Things I do when my husband travels to make separation easier for my child

Brent and I both travel a few times a year for work and that means Hamish gets either Brent or myself alone for a few days.

Naturally, he loves these times but as parents, we have always worried about him feeling separation anxiety or abandonment when we are not around.

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety occurs,  especially in young children, when a child begins to feel incredibly anxious when they are separated from their parents.
Now a small amount of separation is needed for a child’s healthy growth and independence, however, long-term separation can make a child feel unsettled, anxious, and in extreme incidents abandoned.
In a loving home, with parents who openly communicate and encourage the child to stay in communication with the other parent as well as allow them to express their emotions when a parent is away this can be avoided.
Being aware of this means that we have always worked really hard to make Hamish feel loved, secure, and not anxious.
How do we lessen separation anxiety?
These are the steps I implemented when Brent is away to lessen separation anxiety for Hamish.


I use this time as special bonding times for Hamish and i and often schedule fun days, takeaway meals, and play dates for him.
I want these to be times when he can fully have my attention, make new memories, and forget ( to a degree) that dad’s actually away.


We FaceTime / WhatsApp video Brent daily. Often there’s a good morning voice note, an afternoon check-in, and a nightly video call.
This lets him know that dad’s away but still thinking of him.
The video call ensures that he is still able to see him.

Camp out

He naturally camps out in my bed the entire time. He loves this as he gets to go to bed just a little later and it feels like he’s camping out.


We keep our routine. So, things like waking up, teeth brushing, bathtubs, supper time, and bed time ( with a 15-minute leeway) are kept in routine.
This helps him feel safe and secure. It also allows him to track the times until his dad is back. (For example in 3 sleeps dad is back or the day after your playdate dad is back)


I’m lucky that I make my own hours and can schedule my days and so except for urgent work I can cancel work for the time Brent is away and I also don’t attend any events.
My thought here with events is that he doesn’t need a babysitter watching him while one parent is away.
As he gets older and understands more I may look at changing this but for now, this works for us as a family.
This wouldn’t work in every home and I always maintain that you find the things that work for you as a family.


At least one night is a takeaway night. Hamish normally takes photos and sends it to Brent.
This is a total spoil and let’s him think he’s also had a special time.
It also opens up the conversations with Brent at night and allows him to tell his dad what he got up to.


It’s become a standard practice that we bring Hamish a gift when we get back.
This gives him a special something to look forward to. Brent normally buys him a toy treat and as most of my trips have seen me in quaint small towns I’ll often bring back something unique to the town.


I’m very big on giving Hamish the information he needs to understand where his dad is.
We will show him a map. Brent shows him his room and area and we let him know when Brent is gone,  how long, and when he will be back.
The day he comes back I’ll remind Hamish and then I let him know just before Brent gets home so he can look out for his dad and meet him.
This allows him to constantly know what is going on and be informed.


Even when your child feels totally secure and is busy with things to keep them busy, they will still miss the other parent.
It’s important to discuss those emotions, allow them to feel and express them, and reassure your child that they are loved, missed, and special to the parent who is away.


Any change in a child’s routine can upset them even if we don’t see it. Raising a secure, happy child often means you need to inform them of what is happening and why, keep to a schedule that is right for your family, and work at making your child feel important, seen, and loved.
As Hamish gets older we may change some of the things we do but we will continue to allow him to feel his emotions, express them and stay connected.

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