If you are struggling with separation from the kids while going through a divorce, you are not alone. But it is often possible to turn the negative into a positive.
Transitions are difficult for parents and children, especially initially. They also can be maddening, as it seems as if the soccer shoes, the textbook and the must-have lovey are always at the wrong house when needed.
But the reality is that courts consider that children are better served by spending time with both of their parents. While it may not be possible to halve that time exactly 50/50, family law judges are increasingly striving for equal parenting time for moms and dads.
With that in mind, try to discover the positive side of part-time parenthood. When parents don't have to be "on" 100 percent of the time, they are more likely to welcome the time spent with their kids and really engage with them fully.
On days and nights without your children, focus on yourself and how you can grow as a person individually. Take that yoga class, sign up for a course at the community college or join an after-work softball league. Don't stay holed up alone in your suddenly too-quiet home. Get out and re-enter the world.
Plan fun things to do when you have the kids. You don't have to spend money to have meaningful time with your children. Start new family traditions, like after-dinner walks or mid-week movie nights. Teach them how to pop corn on top of the stove or bake your grandma's cookies from an old family recipe.
There will always be pros and cons to shared custody. Your job as a parent is to make the best of the time you spend with your children to help minimize the loss they may feel.
Source: Slate, "Confessions of a Part-Time Mom," Lara Barzelon, June 13, 2017