1. My tip for lil’ ones is to ask them to give you a little something for you to take with them, and take a laptop w/ webcam enabled & skype or other way for you guys to see each other, or at least them see you.

    I used the first tip you posted when I left my 2.5 yr old daughter for 5 days to visit your part of the country a few months ago and going back in October. I told her a story of what would happen every day. I also left her love notes for her daddy to hide in her backpack every day.

    It definitely helped and I’ll do it again!

    =) @HolisticMom

  2. I am right where you were last year. My baby will be just under a year when BlogHer gets here, and I can’t be away from him. I’m really quite sad about that. I keep telling myself ‘next year, next year’. So good luck to you, and I’ll be following along to glean whatever tips I can use when my turn rolls around. :)

  3. When I went to Honduras on an educator study tour with Heifer International, I was really missing my kids. Another mom who was there told me that before she left she wrote a letter to her daughter for each day that she would be gone. Her husband would then let their daughter open one letter every night before bed. She also recorded herself reading bed time stories to her daughter. I loved these ideas…and felt a little lame that I hadn’t thought of anything like that before I was gone. I had to settle for sending the occasional e-mail whenever we could find a connection.

  4. Thank you!

    I am away from my son more and more as he does more stuff with dad during the weekends- and I think it will really help that we will be so busy that we won’t have too much time to miss anyone.

    My son will be fine , he’ll be at home with his dad and they need that alone time, my husband has a long commute and they don’t see each other as much as they both want.

    At least this is what I am telling myself.

  5. A fantastic compilation of advice! Thanks for including me, I feel honored.

  6. wonderful post, amy! something that you know has been weighing heavily on my mind and heart lately. i leave for five days in the hospital on monday. :/

    we did make our build-a-bear sheep this afternoon and then i bought nugget her first pair of ballet shoes. can’t you just smell the mama guilt through your screen?

    i’m going to print out some coloring pages and make packets for each day i’m away now!


  7. I love your suggestions for helping with separation.
    What helps us a lot is going through photos with my son. Almost everyday we look at scrapbooks and he has his own photo book with pictures of him and daddy that he picked out. Hubby also has one that he takes with him. I update both of them before a deployment comes.
    Another thing is videos! Lots and lots of videos! That way your child can hear your voice and you can hear their voice. I love to tape everyday things too. Making dinner, story time, playing outside. Those everyday times are special too.
    I love the blog, keep up the great work.

  8. My husband was in Afghanistan last year and he read books on video, we exchanged pictures back and forth. Reid and I recorded videos for him in a question and answer format. We also spoke of what Daddy was doing at various points in our day, since he was 8 or 8.5 hours ahead of us.

  9. This is a great post and a good list of tips and hints. At 5 and 7 years, my kids are at the point where they understand it. Daddy has already planned to set up a tent in the living room and have a “camp out” every night while I’m gone. My daughter almost pushed me out of the door to Chicago after she heard that hehe.

  10. I have no tips, just commiseration. I didn’t go this year, again, to BlogHer because I didn’t know if my 2.5 yo nursling could stand to be separated from me for that long. He can hardly take me leaving for a couple hours of work. I can’t imagine his understanding three days.

    Next year!

  11. Great post Amy. I remember when my oldest was still little, just the heart flutters I would get if I had to leave him even if only for a couple of hours. Since then I have had to leave him to deliver his younger siblings and a couple of overnight dates, but it still is hard! I think they are often better off than I am, but I know it isn’t always easy. I’m not sure I could make it all the way to BlogHer for a long while yet, even though I imagine how much fun it would be1

  12. Fabulous post! As it gets closer I’m getting more and more anxious (along with the kids who keep saying things like “Do you have to go to Chicago??”). With Disney it was 2 days shorter in duration than BlogHer, so a little easier to swallow “It’s just 3 days kids!” But good news!! Since we have extended family in Indiana, I will be joined by my hubby and kids to visit our family after BlogHer is over! So they will be there towards the end of conference, and if I miss them horribly, they can swing over to see me! Thank goodness!!



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  14. Amy,

    I’m not like most moms, I leave my kids frequently so they can get used to other caregivers, experience new things with other people and other personalities. Always with close family members and friends. The anxiety for me and planning is still there – trust me. It isn’t just anyone and the plans are very well laid out with notes, agendas, etc.

    I have found that that leaving my children overall makes me feel better because I get the break and adult time, me time and also the down the road (sad but true) what if I am not here experience. My mom was a single mom and young and I had many caregivers and close family members and looking back that helped make me who I am. In a very controlled way I want to give that to my kids.

    Does that sorta make sense? Muddy waters, hey???

    Can’t wait to meet you! Yay!!!!

  15. So generous of you to write this lengthy post. Makes me a little weepy already, however I just did a 2-day trip to NY sans enfants and it was delightful. I am no longer nursing, however, so I think my chest pangs are easier to ignore.

    My first born is also named Julian. Let’s take a picture together of “Julian’s Moms” at BlogHer!

  16. I think the most important thing to remember is that the child’s separation issues are not the same as the mother’s separation issues. Its important that we not put the weight of our issues on them. Most kids do fine when a parent goes away for a period of time. Its good for their development to learn that its possible to be loved and secure when Mom/Dad is out of sight. As mothers we miss our children, but we have to make sure that we are not making it worse for them, by projecting our anxiety onto them.

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