Husband deloyed, DD looking for him? — The Bump
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Husband deloyed, DD looking for him?

My hubby is deployed overseas and I'm still here in the USA. My daughter knows that daddy goes on "long" trips. He was sent out to somewhere in the Middle East and we told my DD that daddy will be gone for a long time and will probably come back once I have my babies, its been about 5 weeks since he was deployed and now my DD is coming to me at night crying "Daddy, where daddy!" and during the day she looks all over the house for him. We are able to video chat with him, but its not very often because of his location, safety, etc. So we don't expect it much from him.

What can I do to help her more with this? I've gotten books and read it to her about daddy leaving and other stuff, but what more can I do? It breaks my heart to see her cry for her daddy and I have to keep it strong for her and the sake of my unborn babies because it ruins me when he is deployed. Any suggestions?

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Re: Husband deloyed, DD looking for him?

  • She must be a daddy's girl. DH deployed when DS was 17 months old. He acted a little confused for about a week, and then it was daddy who? He's always been a momma's boy though, so it wasn't a surprise.

    Does he have a camera that takes videos or an actual video camera? Have him make her videos and sent back the SD card or DVD. Then, make one for daddy. It can be a fun game waiting for daddy's videos to arrive.  

    If you have even a general idea as to when he'll be home, make a chain with construction paper. It will probably seem enormous to her, so let her take a chain off each day. Tell her that is one less day until daddy will be home. Hell. It helped me cope better to physically see it, lol. 

    I would just try to make a game out of it. She's too young to understand, so it is more about getting the time to pass by more quickly. 

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  • My older son was three when H deployed, so this might not be as effective for your daughter as it was for him, but we had a special "Daddy Bear" (dressed in ACU's--I think H bought it at the PX) for him to hug when he was upset and we couldn't Skype.  It didn't solve the problem of missing Daddy, but it did give him something concrete to hold onto that was a special representation of his dad.
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  • There is (or used to be) a program - possibly through the USO? - that provides deployed soldiers a way to record themselves reading a book out loud for their LOs and then the book and the DVD are sent to the LO so that daddy (or mommy) can read them a bedtime story.  Google is telling me the program is called United Through Reading Military Program. 

    Another program I've heard of is Flat Daddies.  They provide life-size cardboard cutouts of your soldier so you can have "daddy" around the house, or to cart around on a trip for photos or whatever.  Google should give you a web address for that one, last I heard they were offering one free Flat Daddy per deployed soldier's family (other than shipping and handling costs).

    I would contact your FRG for suggestions and for information on the book DVD or any other programs they may be able to offer you.  Or possibly Military One Source.

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  • My DD was 22 months when my DH deployed in 2011.  We did a daddy doll and had a few recordable books.  It was tough to explain to her at the time that daddy was gone for work.  They have very little concept of time, so don't be surprised if she keeps asking over and over.  Even if she knows he is away, she will likely ask a lot because she is hopeful that amount of time (which is totally un-graspable to her) is over.

    My husband was away for most of October and it was the first extended (more than just a night or two) amount of time away since his deployment.  Now that my kids are 2 and 3.5 there are a lot more questions and reaction to him being gone.  I tried explaining as much as I could (especially to my 3.5 year old), but they still asked for daddy every.single.day.  And when we went to the commissary and DS saw a guy wearing a flight suit he started screaming "daddy!!!".  Hearbreaking.  But they just really don't get the time thing.

    We also have a DVD of my DH reading which my husband did on the aircraft carrier on the last deployment.  Look into United Through Reading and see if there is a local place to have some books recorded on DVD.

    Married 6/28/03

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    No more TTC for us. We are done, and at peace, as a family of 4.

    "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” — Charles Dickens

     

  • I am right there with you. DH has been gone 6.5 months with still 8 more to go and DD has really struggled. Skyping is bitter sweet she loves to see him then takes it out on me after we are done. No advice just wanted to say hang in there.
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  • What she is going through is a normal part of adjusting to his absence. I know it stinks, but probably within a few weeks she will move on.

    My daughter was 18 mo when DH deployed, and she would carry his shoes around the house saying "Daddy?" for about a month. Then she was fine. She loved talking to him on IM and sending him letters/coloring pages.

    Hugs to you. Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly!

     

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