This post was supposed to arrive a little earlier today, but since I have been feeling a bit fuzzy with the flu I wanted to wait until I was able to write something meaningful. This post is also a little removed from my original topic, but I guess life is what happens while your writing blog posts in your head…
It occurred to me today that Luke has been working away for roughly 6 weeks now. At first it didn't seem like such a long time, if anything I think I have adapted pretty well to running my own schedule and we have been so busy on the weekends that I hadn’t really noticed the weeks ticking by.
Today however, it hit me.
Today I realised just how much Skye is noticing his absence, and it breaks my heart. The mornings aren't that different, she is used to him already been gone when she wakes up and generally goes about her day as normal, but by late afternoon I can see her looking for him to come through the door. Bath time is particularly tough, usually Luke does bathing so I can finish dinner or clean up the days activities. I can often hear excited though indecipherable banter going on between them over the splashing as Skye proudly demonstrates her newest swimming skills and I love that they have that one-on-one time every evening. Tonight, with me in charge, it was with far less fan-fare she really just wanted to get in, get cleaned and get out.
I am certain Skye knew last night that Luke would be leaving again because she seriously turned it on when I was trying to put her to bed. Rarely does she say daddy, even when she is looking at Luke and calling him, she says mummy. But this night she let out “I want my daddy” so clearly that Luke actually came into the room to take over before I had even registered what she had said.
Tonight was even worse. The teething is playing a small part I’m sure but when Bundy trying to reach his paw through the screen door to come in made her shoot up from where she was nestled against my chest and call out daddy I could feel the tears start to well up. How do you explain to a child under 2 that they won’t get to see their daddy tonight? Skye is too old to be oblivious to his absence yet too young to grasp the concept of weekdays and weekends. I try to explain as simply as possible that daddy is still working, but I don’t know how much she understands.
I realise that this is only a very temporary situation and I have absolutely no concept of what it is like to be a single parent, but this tiniest of glimpses into the impact it can have on the children has given me a whole new level of respect and awe for those who are. I understand that no matter how amicable and equal a separation may be, there are always going to be times when the child just ‘wants’ the other parent. Above and beyond any feelings you may have towards each other I am sure that this is one of the most difficult things to deal with.
We still have a few months before this job is completed and I would like to try and minimise the anxiety we all feel as much as possible, so now I am asking for your words of wisdom. Does your partner work away regularly? What do you tell your kids and how does their behaviour change when they are gone?