Before Sleeping – Tip #168
Bedtime, for my family, is the hardest. Not only do my kids find it hard not to get tucked in my their Dad but it is also a lonely time for me. Some nights I lay in bed at night wondering if he is thinking of me, missing me, safe, etc. Sometimes an hour has gone by before I realize that I am no closer to getting to sleep. My kids are tired after a long day of school, homework, sports, friends, etc. and it is when they are most upset about having their Dad away.
The kids and I now have a routine that we do before going to sleep. While it was a challenge to set up and stick to, it has been our biggest success. The kids rely on and know what to expect each night and they also feel like they are connecting with their day each day. Each night, after teeth have been brushed, baths, stories, etc. we email a one liner about what was good, annoying and something we are looking forward to their Dad. When he can write back he does and he also send us a couple of one liners that answer the same questions about his day(s). The only rule is that we all try to put something different each time.
* Make a couple of sentence starters for everyone to use
* Email it out to not just your deployed family member but to other friends and family so that your children are not disappointed when their news goes unanswered (we send our nightly message to Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, their Dad, etc.).
* Keep it simple so that your deployed or absent family member is able to write back quickly if time on-line is limited
* Make sure that the account is under your name and carefully monitored and filtered by an adult
* By giving sentence starters it also ensures that you aren’t giving away operational information (be sure not to send information via email that should not be known about the mission)
* Send a picture a day too if you are able to – it is nice to have a visual as well as a few words