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Former EastEnders star Melissa Suffield has spoken of her heartbreak at husband Robert Brendan's return to work on board a cruise ship, which leaves her parenting alone for four months.
The 30-year old shared an emotional post with her 54,000 Instagram followers, explaining that their son River, who was born in March 2020, is now at an age where he is developing at so quickly that "Robert will return to a completely different child".
Actress turned body-confidence guru Melissa added that although the nature of her husband's work is "right for the family", it "doesn't make it any easier".
READ MORE: EastEnders' Melissa Suffield doesn't care that old clothes will never fit her again
Melissa shared a gorgeous family photo on the social media platform with the two parents each holding River's hand on a pebble beach gazing out into the sunset.
"And just like that, three becomes two again," she penned in a long caption.
"After a lovely 3 months together, Robert has returned to the ship for another 4 months- so it’s back to mum and River 24/7. We’ve had a wonderful break, and although we’re all used to this now, it doesn’t get any easier.
"In fact, it probably gets more difficult- Riv gets more aware, we both start to realise how much he can change in a 4 month window. He’s gaining skills DAILY that feel so grown up, it feels like Robert will return to a completely different kid at this point. And although it’s still the right choice for our family, it’s doesn’t make the decision an easy one."
She continued: "But it’s all entirely worth it for moments like these. Time spent together, or seeing River’s face when we both appear as he wakes, and being able to simply sit and do nothing, with company.
"Tiny small joys that so many take for granted. We never do."
Fans of Melissa who have found themselves in similar situations were quick to respond, meanwhile, with one commenting: "We’re a military family, it doesn’t get easier and it’s so hard when the littlies are changing so much over a week let alone a few months.
"But each solo parenting stint makes us strong enough for the next stint, you’ve got this!"
Another wrote: "My four month olds Daddy is on a 10 week rotation at sea. The absence is completely different with a little one and there are a whole load of amplified feelings for us all (and I’m aware of when this will kick in for her too.)
"We find it takes a week to adjust either end, so thinking of you. But when they are home there’s nothing quite like it xxx."
And a third added: "Absolutely gorgeous photo! Memories are so important when you have a travelling husband. I speak from experience. "
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