Sunday, November 12, 2006

The price we pay...

A couple of months ago Omair got the chance to switch jobs. Great opportunity... higher postion... more money... The only catch was that he would have longer hours.

We had thought about it for a long time and then finally decided that he needed to step out of the old "rut" job and really focus on advancing his career. He's really happy at this new place. The atmospere is great. He's boss to several people. The company really looks out for their own. Besides the new added responsibility, he's doing well (thank God).

But there's a price. Maybe a really steep price. Something that we didn't factor into the budget...

Because of Iman's early bed time and Omair's late work time, they hardly see each other in the week. Some days Omair comes home AFTER she's gone to bed, and they don't see each other at all.

Since we're a family that's really used to spending time together every day, this is really strange for Iman. She really misses Omair, and asks about him all the time.

She saves parts of her snack, telling me that she'll "... eat it with Baba".
She'll ask me to take her to the office, or "why isn't Baba coming home?"
If the doorbell rings... she'll jump and squeel that "Baba's home!"

I particularly hate the days when he's not going to see her at all... and while I'm doing her bedtime routine, she's so unsettled. Falling asleep is hard too, because she's too restless without him. I even get the feeling that she's developing insecurities.

In the morning of course, Omair is always home. We leave for school before he does, so she knows he'll be around. Today she woke up and Omair was in the kitchen, and the first words out of her mouth were... "where's my Baba? I want to see him".

Omair and Iman still have a great relationship. She is OVER delighted when he walks in the door. They have their hugs and kisses, and then she has so much to tell him and show him that she doesn't know where to start. It's so cute, watching her run around the house trying to say and do everything at the same time. They're still really goofy together... she laughs and giggles with him in a way she never does with me.

What they have is really special, and I am really happy to see that. BUT...

She also pushes him away. After the initial excitement of having him home, she doesn't want him to do anything for her. She won't let him feed her, take her to the bathroom, bathe her, or in general do things for her.

At times she's even said.. "I only love Mama, not Baba" or "I don't want my Baba" Even though I know that his lack of presence is something she'll get used to (because Omair definately makes up for it when they are together), it still upsets me to hear things like that.


At 7:22 PM, Blogger DariushAlavi said...

I don't really know what to write in response to your latest post, except that the modern world sucks sometimes, doesn't it?

I guess all you can do is try to ensure that any time O does get to spend with Iman really is genuine Quality Time... but how sad that his time with his daughter has to be reduced...

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous y2kmicrochick said...

hi sweety,
I vaugly remember reading something about children doing this sort of a thing as a coping mechanism. They push away others as a protection for feeling abandoned. If anyone I should know how it hurts to see your child miss their dad. Still nothing lasts forever. We had the same problem last year ... and are making up for lost time now. You don't know how long this will last. Now that you have identified the problem ... it's a good time to pray for a solution. It might come sooner then you expect. Wishing baby and daddy many hours of 'them time' ....

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Hina said...

Hi Noor!

I'm so glad you posted. Listen, I lost your e-mail address. Please mail me again. I would love to get in touch. There's lots to tell you.


At 7:16 PM, Blogger Lorraine said...

We went through something very similar with The Child when The Spouse was working on the east coast for 6 months and only coming home every other weekend. She'd miss him and talk about him and be so excited to speak to him on the phone every night. She could barely contain herself on the days when he was flying home. But once he was in the house she's start snarking at him, pushing him away, even trying to hit him.

And she was 6 at the time.

The bottom line is that young ones can't understand the obligations of parents. Work? Money? Who cares - I want my Baba!

How you handle it will be key; if YOU have any issues or resentments about the new schedule you need to work them out with O and be careful not to say anything in front of Iman.

Is it possible sometimes to have lunch with him during the day or have them speak on the phone or something? That might help. And maybe, once O is nicely established in his new job he might be able to negotiate for a different schedule. Because the other side of it is, as you both know, this time goes so fast. It would be a shame for him to miss anything he didn't have to miss.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

Maybe try to set up some routines that would help her feel more connected to Baba. Like take a picture of the two of them, each one gets a copy to keep with them all day and look at whenever she really misses him. Or schedule special I'll be thinking about you moments - like every morning when you're in the playground (or whatever), I'll close my eyes and think about how much I love you.
Since you and Iman leave first, maybe your husband could leave her little notes (for you to read) or drawings everyday in a different spot, for her to find and savour when she gets home. On days when he can't see her at night, maybe use a phone call? My boys call papa for a special song before bed if he can't make it home on time. Maybe too, they could have a regular only baba and iman play date on the weekends - 2 hours where it's just the two of the them.

Hang in there - times of change and adjustment are always a challenge with kids.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Hina said...

Nicole, awesome ideas. We're definately going to use them. I'm sure Iman would love it!!

Thanks all for the words of advice...

I'm hanging in there.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger jammie said...

maybe hina (and this is my inexperienced best talking) you could use this as a life changing experience- i mean it IS a truth of life that sometimes we are too busy doing what is better in a longer run to be available right then and there- maybe you could tell iman that baba is working hard for her? the concept of we do things that are not always good but helpful and beeficial in the long run?? and maybe she could "work hard" for him- some kind of art project or drawing or clay piece?

this is where i think the relationships start changing- i remember waiting for my father to come back home- and you are rright - that though the bond is more intense the fulfillment is also faster- thats not necessarily a bad thing.

i think you guys are doig a great job and when she is older she will eventually realize from her own choices and lives that this was a necessity and the psh away you see in her will be a thing of the past-

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you considered trying to put her to sleep in the afternoon so she can sleep a bit later at night and perhaps be able to see her father every day?


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