New to being a single parent

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    JustSarah
    Participant

    Hi,

     

    I wrote a little while ago about my situation. My husband left in October for another woman, we have two children together, a 4 year old and an 8 month old.

    I recently sought legal advice, not to start anything formal as such but just to gather information and get myself ready. In the conversation the solicitor said to look at the CAFCAS Parenting Plan, to be able to work out an arrangement sensibly between both parents.
    Ive been sat ready through it tonight and it’s got me thinking. There are questions in it like “who will be in charge of routine health checks?” Or “who will be responsible for taking children to regular clubs and activities?” Etc etc.

    It’s had me feeling like I really am in it on my own. I know that my husband has left me and not “technically” left my children, but… he has.

    He currently sees them twice a week, one just for a school pick up to bedtime and the other an afternoon on a Sunday. He hasn’t pushed for more, and although it’s tiring, quite frankly I don’t want him to. I know he’s there dad and I don’t doubt he loves them and they love him, I can’t help but feel like I am their only real parent as he has just upped and left.

    Is it unreasonable to feel like this? Or more so, act like this? Like he is just a visitor in their lives? He already doesn’t know the day to day ins and outs of things but “says” he wants to be there for them, and so on.

    It’s just all so conflicting to me. I would move heaven and earth for my children, yet somebody who can turn their world upside down can claim the same title of parent.

    Is this a normal feeling??

    #64767 Report

    sirtobi
    Participant

    Hello Sarah,

    I remember well all of those mixed feelings and still after five years I often find myself thinking, am I doing the right thing ( and failing ). As you said, parental responsibilities don’t end with the separation and the love for the children does not usually. It is a complicated minefield, and we have to overcome a lot of emotional challenges, new partners come, and go, financial worries, unfinished business and the demanding task of doing the best for our children in the middle of all of this. I find this the most challenging period of my life, and a lot of others do as well. So you are in good company. And the same is probably what  is going on in their father’s mind. There might be various mixed feelings, from guilt, fear, hate to what not else competing, and he might not know how to compute them. The conversation about the parenting plan might make things easier. Your feelings are valid as they are. But decisions need some rationale and good will to compromise on the best for the children. That is the victory over ourselves, I find the hardest to achieve.

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