This week Jon is in Ireland doing his third (and final) housing search for our Big Move next week (!). Even though we are excited for the reason that Daddy is away from us, Ireland is still far away. It’s far, far away. But do we let that get us down? Of course not! In fact, we’ve come up with several ways that we keep connected (and keep our sanity) while one or–rarely–both parents are away. Here are some of my favorites:
- We use my iPhone to record videos of my husband reading some of David’s favorite books. During story time and bed time we always start with one of the “Daddy reading” videos.
- We print off photos of us or our family and use the back of each photo to write a little note to the boys. Each day while we are away they get a new photo note.
- We buy little gifts for each day that we are away (stickers, a tub of play doh, sidewalk chalk, books). David gets to open one special gift each day (it’s nice to have something fun to look forward to each day when you’re missing somebody special!).
- We use Skype or use iChat to video chat with each other every day. With time zones, naptimes and busy schedules this can be tricky, but we always try to make it happen.
- We do special things to make the time go more quickly when Daddy is away. A trip to the zoo or the children’s museum, lunch with friends, baking yummy treats (I’ve already baked cookies twice in the last two days. Hmmm….)–anything that keeps us occupied and entertained.
- We go on mini-vacations ourselves. If Daddy is gone for a week or more, I will usually pack up the boys for an over-nighter at one of their grandparents’ houses. They love seeing Grandma and Grandpa, and I love having an extra set of hands!
- We make a “welcome home” project for Daddy. This could be a craft, a picture that David paints, or a video of something neat the boys did this week. We have our welcome home project ready and waiting for Daddy when he returns.
- I get a babysitter. At least once when Daddy is away I will hire a babysitter to come by for a few hours so I can leave the house sans children. This week I have my mom coming up one day and a hired babysitter coming over later in the week.
- We look at photos and videos of Daddy when we start to miss him. Sometimes we’ll even hook up my computer to the big TV screen so we can see the photos in real-life-size. As we’re looking at the photos, we talk about all of the fun things we were doing when the photos were taken.
It can be difficult to have a parent away, but we can still have fun while we’re waiting for them to return!