We have a daughter who is nine months old. When my husband is gone for long periods of time, she seems a little scared of him at first when he comes home.
It hurts my husband’s feelings and then he gets upset with me, like I have done something wrong raising her.
Does this ever end and will she know her daddy when he comes home so I don’t go crazy feeling like it’s my fault?
Raising a Trucker’s Child
Dear Raising a Trucker’s Child,
This is not your fault.
This is very common in younger children. Stranger anxiety is completely normal for babies about seven to 15 months old.
At this age, out-of-sight is usually out-of-mind, which would make your husband a stranger to her. You can try and help lessen the shock of the reunion by doing a few things while he is away. Remember that not all children are the same.
These things may work with your daughter, but some children are more apt to be shy with anyone they don’t see on a regular day-to-day basis.
Here are a few ideas suggested by some other parents as well as a couple things I have done.
Dawn says: “Let her hear Daddy on the phone while she looks at a picture.
This will help her associate the voice with the face, and then when Daddy walks in the door and she hears his voice, she will associate it with the word Daddy and the picture (make sure it’s recent).”
If you have a speaker phone option, talk to your husband that way when he calls.
She will hear the voice and you can call him Daddy a few times so she’ll know that this is who the voice is.
Get your husband to sing a special song to her. It can be something very short, even just a couple of phrases long.
If he sings it over and over when he is home, it may help her recognize him when he comes through the door and sings it again.
Encourage your husband to renew their bond each time he gets home.
This is not anyone’s fault but a natural progression in human growth. It will get easier as she gets older, but I do encourage you to have photos around the house of her and her Daddy.
Take snapshots while he is home and frame a few and keep them around the house.
See if you can locate a couple of those magnetic frames and place a couple on the fridge so that she can see her Daddy at eye level either when you are holding her or when she is in a high chair.
My trucker and I are getting married this June.
The wedding is all planned, the reception arrangements are all made, the dress is ready, the flowers are ordered and all we have to do now is wait for the blessed day.
He’s been driving for eight years and it is a part of his life.
I want to add something special for him in a truck theme, without being corny or tacky. Do you have any suggestions?
Tying the Knot
Dear Tying the Knot,
How exciting! Congratulations!
* If you don’t have something arranged, have a trucker friend pick you up after the ceremony in a truck!
* Get some wedding photos taken with the truck. Make sure it’s really clean and shiny so you don’t get dirty.
* Find a tiny toy truck and add it to the top of the wedding cake.
* Give him a gift of something truck related. Maybe something special, or maybe something silly. Have fun with it. Check out some of the gift shops around and see what you can find that is trucking related.
* If you need to place direction signs for guests to point the way to the ceremony or reception, cut out signs in the shape of a truck.
* If he has been with the same company for awhile, maybe they have jackets or shirts that you can have your names embroidered on with the wedding date.
These are just a few ideas. See what you can find and personalize it, or fit it in.
You’ll know when you hear the right idea, or find the right thing for you both!
– I encourage you to send in your questions and comments. I will try to answer as many questions as I can here.Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.