When Daddy’s Away, the Kids and Mom… Play? Sort of.


The hubby’s clocked out of the country for ten days, and the house is feeling… well, like a circus without a ringmaster. With our newest addition in May, it’s my debut performance managing the kiddos without the main man. Let me just say, thank goodness for those reruns of parenting shows I watched!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I wear the stay-at-home mom badge with pride, and I’m all hearts for my man, working those extra hours so we can manage the chaos that is our lovely family. But boy, I’m feeling the miles between us. Oh, and did I mention how amazing my family has been? They’re basically the pit crew in this parenting NASCAR.

With the man of the house away, every day feels like an episode of “Survivor: Toddler Edition”. My daily to-dos? Well, they’re more like “maybe-todos”. On the plus side, the toddler and I have had movie marathons – we might have watched Frozen 127 times, but who’s counting? And visits to grandma’s? Let’s just say, she might be renaming her house the “Drop-In Childcare Center.”

Typically, our evenings roll like a well-oiled machine: hubby wrangles the oldest while I’m on baby bedtime duty. Now? It’s like a one-woman show of “Whack-a-Mole” – every time one child settles, the other pops up! By the time their little engines have shut down, I’m running on fumes. Major props to the solo-parenting superheroes out there; this ten-day stint feels like a marathon.

Flashback to a year ago, and my then-one-year-old was blissfully unfazed by daddy’s trips. Fast forward to now and it’s all “Where’s daddy?” and “When is he back?”. Thank goodness for tech; our daily Skypes are the sweetest breaks, even if they also include deciphering toddler talk over lag.

But hey, absence does make the heart grow fonder. I’ve got a refreshed appreciation for hubby’s helping hands (and yes, maybe his dad jokes too). And the toddler? He’s been my clingy little koala, showering me with surprise hugs and smooches.

Soon, the trio will be back to our usual chaotic quartet. And honestly? I can’t wait for that sweet reunion!

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A version of this story was published on November 7, 2012; it has since been updated.

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LauraLea grew up in the QCA and currently lives in rural Scott County.  She is a mom to two amazing boys and has been married to her high school sweetie for 7 years.  She is a stays at home mommy and volunteer Young Life leader who loves being involved in her community.  She is always up for trying new things and loves discovering new recipes, reading, going for walks, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.


  1. I love this post. I don’t think our husbands get enough credit sometimes from us stay-at-home moms. I miss my hubby more during the day when he’s at work, because I think about how hard he works, the stress, the pressure, but yet he always comes home with a big smile and lights up the house! There’s a good balance in the evenings too, like you, he really gets involved with our son, asking about his day, who he played with at recess, wrestling with our daughter on our bed,etc. When he’s not home or traveling, I realize how much a difference that makes. There’s always apart of me that gets sad when he’s far away, I think it’s just missing those little things and that connection of make you feel safe and secure when Daddy’s home.

  2. When my husband was overseas for a year, we used Skype almost daily. This was usually on my lunch hour, and it was past 10 PM his time. We occasionally Skyped with our son, who was 3 at the time, although it was confusing for him. He would show daddy a toy (usually repeatedly), but it often resulted in him acting up because he wasn’t getting our full attention! 🙂 It is hard when they leave, whether it’s for a day, a week, or a year! It does give you time to think about your relationship & how you can show each other, every day, the things you appreciate about each other when you are in the same house together! Hang in there! 🙂


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