Parenting, Real Life, Travel

Missing Mom and Dad: Preparing your Child for when you Travel

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My husband and I travel a lot.  It may be for either business, or pleasure…and sometimes we have to leave our kids at home.

I’d take them on every trip if I could, but as you probably know, sometimes there’s not an option, and they have to stay home.

We are blessed to have family that will stay with them, and care for them while we are gone, and we have wonderful caregivers that help us out too.

But although we have fabulous people to stay with them, our kiddos still miss us.

Preparing Your Child when you Travel & They Miss You

 

We know a lot of Mom and Dads who have to travel for work, and we also know a lot of mom and dads who like to go on trips as a couple, to just “get away.”

So since my husband and I are pretty familiar with having to kiss the kiddos goodbye for a few days, I thought I would share our little tips and tricks of how we help our kids deal with Mom and Dad being gone.

With our oldest, he’s old enough to understand now what it means when I say,

Mommy and Daddy have to go “bye bye,” for {insert number} days.

Tip #1: I make sure to start telling him about 3-4 days before we leave, so he can start preparing himself for it, so it’s not a total shock when we grab our suitcases and head out the door.

Tip #2: Although he’s too young to understand which day is what, I start telling my little guys who they will be hanging out with while Mommy and Daddy are gone.  I’ll say things like,

Are you excited to hang out with maw-maw for a couple of days?

or

Guess who gets to come play with you for a few days!!! {Insert name} does!

and I start building up the excitement of them getting to spend some time with the people that they love being around.  Typically, when we go on vacation, our kids get a mini vaca themselves, since they get to hang out with people that tend to spoil them rotten.  😉

Tip #3: My kiddos get so excited when we go “bye-bye,” somewhere, because we always bring them a “surprise,” back.  So we will usually stop at a toy store before we get back home, and grab them a little something.  {Because frankly, they wouldn’t be excited about a new t-shirt from the gift shop in the state that we were just in.} 😉  If I’m really on top of my game, I’ll buy a small toy/candy for each day that we are going to be gone, and give it to the caregiver before we leave, so she can give one “gift,” to them every day.  That way, each day there’s a little “fun,” for them, from Mom and Dad.  This could be a letter from mom and dad, a special candy bar that they love, a small trinket from the dollar bins at the store, or whatever!  It doesn’t have to be big!

Tip #4: While we are gone, FaceTime and phone calls are a must.  For both sides, talking to the little ones is so rewarding.  You hear that little voice over the phone and get that warm little cozy feeling that you’ve been missing.  When your little one hears your voice, or better yet… sees your face on Facetime, they are reassured that Mommy and Daddy are A-Okay, and will be home soon.

Tip #5: When we return home, we always make sure to tell our kids how much we missed them, and that Mom and Dad will always come back.  We also show them photos from our trip, so they can understand more clearly what Mom and Dad were doing when we were gone.  Sometimes I think that they must wonder what Mom and Dad are doing, since they aren’t home.  This will make them feel a little more included, being able to see what Mom and Dad were doing!

Now I’m sure our kids still miss us, even though I try to do everything I can think of to help.  But sometimes as parents, we can’t avoid traveling, or being gone for a long period of time.

With these tips, I hope you it can help ease your child’s feelings when they’re missing you.  Because as you know, as a parent, we want the best for our kiddos, and anything that we can do to make it better, we will sure try. 🙂

Do you do something for your kiddos to help them prepare for mom and dad being gone?  I’d love to hear it below in the comments!

XO

Jessica

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