Time alone, you’ve craved it.
You have imagined all of the things you would do if you could just get a few minutes alone without the kids.
Well guess what, divorced mama, you got your wish!
Being divorced or just simply not being with your child’s father/mother anymore is pretty tough. Becoming accustomed to your “new norm” is a part of the adjustment your family has to make. It can be tough for the kids to ease into transitioning between two homes. It can also be tough for the parents to get used to being alone when the kids are with the other parent.
Here’s the scenario:
You just met dad/mom at your meeting location (for high conflict parents, you should be meeting a central location and not each other’s homes for visitation drop-offs/pick-ups). You’ve given your hugs and kisses to the kids and handed over the overnight bag to dad/mom.
What happens next is weird.
As they drive off, you feel your stomach clinching.
“What’s happening to me?” you ask yourself.
It’s a feeling of being alone. With the kids gone temporarily, you thought you would feel differently, in a liberating way.
However, what you feel is ALONE and unsure of what to do with yourself.
I remember this feeling just like it was yesterday.
I watched my ex’s car drive away with my two kids in it. Prior to that day, I had some thoughts on things I would enjoy doing while they were away. But when they drove off, I had no desire to do anything.
During that time, I had a good friend who gave me some great advice. She said that the kids would be having a good time with their dad and that I needed to be “full” once they returned.
I didn’t understand what “being full” meant. Over the years, though, I gained a full understanding and here’s what I learned:
Get rid of the guilt.
Feeling guilty can paralyze you. Your life is full of purpose, which includes being the best parent you can be. What do you have to be guilty about anyway? Did you do something wrong? It’s not a crime when a someone is divorced or is no longer with their child’s parent. It’s not that you hate having the kids around. It’s not that they are prohibiting you from living. This is about you growing yourself and using this time to do it.
Reassure your children.
Just as we worry about them, our kids can worry about us. Reassure them that you’re fine and that you have a life outside of being mom/dad. Your kids should know that you don’t just sit around the house while they’re gone (even though that’s probably what a lot of moms and dads do!). It’s not necessary to give them the intimate details of your weekends.
Embrace the time.
Oh, the choices you have! Do you want to learn a new skill? Have a girls night out? Read a book…without being interrupted? You would probably enjoy using the bathroom…without being interrupted?
The point here is to not go wild and out (unless that’s what you want to do but have the ability to reign yourself back in!).
However, you deserve to have some fun and relaxation.
Take some time to think about some things you’ve put off doing but can now do when the kids are with your ex.
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