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My 2 year old is not coping with DH's deployment

(23 Posts)
firstpost Thu 02-May-13 14:24:45

Wasn't sure where to put this really sad We are nearly 2 weeks into a 7 month separation from DH. I am 30 weeks pregnant, and although DH should be present for the birth (planned c section to co-incide with R & R) other than that we are alone until mid november.

We live 2 hours from friends or family. We moved house and nurseries about seven weeks ago, and I realise all this change is going to have a massive impact on my son but things cannot go on as they are.

He is off his food, has a rash that has no known cause - just been given moisturiser. He wont sleep in his bed, instead has to sleep literally on my face. If I move away even a fraction he wakes and cries. He was sent home from nursery as he had cried from 9am to 10.30am without stopping. He stands by the front door pointing and sobbing for Daddy. The nursery have suggested maybe pulling him out as he is not ready, but when will I clean? When will I cook proper meals? When will I do anything that cannot be done with a toddler in tow? He only goes 3 sessions a week and every minute is filled with household "stuff"

I am so tired, so sad, missing my DH, scared for the new baby, worried at how I will cope with 2 children and feel like an utter and abject failure.

I just want to know how to help him and me and the new baby survive the next 7 months. Any ideas gratefully received smile

intravenouscoffee Thu 02-May-13 14:31:48

That sounds incredibly hard. I have no helpful advice but have you tried the 'Forces Sweethearts' section? I think the ladies over there will have a wealth of expertise. smile

intravenouscoffee Thu 02-May-13 14:34:44


Unless I've totally misunderstood and your DH isn't in the forces.

Scootergrrrl Thu 02-May-13 14:39:50

Come and join us over at the forces sweethearts section. Are you living on a patch or in your own home? And what help are you getting from your husband's unit? I promise it does get better.

firstpost Thu 02-May-13 14:43:06

No you understood perfectly smile He is in the army. I will try to get this moved. Thanks

Scootergrrrl Thu 02-May-13 14:45:36

It's only better to move it because more people in your position, who might be able to help, will see it there. You can still talk to us on here! I did one deployment when we'd just moved to another country, DD was two and DS was seven weeks old. I though we really wouldn't make it sometimes.

firstpost Thu 02-May-13 15:13:44

Thankyou grin Yes, I just keep thinking I'm not cut out for this.. Wish I had a time machine and it could be November hmm

Mainly I have been thrown by my ds response this time. Dh was away November to January and yes ds missed him but nothing like this! Is Skype a good idea or could it make it worse? I try to keep my game face on but he must sense my sadness.

Should I persevere with this "on the doorstep" nursery or try to get him back into his old one which is only ten minutes drive. So much change for such a little boy.

Scootergrrrl Thu 02-May-13 15:45:48

Do you think your DS might be picking up on how anxious and upset you are about the deployment, and that's contributing to how badly it's getting to him? Is he deployed as part of a regiment or are you the only one on your patch or wherever? You might find support closer to home from other spouses or army services.

firstpost Thu 02-May-13 16:09:49

I think he must be picking up on it to some degree but am careful to try and be upbeat " daddy's gone on a long work but he loves you so much" that sort of thing. Timing wise he was away nov to jan then had most of march and April off so its been a lot of family time then he went hmmso that's probably not helped.

He is REME so attached to a reg but not part of them on this tour. I have met other lovely wives but just beginning of a friendship and they don't have kids.

When does it get easier ? hmm

Scootergrrrl Thu 02-May-13 16:34:20

I'm not just blowing smoke up your arse, but it normally takes about two weeks (in my experience!) to get into your stride - so you're nearly therewink
It's hard just being you and a two year old, I expect, because lovely as they are, it's not like having proper grown up company. Have you had any of the books like My Daddy is a Soldier? Sometimes they are good for smaller children. Some people seem to find it easier to talk about their daddies a lot, and some find it works better to get their heads down and get on with it but its very personal as to which works best for you.

firstpost Thu 02-May-13 16:39:28

Thankyou smile will get the book and see how he goes with Skype. It's so expensive too, 180 dollars a month! Worth it though I reckon. I appreciate you taking the time to post .. 2 weeks are nearly over and it will, it must, get easier.

Scootergrrrl Thu 02-May-13 16:50:19

I've got a couple of copies of the book - message me if you like one sending in the post. We found Skype didn't really work for us, because the times DH could manage it were invariably the bedtime meltdown hours and it left us all feeling fairly rubbish. Does he have the facilities to record a little clip of himself talking to DS or reading a story or anything - might be easier to manage than a Skyping toddler!

fedupwithdeployment Thu 02-May-13 16:57:32

I feel for you - remember being in your situation (and haven't changed my name even though DH left the RN a few months back!)

Skype is difficult - I remember DS refusing to talk on it "I just want a Daddy cuddle." That was hard for DH as he heard it.

I found the best thing (when I wasn't working) was to try and do a few things - visit friends / family.

Good luck. x

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 02-May-13 19:07:17

Hi there

We've moved this to 'Forces' Sweethearts' at the OP's request.

YoniOno Thu 02-May-13 19:31:32

Poor you, I'm not a Forces wife and have no idea how hard it must be for the whole family sad

Still - I'd take him out of nursery for the time being. 3 sessions is quite a lot to be away from you by any standards aged 2, and I'll probably be flamed for it but if you're at home anyway then hard as it is to get stuff done with a toddler around, I think you need to put him first. My DH doesn't work away but is late every night and does zero with my toddler or housework - I'm just used to doing everything with him in tow, lots of people do. It doesn't have to be for ages, but I'm sure he'd be helped by a renewed attachment to you. Sorry if this isn't helpful or not what you want, but I feel strongly that the poor sausage shouldn't be in nursery for 3 sessions upset, when mummy is at home. He doesn't need to be in nursery at all at this age - yes it's nice for you, but right now I'd rethink.

LetMeAtTheWine Thu 02-May-13 20:04:00

I am afraid I can't offer any advice as still pregnant with my first but I just wanted to say I hope things settle for you all soon. I am dreading being at this point in the future (my husband is also regularly deployed).
I know it is easier said than done but try to remember it is not your fault and just do the best you can. thanks

firstpost Thu 02-May-13 21:33:23

Thanks all smile Its so easy to feel you are the "only one" who has it tough, the reality is everyone does at some point.

YoniOno I do take your point, and for most part agree with you. It is horrible to think of him unhappy at Nursery sad That said, two of his three hour sessions are used for medical appointments for me (in a town 45 minutes away from here) that are not appropriate for him to attend. One is physio for a back problem, the other is CBT for extreme driving anxiety - these stem from a car crash last year. Giving up these treatments will limit us in where we can go, and what we can do. When he was at his previous nursery he positively bounced through the door happy as anything, partly I am wondering if that setting was just better for him?

Anyway, not to sound defensive as I am considering pulling him out its just weighing up what's best for us.

I am just wishing my life away, how awful but I am. I need to build a happy life without DH but its just sooo hard right now.I look at other army wives and think they are definitely build from sterner stuff than me - or are they just more practised at it? I dont know sad

Thanks again for posting, especially when I have done nothing but whinge!

Puddlet Fri 03-May-13 09:47:56

If your ds was happy at the old nursery and it's only ten minutes away I would definitely consider using it again. I think that at 30 weeks pregnant and with your dh away you really do need some respite and shouldn't feel guilty about having a few of your waking hours away from your toddler. It just needs to be childcare that Ds is happy with and then you can relax and feel okay about it too.

Also do try the welfare office or your padre (if there is one) - they are there to help families through deployment so make the most of the support that the army offers.

firstpost Wed 15-May-13 12:44:10

After another week of crying I have decided to remove him from his current nursery at end of May. Apparently yesterday he sobbed for Daddy for 1.5 hrs non stop. Feel awful as yesterday was the day I dont do much (no medical appt or CBT) so I could have got him if I had been told how distressed he was sad

Is it normal for a 22 month old to be this unhappy nearly 4 weeks into deployment? The nursery just said all kids react differently etc etc. His sleep is horrendous, in my bed clamped against me, if he senses I move away from him slightly to try and sleep he cries and clamps back towards me again. Previously he had been mainly going through the night.

Not sure if Skype is helping or not? It sounds awful but maybe not seeing Dad might make it easier to cope with his absence?

Finally, What does army "support" look like? What can they actually do for me? I do not mean this sarcastically I just dont know the answer...

Thanks in advance

SarahJessicaFarter Thu 23-May-13 22:13:03

Hello, just thought I would drop this info in. Relate do a counselling service. 0300 100 1234. It is not just about marital difficulties, they will set up chat sessions in school for children you can ask a head teacher or your child care provider for a referral and they will do a telephone counselling service for you too. It is a 6 week programme and apparently very helpful. I know personally that over the last 6 months I would have used it had I known sooner, but we are at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you don't have or want to burden your friends or worry family. Maybe this will help? It's specifically aimed at Forces spouses coping alone.

SarahJessicaFarter Thu 23-May-13 22:19:17

As an aside I have just given up work at the 5 month point of deployment as my 2 were wilting under the strain and finding it all very difficult. It resulted in me having a panic attack (there are work issues too) and just walking away. They are much happier and you have made the right decision. As far as Skype goes, they just don't get it! My two ignore daddy on Skype. It just doesn't cut it! But he records little videos for them and emails them back they watch rapt. They prefer that magic of daddy showing them round the compound and doing silly interviews with colleagues.

jnl0612 Sun 02-Jun-13 13:02:35

My DH bought our DD a build a bear, one in an army uniform, it has his voice in the arm (maybe a job for rnr) 4 years on its still going strong and she can't sleep without it (drives me nuts tho) it did really help her tho.

firstpost Sun 16-Jun-13 21:16:48

Oh, just noticed these extra posts. Thankyou SJF and jnl smile

As we reached his last week at nursery, low and behold he started bouncing through the door and (touches wood fervently) has been fine ever since! He has stopped crying for Daddy, and seems so much happier.

I am extremely grateful for both suggestions and will follow up! The counselling sounds v useful, especially if the new baby brings the stress I think it might, and the buildabear with DHs voice is such a lovely idea.

Thanks again x

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