To be frank, having a traveling husband stinks. That is all there is to it. I feel as though I am a single mother. As readers know, Hannah Jo’s dad travels for work. Sometimes it’s once a month, but lately it has felt like three times a month.
Before we had kids, it stunk to be alone. Although with nine years of marriage, I have learned to cope with it. I will tell you that it is incredibly hard to have a daughter who doesn’t see her daddy when she needs him. Her adjustment is taking a bit longer, because she’s only 31/2.
At times, Hannah Jo will ask whether Daddy is picking her up from day care, and I have to respond no. She puts her little head down in disappointment. Heart-wrenching!
It is so sad to see her glimmer of hope be shattered when we pull into the driveway and she sees Daddy’s car and says, “Hooray, he’s home.” Then I have to remind her that Daddy took a limo to the airplane. It crushes me that it crushes her!
Staying connected every day with us is hard. Although through the years, technology has made it easier. We do Facetime, which helps. Her face lights up when she hears the special ringtone. She gets to chat with Daddy face-to-face, which is priceless. As they hang up, she will kiss the screen and give the cell a big hug. It is just the sweetest!
I know Daddy treasures those quick moments, as well.
Traveling is rough on Daddy, too. He doesn’t have the responsibilities of a single parent; however, he is compassionate that I have the burden. He misses his family as much as we miss him. Staying involved in your daughter’s life is hard when you aren’t around.
An app that has been very helpful in keeping him connected is DoJo. The app has let Daddy see some school activities. The pre-K teacher posts a variety of photos. Also, the app provides feedback on good behavior. A little something is better than nothing.
Having a traveling daddy does stink. There is no upside to the situation for a 3-year-old. Hannah Jo will grow up with this as her family dynamic. Eventually, her coping mechanisms will kick in. I know that she will appreciate traveling daddy when he is home. She won’t forget that he takes her to the park, reads books and gives the best bear hugs. Sadly this is, obviously, the reasons we miss him so much!
• Becca Hirst is a proud DeKalb resident who writes about her life as a working mother. She hopes to bring more enjoyment to and less shaming and judging of herself and other mothers. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.