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Lives of Doctor Wives: Bye bye daddy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bye bye daddy.

So all of you moms out there that have been through this, any advice on when daddy leaves for multiple weeks at a time on away rotations. Of course we'll try to talk daily- might actually work out well for the kids' bedtime with the time change- and we're thinking of getting a video camera for the computer and downloading Skype to have some video chats. Any other great ideas or just advice on how to survive as a temporary single mom?

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Blogger Adriana said...

When my husband would leave for away rotations or when we were apart for a month because he moved to where residency was and we stayed to close on our house we got creative to make things easier for the kids. Skype and phone calls were our lifeline but there were other things that helped too. The kids and I make a calendar and they get to put stickers on each day until daddy comes home and we usually try to plan something special for his return (like a trip to the local theme park, etc). We also take advantage of the mail. Kids love getting mail and postcards are super cheap. My husband is not the best at this sort of thing so I usually plan ahead and make sure he has cards, postcards, stickers, little trinkets, and stamps to take with him. Bret would try and send each of them something at least once a week which made the kids really have something to look forward to and something to talk about when they chatted. The kids also sent daddy care packages at least once each trip. We would make special cookies and color pictures to send to him. I think the key is to make it fun and to give the kids something to look forward to. I know one dad who always brought his two boys a puppet from any trip he took (conferences, away rotations, etc). The kids had a collection of puppets and knew where (city) each one came from. The dad felt like he had a mission when he was away and the kids knew that when their dad got home they were going to have something special to look forward to.

July 9, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Davita said...

E did medical school 1500 miles away from any of our families and he did two four week away rotations when our first two kids were 5 and 1.5. We're from the suck it up and deal with it camp. We both grew up with very absent mothers [and no fathers] who were worked LONG hours to raise us. The kids know that people have to work and they sometimes miss things because of having to work. No special treatment and no feeling sorry for yourself. Our kids do very well with their dad being gone all the time. They miss him when he is gone, enjoy when he is around, but our lives don't stop when he is gone. We live our lives and when he's around he fits himself in. We learned quickly not to depend on him or count on him for much. Realizing and accepting this has made us a more happy and less disappointed family. Unfortunately, that's just how medicine is. Especially surgery. Away rotations are just practice for what is to come. The single parenting in residency, especially if you have no family around. And PGY2 is worse than intern year, as far as ortho surgery is concerned.

July 9, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Having just completed 7 months of single parenting (it was tough), I'm not sure that I even have much advice on it. We just kept living out lives as normal as we could. It was too stressful on me to round up the kids and do video chatting everyday. But they did call him frequently. And we chatted online every night. He always brought home a present, usually legos or something relatively inexpensive, when he made it back. He also sent letters and post cards, which my boys both kept every one he sent. I would say to be sure and get sitters and get some alone time because it can be so isolating when you have no breaks from kids at all. Good luck!

July 9, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

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