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User Topic: When one parent is absent
Aubrie
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Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 6:43 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So I'm a SAHM. Homeschool both kids as well. They definitely get their Mommy time in.

What I'm struggling with is when QS goes on work binges and the kids don't see him for days/weeks on end.

Our evenings are weird. They're empty, boring, and the silence is deafening. When Dad's not home, everything is just off. It wasn't so bad when they were younger, but now they're older and catching on.

I don't really know what to do to help keep it fun and fill their time so they don't miss him as much. We do all manner of "fun" during school and the day. I don't want it to be another, "Great, now what Mom?"

They would kill me if I broke out more schoolwork or made the fun stuff obviously educational. Don't ya know? Learning is a bore! (That's what DD says)

They have downtime to do what they want in the afternoon and I don't want them sitting in front of the tv from dinner to bedtime.

My creativity is failing me. Any ideas?


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5435 | Registered: Nov 2011
MyTurnATL
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Member # 28856
Default  Posted: 6:59 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

First of all, it is not your job to "entertain" your kids. You don't have to keep it fun.

When my kids were younger, we enjoyed game night and movie night and chore night (not their favorite) and do your own thing night and puzzle night, among other things. Really, the best thing you can do is allow your children the time to figure out how to amuse themselves.


Posts: 446 | Registered: Jun 2010
jrc1963
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Member # 26531
Default  Posted: 7:05 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Really, the best thing you can do is allow your children the time to figure out how to amuse themselves.

AMEN!!!

and Screen time isn't always a choice... (TV, Computer, Computer/Video Games) They can find ways to entertain themselves that don't require electricity.


Me: BSO - 45
Him: FWSO - 68
DS - 12
D-Day - 12-11-09,
R - he finally came home
Your life is an Occasion. Rise to it. - Mr. Magorium, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"

Posts: 23965 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Florida
metamorphisis
♀ Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 7:06 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with MyturnATL. Plan a few nights, maybe you could get their ideas of what they'd like to do and write them down or schedule them throughout the week. A movie night can be paired with dinner in the living room on a blanket for an indoor picnic. Another night could be games and snacks.
But most importantly, I would expect one or two nights to be "free" nights. For my ds that can be some time with legos, help me make dinner, homework, video games, a bath and then read a book. The night goes pretty fast broken down into chunks and he can pick most of it. Most importantly he is giving me a bit of a break.
I'd resist the urge to occupy them all the time or like mentioned earlier it gets so you have to do it all the time. You are with them all day so I'm sure you need downtime too.



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 42752 | Registered: Sep 2006
Aubrie
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Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 7:11 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'd resist the urge to occupy them all the time or like mentioned earlier it gets so you have to do it all the time. You are with them all day so I'm sure you need downtime too.

I understand. I think what I'm struggling with is the, "Where is Dad?","When is Dad coming home?", "Why is he gone all the time?" I hate having to tell them I don't know, he's working.

I just feel bad that they're sitting home, waiting for Dad to show up. Sure they do stuff, but there's this underlying anticipation of hearing the truck come up the drive.

Just feel a little overwhelmed and kind of heartbroken for them. Maybe if evenings are "fun", they won't think so much of him? I don't know.

[This message edited by Aubrie84 at 7:13 PM, September 23rd (Monday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5435 | Registered: Nov 2011
jrc1963
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Member # 26531
Default  Posted: 7:14 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Aubs... maybe DAD should be the one explaining it to them?

Does he not see them at all? or can he maybe do a breakfast date with them before work?

Since you homeschool, you could get them up early for breakfast with dad and then send them back to bed for a bit before your day actually starts?


Me: BSO - 45
Him: FWSO - 68
DS - 12
D-Day - 12-11-09,
R - he finally came home
Your life is an Occasion. Rise to it. - Mr. Magorium, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"

Posts: 23965 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Florida
Aubrie
♀ Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 7:18 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does he not see them at all?
If we're lucky, a few minutes before bed. The one day they see the most of him is Sunday. However, Sundays are full. There's no one on one, quality time.

Don't really know how the breakfast thing would go over. My DD is turning into a morning hater. But that is a neat suggestion. Maybe we'll try that.

[This message edited by Aubrie84 at 7:18 PM, September 23rd (Monday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5435 | Registered: Nov 2011
metamorphisis
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Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 7:21 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


My littlest guy practically waits at the window for daddy so I get it .
Is there any way he can explain to them where he is and when he is expected home? That stinks Aubrie and I know it's hard. My dh's schedule is all over the place with school, which is 3 hours of commuting a day. There are quite a few nights he isn't here but we have it all written out so I can tell ds what night it is and when he can be home. I suppose that's not as easy in your situation.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:21 PM, September 23rd (Monday)]



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 42752 | Registered: Sep 2006
Aubrie
♀ Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 7:38 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is there any way he can explain to them where he is and when he is expected home?
Is this a serious question?

I cannot tell you how many times I've gotten a text or call that pushes of TOA hours away. I don't even tell the kids anymore because when I say dinner time, then dessert time, then bedtime, I'm the liar. I've started saying, "He gets home when he gets home. I don't know."

I can't write anything out or make concrete plans on anything with him unless he "only" has a half of a work day scheduled. Cause the half day turns into a whole day, which would put him home at dinner. Crazy making, but that's what I'm reduced to.

Still thinking over the breakfast thing.... Good idea jrc.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5435 | Registered: Nov 2011
dameia
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Member # 36072
Default  Posted: 8:01 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A teacher friend gave me an idea to help my kids practice their writing and I just modified it a bit for your sitch....

After dinner each kid writes a little something in their own notebook. Something about their day, a poem, a story, etc. Then, after they go to bed, QS reads it and write a response. Comments on their day, continues the story they are writing, his own funny poem, whatever.

That way they feel like they are interacting with him, and he gets to do some quality time with them as well.


Me: BS
D-Day: 7/7/12

"People who live in a glass house have to answer the door" -Karl Pilkington


Posts: 985 | Registered: Jul 2012
jrc1963
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Member # 26531
Default  Posted: 8:04 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Dameia - what a cool idea. I wish I'd thought of that.

Aubs... maybe DD won't be such a morning hater if she knows it's a date with daddy.


Me: BSO - 45
Him: FWSO - 68
DS - 12
D-Day - 12-11-09,
R - he finally came home
Your life is an Occasion. Rise to it. - Mr. Magorium, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"

Posts: 23965 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Florida
Aubrie
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Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 8:23 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Dameia, that is a very neat idea!


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5435 | Registered: Nov 2011
tired girl
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Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 11:29 PM, September 23rd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Can he set aside one night a week that he makes it home period?

Also what about some extra curricular sports for them to get involved in?


Me43 Him 43 Hardlessons DS 24,22,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth”
― Pema Chödrön

Posts: 3663 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
IRN2006
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Member # 23717
Default  Posted: 12:00 AM, September 24th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Also what about some extra curricular sports for them to get involved in?

Or, are there places that cater to homeschooling families. Our Y offers gyms classes specifically for homeschooling families only.


Posts: 1295 | Registered: Apr 2009
gonnabe2016
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Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 12:36 AM, September 24th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have a mish-mash of thoughts on this:

First, I agree that it isn't your job to *entertain* this kids 24/7. They do need to be able to occupy themselves.

Then....can't remember, but is QS's job cyclical at all? Where he has *busy* times and *down* times? If that's the case, then a simple "this is dad's *busy* time of the year and so he'll be working a lot....." explanation might tide them over.

But I seem to recall that *he's* his own boss. If I'm right, then he needs to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with himself about his priorities. If the amount of money he can bring in by working a *normal* work-week is enough to pay the bills and get you guys by....then he needs to learn to say *no. can't stay. gotta get home." This is a difficult concept to get a self-employed person to accept because you are always coming up against the "but, but, but's* as far as *building their business* and the potential *damage* to their reputation if they say *no*....but again. Priorities and boundaries come into play here.....

He should be able to, at the very least, commit to being home at <x> time a couple of nights a week.

(and the journal idea where QS *talks* to each kid every night is awesome!!!)


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCyL6pa_L4M


Posts: 7235 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
Naivete123
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Member # 38715
Default  Posted: 1:58 AM, September 24th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I love all these ideas. WH travels often. Our normal schedule is M-T no tv, an only 1 hr. kindle time. More than often they forgo the kindle time and run around outside with their friends. They do this on the weekends too with down time. We are blessed at the moment to live in a "gated" community with security guards so all the kids can run around freely. And there are a lot of kids their age to play with. I dread when we move back to US and our semi-retired neighbors is all the kids have to look forward too.

Thanks a lot for this post and all the great ideas to keep them busy!


I WILL NOT drink the Kool Aid.

The grass is greener on the other side. But they put chemicals on theirs.


Posts: 60 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: USA
confused615
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Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 8:11 AM, September 24th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So..it's not that the kids are actually bored..it's that they want to see their dad.

You trying to find ways to amuse them/keep them occupied so they don't miss daddy will be a never ending battle. He's their daddy...they want HIM..not fun.

If he is his own boss,then during his "busy" time, he needs to carve out some time every day and spend some time with his kids. Even if it's just taking an hour out of his schedule to come home for dinner. He needs to schedule it, just as if he were scheduling a meeting or an appointment..and make sure he makes it the *most* important meeting of his day. Because..it is.


[This message edited by confused615 at 8:12 AM, September 24th (Tuesday)]


BS(me)41
FWH 45
4 kids..21,20,11,9
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: R? I don't know..ask me tomorrow..it changes rapidly.

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 6630 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
landabear
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Member # 15046
Default  Posted: 8:16 AM, September 24th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The one day they see the most of him is Sunday. However, Sundays are full. There's no one on one, quality time.

I know you spend a lot of time at church on Sundays, and I understand that is very important to you.

BUT as this is the one day every week he will be there....can you cut all activities after 2pm off? At 2pm, the family including Dad is home, no one else around, period? That would add family time, and give the kids a kind of bank of Dad's time to pull from emotionally during the week.

As for weeknight evenings, I would say extracurricular activities are probably the easiest answer. The community center(s) near you should have something available at a decent price.

Doesn't even have to be sports really; we have a bunch of different community centers within 20 minutes of us, and they offer indoor pools (lessons and open swim times), art classes, open gym for the kids to just kind of play, computer classes, etc.

If you are trying to do something as nearly free as possible, can you get with other homeschooling mom's and swap specialties? Let's say one of you is good at art, then other can teach piano, another loves conducting science experiments...maybe Tuesday night the kids are at Piano Mom's for lessons, then Thursday at your place for art, that sort of thing? Even a 30 minute appointment could break up the evening.

Or if they love to watch sports, make some popcorn and head out to the community ball fields. Usually free to get in on nights other kids are playing, and they can munch popcorn (or drink hot chocolate, if the evening is cool) and watch soccer, baseball or football.


BS
Divorced: March 2006
Married to a wonderful, FAITHFUL man: October 2009

Posts: 729 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Midwest
Aubrie
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Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 9:18 AM, September 24th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Can he set aside one night a week that he makes it home period?
He only dedicates a 100%, "for sure" day off. Sunday.

Also what about some extra curricular sports for them to get involved in?
Will look into it. See if the kids are interested. Thanks for the Y tip too. Something to research.

is QS's job cyclical at all? Where he has *busy* times and *down* times? If that's the case, then a simple "this is dad's *busy* time of the year and so he'll be working a lot....."
Yeah, more or less but it's not charted like tax season or Christmas season. It just happens at random times. When I explain that Dad's busy, I deal with the fallout. "Again Mom!?"

I probably sound like an ungrateful witch. That's not my intent. I understand his hang-ups on finances and the reasons behind it. I'm trying to be patient with him. But this is our children. DD is 8 now. 8! She needs her Dad. She craves his love and attention. And I can only teach her to be "independent and strong" so much. There's a void in her life. Same with DS. QS gets upset because DS is such a Mama's clinger. DS adores his Daddy. But there's no time spent with him. He turns to me.

It takes a friggin' act of Congress for him to come home and spend a day with us. He enjoys himself tremendously when he does. It's just getting him to do it habitually that's the issue. He literally hasn't taken one day off, other than Sundays, since the 9th. Which doesn't seem like a huge deal. Till you realize he left at 6 a.m. and didn't get home till 9-11 p.m. every single day. That's very hard on the kids! It's hard on him. When he's here, he's a zombie. Utterly exhausted and completely sleep depraved.

I've been told he'll have this weekend off. Not holding my breath. Not telling the kids. Don't wanna get their hopes up. If it happens, it happens. Whatever.

He told me to book a short out of town trip in October. I did. But I'm not holding my breath that he'll make it. I'm going with the kids, whether he does or not.

I could accept it so much easier if it was just affecting me. I could deal with it. Because I have been. As much as I miss him, my life is going on. Can't say much more in that regard because we're in the OT forum.

It's the issue with the kids that is breaking my heart.

Thanks for listening and giving me ideas. I'll see what I can do. All the other advice, I know. But I can't make him do anything. It's his choice.

*shrug*


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5435 | Registered: Nov 2011
tushnurse
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Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, September 24th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That stinks. You know what you deserve the break too. If I spent that much time with my kids, teaching, momming, and never going to work I would loose my mind in short order. Seriously. Mom deserves a break too. I would definitely look into some Y classes, and perhaps can mix up the schedule a bit, so they go early afternoon to a dance class, swimming, or karate, and then have evening class on those days.

When my kids were smaller we too had one evening a week where the TV stayed off, and we didn't go anywhere. We had dinner together, but after that we were all on our own. It gave me some quiet time, and the kids usually spent it playing with legos/dolls, or reading.

It stinks that H is making work his first choice, but you know you can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do.

You definitely should not be the bad guy in this, when the kids ask hand them the phone, and let them call him. Let him take some of the heat, who knows maybe he will realize his kids not only need him but want him.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 14 & 16
Married for 21 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
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