Part-time parenting pain

I found through this poignant observation about being a parent part of the time.  I'm a full time parent to four, but my girls go back and forth between me and my ex every other week.  This week we have seven.  And sadly, I'm in DC from yesterday until mid-day tomorrow.  I hate leaving Kari there with seven or four, but I especially dislike my girls being gone at all. 

And so I understand where these dads are coming from.  It's hard to see my girls gone like they are.  It's hard on them, too.  They have one set of rules at our house, and seemingly no rules, or far less fewer at their mom's.  Or so it seems and feels.  Our girls often come to use on Mondays ready to go to bed at dinner time.  Instead of having energy to talk about their previous week, they're more consumed with the gear change to be a part of our world again.  And by the time they get leveled out, the week's up and it's time to go again. 

For dads who only see their kids every other weekend and on Wednesdays or whatever, I grieve.  There are so many adventures and stories and moments that are missed.  But like my mom told my younger brother when he went through his divorce and the kids moved to Atlanta from Montgomery, AL, "The kids will be older than 18 longer than they will be younger than 18."  And if you look at it from that perspective, dads and moms, you can begin to see things a little differently.  Until your ex ticks you off again over something stupid. 

Did I mention that I got four invites Tuesday from my ex asking me to be her friend on Facebook?  She sent them to my wife, too.  Now, give me one good reason I'd do that.  Just one.  And of course, she might try being a friend in person first, too.  I think that would be a good start.

  1. TS Franklin

    I have my kids every other week and feel your pain. I miss 1/2 their life, and — to be nice — their mom and I don’t see eye to eye on how they should be raised. It’s challenging, but I actually think I’m a better parent because of it. I have 1/2 the time to make a positive impression, so I must double my efforts.

  2. Mary

    Thankfully, I have primary custody of my kids and my ex and I are on fairly good terms. I do try to be accommodating because I couldn’t imagine only seeing the kids every other weekend and for all too brief Wednesday nights. Focus on how much better your life is now, at least!

  3. cheryl

    Hi! Thanks for referring me thru Twitter. This was an excellent post. I’ve been divorced +7 years with 5 children. I don’t think my ex even qualifies for “part time Dad” status. He is remarried and has made it clear that his wife comes first. He has flip flopped for years on taking them…going for months without, then taking them every few weekends. Now he take them every other Sat/Sun and they are not exactly thrilled to go. (the youngest three are 8/10/13…older girls are grown and out of college) They’ve asked to go less…and he seems thrilled.
    It’s so sad. I adore my children and we have so much fun together. I miss them so much when they are gone. I’m not sure he’s kissed or hugged them in years. I have a wonderful guy in my life who is a single Dad and we all have such a great time together…it’s sad to say, but my kids hug him and kiss him and tell him I love you–because they get love in return. He shakes his head and wonders why their Dad just doesn’t care. Business and his wife are his primary interests.
    Anyway, great posts. Hooray for great Dads!!

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