My husband travels quite a bit.
I’m talking every three weeks, he leaves for two weeks — and I’m left with my 4 1/2-year-old and a 5-month-old, taking care of the home, and working as a writer and PR rep full time from home. Needless to say, it’s super stressful, and despite him doing this for some time now, I am still not used to it. It still messes with our routine, and something serious always seems to happen when he is gone.
When I was 28 weeks pregnant, I went into pre-labor at 2 a.m. while I was all alone with my son. I managed to call for help but it was scary. Then when it came to the actual birth, he missed it too. He ended up watching on Google Hangout sitting in Johannesburg Airport.
Then when we moved houses, I had to pack, move and set up the new place all on my own — so you can imagine if it’s tough on me, how tough it must be on the kids.
More recently, he was away for Father’s Day, and again we just had to make the best of it and use Skype. Granted, Little L is a few months old, but I know when Daddy is away, it really affects us all.
I don’t have the answers or solutions on how to maintain a routine, but I do try to keep things going as best as possible. One of the ways we get some “Daddy time,” despite him being thousands of miles away, is sitting down for a video Skype call (or Google Hangout when that fails.)
We start with our conversation to catch up, and then I leave my son to talk and see him alone. This gives them a bit of one-on-one time and it makes M feel like his daddy is close by. Then, I bring in Little L so that my husband can just see her — surprisingly she reaches out to the screen and gives him big smiles and giggles.
We try to have a set time every day or every other day without missing our date. This then turns out to be part of our routine when Daddy is away, and it helps keep the kids and this mama happy.