Mike’s transition back to working in an office was nine months ago, so I thought we were all settled in and adjusted. For the last two weeks, however, Annabel has been having some sadness over Mike being gone all day.

It’s fine in the mornings, luckily. Mike can get ready and head off to work with a happy little hug and kiss from Annie, and as soon as the door closes she’s like, “Mommy, I’m hunnnnnnngry.” But in the evenings she starts laying it on thick almost as soon as he gets home.

“Why do you have to go every day? Why can’t you stay with us? I just miss you so much it hurts my heart! Don’t go, Daddy!”

I’ve had several conversations about this. I’ve told her why people work and how everyone has different jobs and roles in this world. I’ve explained why jobs are important. I’ve even told her how some people have jobs that require them to be far from their families for weeks or months at a time. I’ve also told her that it’s not nice to make Daddy feel bad about going to work. When we’re talking about it, she seems like she understands everything I’m saying, but the second Mike gets home she’s overwhelmed with emotion and everything we’ve talked about flies out of her head.

I’ve started taking steps during the day to help her feel more connected to Mike. I’ve suggested she draw him pictures and make him other things. I let her make him videos that we text to Mike. We’ll also email or text Mike messages throughout the day. I’ve even let her start calling him when he’s on his way home with the hope that hearing his voice will help make it easier when he walks through the door a few minutes later. As much as she seems to enjoy doing these things during the day, they don’t seem to make it easier for her in the evenings.

I feel really terrible for Mike because as much as we both know this is likely just a phase, it still tears his heart out. He gives her and James all of his attention every evening between arriving home and bedtime, and the weekends are filled with togetherness. I don’t really know what else I can do to help her through this…and by extension, help Mike, because it’s killing him to see her so sad. They’ve always been best buddies and I’d hate for them to lose their special relationship.


Mike and I are also going out of town this weekend for our first trip away without kids since before I was pregnant with James. We’re so excited…but we still haven’t told Annabel. I’m not sure how she’s going to take it and while I refuse to feel guilty for getting some much-needed alone time with Mike, I do feel bad that she’s not going to get the Daddy time she looks forward to all week. I need to figure out a way to break it to her that won’t leave her a sad sobbing mess for Grandma. So, I dunno, maybe I need to look into getting her a pony?