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He is leaving and I am struggling

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM
  • 10 Replies

DF deploys in far too soon of a time. And it is getting harder and harder for me to stay positive and supportive about it. And we have no idea how to explain it to his daughter (3). How do you prepare a child for this?!

Prepare her for going to live with her grandparents. Prepare her to not physically see her Dad for a year. How do you get her to realize that he HAS to go and that he is not abandoning or leaving her? What if she forgets about him? I just don't know what to do. We have a Family Readiness group that usually have books to help explain it but they are out of stock right now and when we try to talk to her about him leaving she just laughs and says that "we is funny"...I don't want her to not understand/realize that he is leaving until he is gone and she feels abandoned.

Any ideas?

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM
2 moms liked this

Work with the group on base. You're not the first nor the last to deal with this.

Good news is that she's 3.  She will be okay.  It's going to be hard for you too though.  So make friends with these folks.  Get a support system in place.  Deployments can be really tough but they can also be really good for those of us back home.  They are a great opportunity to develop as human beings, be strong, and pursue some things we wouldn't with our loved one back home.

You can do it.  Miss Girl is going to be okay with loving grandparents. You are the one I'd be more worried about.  She won't forget him.  

((hugs))


Dana333810
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:46 PM

 I have no ideas....but i wish you guys the best. =( hugs!!!!

Momof2Stepof3
by Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Why does she have to live with the grandparents? Why can't she stay with you. 

Honestly it is hard at that age for them to understand. God I know I went through that with not only my ex husband being gone but my current DH. They both deployed with in weeks of each other and at that time ex was getting the kids 2 and 4 every other weekend. 

Stay strong.

Quoting laughnchica:

DF deploys in 44 days. Barely over a month. And it is getting harder and harder for me to stay positive and supportive about it. And we have no idea how to explain it to his daughter (3). How do you prepare a child for this?!

Prepare her for going to live with her grandparents. Prepare her to not physically see her Dad for a year. How do you get her to realize that he HAS to go and that he is not abandoning or leaving her? What if she forgets about him? I just don't know what to do. We have a Family Readiness group that usually have books to help explain it but they are out of stock right now and when we try to talk to her about him leaving she just laughs and says that "we is funny"...I don't want her to not understand/realize that he is leaving until he is gone and she feels abandoned.

Any ideas?


laughnchica
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:54 PM

We aren't married yet and so we didn't really think that that could ever be an option. And there is always the possibility that things could NOT work and so if she is staying with her grandparents there is more stability there.

I just don't want her to think that her Daddy wanted to leave her and doesn't love her because she will never see him other than on a computer. =/ It is hard enough for ME to deal with it.

Quoting Momof2Stepof3:

Why does she have to live with the grandparents? Why can't she stay with you. 

Honestly it is hard at that age for them to understand. God I know I went through that with not only my ex husband being gone but my current DH. They both deployed with in weeks of each other and at that time ex was getting the kids 2 and 4 every other weekend. 

Stay strong.

Quoting laughnchica:

DF deploys in 44 days. Barely over a month. And it is getting harder and harder for me to stay positive and supportive about it. And we have no idea how to explain it to his daughter (3). How do you prepare a child for this?!

Prepare her for going to live with her grandparents. Prepare her to not physically see her Dad for a year. How do you get her to realize that he HAS to go and that he is not abandoning or leaving her? What if she forgets about him? I just don't know what to do. We have a Family Readiness group that usually have books to help explain it but they are out of stock right now and when we try to talk to her about him leaving she just laughs and says that "we is funny"...I don't want her to not understand/realize that he is leaving until he is gone and she feels abandoned.

Any ideas?



Momof2Stepof3
by Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Ahhhh poor thing. My kids only got calls once in a blue moon. This was before Skype. Good luck with it. 

Quoting laughnchica:

We aren't married yet and so we didn't really think that that could ever be an option. And there is always the possibility that things could NOT work and so if she is staying with her grandparents there is more stability there.

I just don't want her to think that her Daddy wanted to leave her and doesn't love her because she will never see him other than on a computer. =/ It is hard enough for ME to deal with it.

Quoting Momof2Stepof3:

Why does she have to live with the grandparents? Why can't she stay with you. 

Honestly it is hard at that age for them to understand. God I know I went through that with not only my ex husband being gone but my current DH. They both deployed with in weeks of each other and at that time ex was getting the kids 2 and 4 every other weekend. 

Stay strong.

Quoting laughnchica:

DF deploys in 44 days. Barely over a month. And it is getting harder and harder for me to stay positive and supportive about it. And we have no idea how to explain it to his daughter (3). How do you prepare a child for this?!

Prepare her for going to live with her grandparents. Prepare her to not physically see her Dad for a year. How do you get her to realize that he HAS to go and that he is not abandoning or leaving her? What if she forgets about him? I just don't know what to do. We have a Family Readiness group that usually have books to help explain it but they are out of stock right now and when we try to talk to her about him leaving she just laughs and says that "we is funny"...I don't want her to not understand/realize that he is leaving until he is gone and she feels abandoned.

Any ideas?




laughnchica
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

BUMP!

soonergirl980
by Gold Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM
1 mom liked this

1. Can you please change the days till Deployment that is OPSEC and very inappropriate.

2. She won't forget her dad. My kids have been through it 3 times including him home for 15 days when YDD was 3 days old. He didn't come home till she was 6 months old and I swear she practically jumped into his arms. She knew who daddy was. I put a picture of him by their beds and they can "talk" to daddy whenever they want.

3. She probably won't understand the length of time him being gone. To a 3 year old saying he's going to be gone 3 days or 1 year is the same. When she asks about him just tell her he is at "work" and he loves her and misses her and he will be back as soon as he can.

4. Elmos deployment video is free. Look into getting that for her it's great.

5. I've found the biggest thing for them is just carry on with life. Don't make a big deal with her about it all the time, stay positive and she will stay positive.

laughnchica
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

1. Sorry about that and thank you for reminding me. DF and I are both in the military and I should have known better.

2. Thank you for the reassurances. I just worry sometimes that there is the "out of sight, out of mind" complex and that she won't really recognize him or something when he comes home. She has a scrapbook and will have plenty of pictures and her grandparents are getting her a Daddy Doll so I should probably try to let that fear go. And she remembers her mom even if she hasn't seen her in awhile so that should be proof too.

3. We usually say for a "long time" or something along those lines. She just doesn't really seem to believe us and laughs and I don't want her to think we are playing around and he leaves and she feels...abandoned or unprepared for not seeing him even if we tried to prepare her for it.

4. We are working on the Elmo DVD. Hopefully getting that one soon. I have found some book resources online today too.

5. Thank you...I think I shall struggle with being positive and all that but she is usually a very happy person so I hope that will help everyone, including her grandparents, to not be down.

Quoting soonergirl980:

1. Can you please change the days till Deployment that is OPSEC and very inappropriate.

2. She won't forget her dad. My kids have been through it 3 times including him home for 15 days when YDD was 3 days old. He didn't come home till she was 6 months old and I swear she practically jumped into his arms. She knew who daddy was. I put a picture of him by their beds and they can "talk" to daddy whenever they want.

3. She probably won't understand the length of time him being gone. To a 3 year old saying he's going to be gone 3 days or 1 year is the same. When she asks about him just tell her he is at "work" and he loves her and misses her and he will be back as soon as he can.

4. Elmos deployment video is free. Look into getting that for her it's great.

5. I've found the biggest thing for them is just carry on with life. Don't make a big deal with her about it all the time, stay positive and she will stay positive.


sid1083
by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

It kind of sounds like you're projecting on her. She won't forget her dad - at least not the person anyway. She may forget that one time they ate breakfast together and had pancakes, but she won't completely forget him. As long as she has a picture, let her imagination run wild and make up stories "about this one time we . . .".

MomGoingCrazy78
by Lindy Lou on Feb. 14, 2013 at 5:40 PM
1 mom liked this

My DD was younger than 3 when my ex deployed. I had made a "daddy book" with pictures in it that she loved to carry around with her. We talked to him every night before bed and told him about our day (just out loud in her room to one of her pictures), she loved that part! He only got to call 3 times the entire time he was over there, so she didn't get to talk to him since it was usually about 2 am on Cali time. There also wasn't skype up at that time, this was when the war first started.

She'll be ok, just lots of reassurance. I kept my DD busy, that helped me keep my mind off of things too. When he came back (I had him flown back on a Red Cross note because of an emergency) she didn't recognize him at first. It took about half a day of her just peeking around corners at him (he did look different to her defense) and walking up to him and just touching him before she "remembered" he was daddy. After that, it was like he never left.

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