My husband is not generally a traveler for work. In fact in the 18 years of marriage we have had I can count on one hand the amount of time we have spent any time apart. It just so happened within the last month he has been gone for on two separate trips each about a week long. One to help out his Father who had a sudden health scare and then a planned trip for work to India.
During the first trip my 2 1/2 yr old had a slightly difficult time. She is at that age where she understands he isn’t here and even knows where he is, but time concepts are hard for her to grasp. I have been racking my brain trying to think of how I can help her to not only keep the time moving quickly while he has been gone but help her to “see” how many more days are left until he returns home.
To keep time moving quickly I scheduled a fun activity for each day of the week. A few play dates, a normally scheduled dance class, and a lunch with friends. I found this helped her to not only distract her but also to have something to look forward to each day.
To help her “see” when he was coming home. I made her simple construction paper chain. Each morning when she woke up she pulled a new one off and we read what the fun for the day was, and then we counted how many more days until Daddy gets home.
With the paper chain and frequent FaceTime calls it helped all of us to keep time moving until Daddy was home with us again. I hope I don’t have to do this too many more times but if I do at least I have some tricks up my sleeve to help my girls cope with it.