I used to cry every time my boys left to go to their Dad’s. For an entire year , every time they left, I cried. I’m not talking shed a tear; I’m talking full on sobbed with my back against the bathroom cabinets curled up with my face in my knees. I would spend the entire night on my couch with a stomach ache, thinking “this is so not fair for them, I’ve failed them as a mother, this isn’t natural, not how it’s supposed to be “
Slowly, the crying lasted less and less time. I’ve learned that it’s okay to not have things be “how they were planned or supposed to be “ because there are things to be admired about the unusual.
This unusual, unexpected new dynamic that we have has left me with so many gifts. I now love that every second I spend with them is completely cherished, even the tough days. I love that when they are not with me I have the time to refresh, think and grow as a mom and to plan fun things for us to do together when they are back.
So finally after an entire year of dwelling in sorrow and pain, for the very first time, they left to go to Daddy’s and I didn’t cry, I smiled. They get to spend quality time with both of us in positive atmospheres and while it was extremely tough to decide, go through and adjust to, I am very content and at peace with where we are.
I want anyone who is going through something to know that there is always peace somewhere later through the journey
Here are some of my tips for coping with missing your children when sharing custody:
Fill Your Calendar – Take small steps of action to start scheduling things ahead of time for when your kids will not be with you. Call up friends that you have lost touch with (because we all know that happens when we get married) and setup a coffee or wine date! Schedule trips with your friends or family for the weekends you don’t have the kids. You don’t have to be dating someone new to fill your calendar up with fun dates with people you know and distract yourself from your emotions.
Practice New Self Care Habits – Quiet time can become quite scary after the typical hustle and bustle of married life with children around 24/7. It’s like having an empty nest way before you expect one. At first, the quiet time can seem depressing but after a while you can train yourself to really enjoy the time to yourself. Develop some new habits to improve and grow yourself. I started taking a candlelit bath with a book and a glass of wine every night my kids left for their week with Dad (yeah , I know, super Cliché) but it became this little routine that helped me destress from the single mom week and transition into a zen and happy place with myself. You can practice meditation, read books, do skin care, whatever it is that makes YOU happy, start getting into the routine of showing yourself a little love during your down time.
Develop A New Skill – One of the best ways to lift your spirits is to improve your confidence. And trust me, I know that when you are in the midst of a major life change (aka trauma) it is super hard to feel confident about literally anything. Learning a new skill is actually proven to improve your confidence, whether you are looking for it or not! Try to use your spare time to take a class, pick up a new hobby (or pick up an old one that you left behind when you had kids), finally pursue something that you were always curious about or hey, you could always get a side hustle and make some money while learning new skills too!
Whatever you decide to do, just know, you are not alone and you’ve got this!
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