Missing my Daughter

At some point of every day I find myself standing in my daughter’s room and wishing she were here. The room is decorated in shades of pink with posters of Hannah Montana and Disney princesses on the walls. The shelves are filled with toys, books, stuffed animals, games, dolls, and art supplies. In the corner of the room is her kitchen set along with all of the play food and dishes needed to host a fabulous make-believe party. The only thing missing is my favorite girl.

~Holly

holly

I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful open community where parents can come and share their experiences in a non-threatening environment and without fear of criticism or judgment.I have been a long distance mom for almost two years now. The living arrangement I have with one of my children is not ideal but my current husband and I are doing our best to make it work. Being a long distance mom has been such an unparalleled experience for me that I have found it difficult to find others with which to talk about issues that are unique to being a long distance mom – until now.The image of long distance parents (moms especially) is in desperate need of a makeover. I think it is important for all of us, whether we are distance parents by choice or by circumstance, to focus on maintaining a happy, healthy family life. That’s where the forums on this site come in. This is a place to share ideas, vent frustrations, and receive emotional support from others in similar situations.I have several ideas for topics that I think will be interesting to explore including social stigma, long separations, visitation, legal issues, financial issues, holidays, travel, non-supportive people, etc. In sharing my personal stories, I’m hoping to help others know that they are not alone in the challenge of being a long distance parent.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Carrie

    My son moved to live with me a couple of years ago and then my step daughter moved to live with her mom last month. It’s almost like going through it all over again. I have often found myself wandering back to her room and looking around. It’s so empty without her there. She loves hannah Montana too. 🙂

  2. sandrar

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  3. Andy

    I am in the same situation I just heard today my girlfriend left me for good with our child, my daughter, I am so down I feel like a tank ran over me, same thing her room is there with all the toys and she’s missing… it breaks my heart I have been weeping all day ,
    they are 1500 km away, how will I cope with the days to come….
    I’m shattered…

  4. Jay Goff

    I can empathize with your sadness. I too often do the same things as I enter my now 14 year old’s room and it is still the way she left it a year ago. She’s been giving me the silent treatment since Dec 2013 over an issue I addressed and my discouragement over her choices. But with her in Washington and I in Missouri, and the added influence of a venomous mother, my heart is broken daily as she still refuses to communicate with me. Sadly, I have been witnessing more and more of an apathetic behavior from her, very much like her #1 influencer…..her mother.

    1. Kelly

      I’m in your same boat,only I’m the mother. She turns 18 tomorrow and it will be the first time I haven’t given her a birthday party. My heart hurts so much! And, I’m in the same town!

  5. Matthew

    I know that empty room all too well. It was, quite literally, just a week ago that it was filled with the only person who can bring it to life in it’s rightful way. Now, with Summer winding down, and my daughter 1500 miles away getting ready to start another school year, it returns to that empty vessel, containing One Direction posters, lifeless stuffed animals, and toys that she’ll likely outgrow by the next time she’s back. The pink canopy twin bed looks massive when it’s so empty.

    Walking past her room everyday brings forth the most bittersweet feelings imaginable. It’s a reminder that I do have an amazing, loving little girl who can feel quite naturally at home in a house she only spends a modicum of time in. Yet, when it’s empty, it’s also a reminder that she’s not here right now, and it serves as a bit of a snapshot of a moment in time from her latest visit, which can bring on great sadness when the memories come rushing back.

    All of that said, it’s very important to have that room, and to treat it as if she was there each and every day. I like to arrange her stuffed animals for her, and leave a surprise or two on the bed for her next visit. It helps to create that feeling of “home” for her when she comes back, which is important for her. It’s also important to me, to remind me that, though I live most days without the pitter-patter of her footsteps, the board games and the Barbie dolls, I’m still her Daddy no matter what. It motivates me to continue to live a life where I work my tail off to maintain the best possible relationship I can with her, distance or not. I hate the emptiness of that room, but not nearly as much as love it when it’s occupied.

  6. Cory

    I moved back to Alaska when my girl was 9. Her 10th birthday was the first I ever missed. She was born here, like me, and I wanted her to experience it. I also did it for financial reasons. I second guess myself daily. She flies up to see me and I fly to Va. on her birthday. I’m sad and I worry constantly about her, and our relationship. I fear that she will resent me and have poor relationships as a woman. I love her so much, and miss her horribly.

  7. Shawn

    I am home alone. My spouse left me and took our 16 month old baby girl with her. It’s been a month and it’s getting harder every day. Despite our differences I still wish she was here with me. I love them so. Sometimes life happens and we just don’t know how to talk it out without severe feelings and posturing. It’s sad. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. We always forget what brought us together. I often stand in my little girls room or sit in the rocking chair weeping and wishing she were with me. Wishing I could get a dada or a little hug from her. Wishing she would come to me when I get home from work. I cannot describe the feelings of loss and sadness. It overcomes me when I don’t expect it. It is all day everyday. I can’t eat, sleep work or concentrate. It is all consuming. I can now empathize with the feelings of loss and sadness that only a loving parent would understand. I am a broken man without her. True heartbreak. Thankfully I will see her on the weekends and hopefully someday I can put this god awful chapter behind me. I just want to be a great father to my little angel. I love you little girl. I hope you sleep well tonight. Daddy will see you soon.

    1. Eric

      I know exactly how you feel. You need to be strong, seek help from your network of friends and family, and don’t do anything dumb. Fix what you are responsible for and move toward a solution with the law on your side. Don’t fight with your ex, don’t stalk, don’t message, don’t call. Let the system work with the help of an attorney. It will take time, but make the most of it.

    2. Ben

      When my daughter was four months old, I got a call out of the blue from my wife, telling me that she was leaving me and taking our daughter with her. That single moment made my entire life cave in, and six hours later I found myself in the woods, crying, screaming, and seriously wondering if I would see tomorrow. The days passed, and in a few weeks I once again could speak at a normal volume, though had no energy to do anything and couldn’t concentrate. Even seeing a baby would shatter me, and it would take several hours to recover. For the next year and a half I was completely alone. I mean that in the most literal way: no friends, no social life, working nights and shopping in the early morning. It gave me a lot of time to reflect on who I wanted to be for her as she grew up. After a while my ex-wife cut all contact with me, and I barely managed to hang on to my parental rights. Unfortunately, I was earning minimum wage and could barely afford to live and pay child support, let alone go back to see my daughter. I would often be working at night, and would completely crumble and spend an hour on the floor of a bathroom weeping uncontrollably. I prayed all of the time; for relief, for my daughter, for my ex-wife, and for myself. It took over four years to get myself back together into something that resembled a human being. It has been almost seven years since that happened, and I have watched from a distance my daughter grow. I have only been able to see her a handful of times since that day, and it has changed me permanently. Not necessarily for the worse, or better for that matter, but I look at who I was and don’t see much correlation between who I was and who I am. It still gets me right down to the core sometimes; how much of her life I’ve missed, how she doesn’t know me. I cannot change this, nor could I have done anything differently. Truly the only thing that I have been able to consistently do is to be the best man I can be so that when she does reach out for me, I’ll be there. I’ll be strong enough to hold her and lift her up. Having my wife and daughter leave was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure, but it is by endurance that we prevail, and I promise that if you allow it, your love for your daughter can refine your character, enough so that when she is grown, and can see you for who you are, she will be proud that you are her father. For know that “Father” is a title that can never be taken away from you by anyone.

  8. Anna

    I’m sitting in her room right now feeling an incredible longing to hug her. She is away at university in a different country 3000 miles away. Although I see her between terms the ache of not having her around just cannot go away…

  9. Eric

    I was in a relationship with a women who adopted a beautiful, blue eyed little girl from Russia in 2007. When they arrived in DC, I fell in love with her right then and there-all 28 lbs of her exhausted little life. I bonded with her over the next 7 years, through the stages of development like talking, potty training, learning to swim, learning to ride a bike, first day of kindergarten, etc., etc. While my relationship with her deepened, my relationship with her mother went wrong and eventually ended. One day she moved out of the house, taking the little girl away and refusing any further contact with me. I missed all the holidays with her last fall for the first time. I understand the pain of an empty bedroom, the finality of a final text, last voicemails, last emails. Like she is suspended in time. I know she has grown and I have missed it. Everyday I think of her, every night she haunts my dreams. I miss her so much it hurts. I was her dad, I am her dad. She was allowed to believe that and say that. While I am fighting to regain contact and visitation, she is learning to live without me, and possibly learn that she cannot trust people, that relationships are fleeting and people cant be trusted. I don’t know if I will ever see her again while she is still a child. I never knew true loss until this happened, but the pain I feel now is worth the time I spent with her.

  10. rach

    I feel for all of you wonderful parents who care so much for your children,I too miss my Babygirl,who at 19 for no reason went into cardiac arrest and passed this last Christmas,trying to make sense,find acceptence and move forward has taken everything Ive got,so lost,so displaced,so lonely,It is not for me to question,although I do,I guess what I want to say,is that your loved ones are still here,keep it in perspective,and use that Hope to fuel your journey ahead,children should not be put in the middle of grown up issuses,but they are,use every opportunity to let them know your Heart is thinking of them,and every opportunity to build a bridge,much love and Best Wishes to all of you.p.s. all we really have is today ????

  11. John Dowling

    My three daughters decided to go and live with their mom. I am a single father and have had joint custody of them. My oldest is 16 and my twins are 14. It’s such a hard time living in a house where every other week I had my children and now nothing. They say that they will visit often and still it is a sad ordeal. I know in 3 years my oldest will be able to be out on her own and 5 years my twins will do the same.

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