping better. So I tell this to my DH who says, "oh he's forgotten me already." Sigh, I can't win.
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Old 06-06-2005, 12:50 AM
 
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Oh right, and since I don't cry every day I must have forgotten my husband already!

FWIW my DD remembered her Papa over the last deployment. He left when she was 7 months & came back when she was 14 months. She wasn't too sure about him when we picked him up, but as soon as we got home she cried when he went into the garage without her but didn't make a peep when I did the same. And a few minutes later he went into the bedroom & I asked her, "Where's Papa?" Instead of pointing to his picture like she did the whole time he was gone, she marched right past it & went & found him...and spent the next several weeks constantly following him around the house! :LOL

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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Old 06-06-2005, 03:20 AM
 
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Big hugs to all of you!

My hubby travels every week for work, and has since DC #2 was 6 weeks old, so it's nothing new for her. But when he started, DS was 15 months old as well and it was hard on him! I put a body pillow on DH's side of the bed and it seemed to fill that void a little, but not perfectly, when DS was sleeping.

We also sang/sing A LOT of Daddy songs when he's not here. And lately, since we've moved closer to my family, my brothers come over a lot to play like boys do. DS really missed the rough housing, and I really can't do it well (VERY pregnant right now)

Other than that, we try to stay busy, but stick to a routine. We usually plan one event out of the house, and then special playtime or projects in the afternoons.

I hope the time passes quickly and DH is home soon!

Mama to my little "autie", Jackson (2/02), Evie (5/03), Charlotte (6/05), Simon (11/07) and grieving our sweet Lily Dawn, lost at 18 weeks 9/4/09 , & having a little girl July 2010
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Old 06-06-2005, 04:28 AM
 
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I really can't give any advice but to just get through the week.
dd doesn't sleep well when we are away from dh and just seems to be off when awake (not as bad as your ds obviously).

Can he talk to him on the phone more than he is now and do you think that would help.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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