Dealing with access & time without child
25 October 2019 at 11:25 pm #32018
My ex husband and I had our final hearing last week (after a long, intense and costly year) where by a joint lives with order was issued. Our daughter will spend every other weekend with him (Friday afternoon to Monday morning), and one overnight stay midweek. (This is in addition to 50/50 split holidays). It is obviously a significant amount of time, and more than what I had expected, particularly as there will be approx 50mins travel time between us, however despite our differences and ongoing issues (we have high conflict and struggle to communicate), he is a good father and our daughter can only benefit from the contact and relationship with him.
My question is, on a personal level how do parents cope/deal with the significant time away from your child? Our daughter is only 2, and whilst I know I now have time to focus on myself, I miss her so much and now view myself as some kind of part time parent. I know some would love to have their partners involved, or for some kind of break, but I’m struggling with the time I miss out on, especially thinking about as she grows older/goes to school etc. I would appreciate any tips or advice, many thanks.26 October 2019 at 3:03 am #32019
Even when she’s 25 & leaves home, you won’t be a part time parent.😊
It is difficult to start with. I saved up all the stuff it is hard to do with a baby in tow, and did that during the weekends. Get your hair cut, redecorate a room, Xmas shopping, go for a swim or do a class. Try a new recipe, get the car mot’d Have a massage. Make a cake for when she gets home.
add a bottle of wine, a long hot bath, music etc. It will eventually seem like a good thing x26 October 2019 at 7:17 am #32023
I don’t know who advised you that 50 minutes would be too far as that obviously gave you a false expectation.
I would say that personally he hasn’t gained much more than usual for a non resident parent. And though right now it feels like a huge hole I’d try to focus on the positives for the longer term
Practically splitting holiday means that you will not be solely responsible for childcare costs etc in that time which cripple many lone parents. You will only pay for the time you’re responsible for and he’s responsible for arranging his and paying for his childcare.
Likewise if he has eow pick up and drop off that will reduce your stress for a tenth of the school runs! Believe me at some point in the future you will be glad of this!
I would focus on the midweek and eow being your housework, ironing and grocery time, to not impact on your family time.
Maybe also look to see if there’s any social activities you could join on the midweek day. So theres something for you also.
Or change your hours to a longer working day in the midweek to need her in childcare less the other days.26 October 2019 at 9:19 am #32027
My son was around the same age and we had a similar arrangement although we live nearer. I don’t know if it’s possible for you, but we did end up doing some family things during our respective custody times for the sake of our son.
Day trips/bowling or even just lunch. I didn’t want him to miss out on having the two of us together just because his dad and I were no longer married. It also made the time apart easier as I’d see my son rather than going what felt like a long stretch without him!
Aside from that I would FaceTime every evening to read him a story or just say goodnight.
he’s now much older and the custody arrangements changed by the time he started pre-school as 50/50 was too disruptive. These things have to change as the child grows. He now sees his dad once mid week and has an overnight stay for 1 night over the weekend.26 October 2019 at 10:35 am #32028
Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply, and thanks for the useful and constructive advice! It’s always reassuring to hear from others who understand or go through similar experiences x