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Time with children, how to make fair

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Acer0112 posted 4/27/2014 19:49 PM

My WH and I are in separation working towards divorce. Short recap, he did not want to work on R, has reconnected with OP, and I'm trying to do the 180 approach and let go.

Part of this is feeling like its so unfair that I now have to leave the kids on his nights, miss them on holidays, and figure out vacations when I can't be with them.

My brother has asked me and kids to a fall break Hawaii trip. I asked WH if we can go five days so he can see kids rest of the time, I'm thinking what's fair. His response was do what you want, as I might take them somewhere another time. This statement makes me think he is planning a 10 day vacation somewhere.

I am freaking, I don't think I could handle the pain of not being with kids for more than half of a vacation week or holiday.

What has worked for others and time with kids? I've been the stay at home mom, we have taken an adult vacation now and then, but I'm having a hard time thinking of the time away.

[This message edited by Acer0112 at 8:04 PM, April 27th (Sunday)]

SBB posted 4/27/2014 20:06 PM

My girls are now 6 and 3.5 and I have 50/50 on a 2/2/3 schedule throughout the year except the summer holidays where we go to week on week off. From 2015 we're going to a 5/5/2/2.

The first time I had to do it was this last Christmas and it was awful being without them. I had never spent a week without them prior to this. It is something I need to get used to - this is the reality of divorce.

Even if he is an EOW parent I think summer holidays are divided week on/week off as a default.

I will say whilst I still don't love it it has become my new normal. My girls enjoyed their time with their dad and I loved having them all to myself for a whole week.

I never wanted all of his free time. I didn't have kids to only be a part of their lives for half of it. But it is what it is. I make the best of it.

I do all of my housework when they aren't here so when I'm with them I'm 100% focused on them. I also had time and space to fall apart when I needed it. I've made time to do things for me - a luxury many mums don't have, single mums especially.

My issue isn't the time away from them anymore - it is time stolen from me which he doesn't even cherish. I have to share important dates with a guy I loathe. I'll have to see him for a handover at 10am Christmas Day for the next 14+ years. I have to miss out on Christmas morning with my children every second year.

It sucks and it is supremely unfair but it won't kill you. I thought I would die but here I sit 18m later and it has become my new normal.


PurpleRose posted 4/27/2014 20:07 PM

Nothing is fair in the divorce. Not to swing a 2x4 at you... But you need to realize that your new normal is going to be splitting time with your kids.

It. Fucking. Sucks.

I fought it tooth and nail, insisted that I was NOT going to share my children because the doosh cheated and ruined our family. But in the end, that is exactly what happens.

I cried hysterically the first few times my kids went to his new apartment for a weekend visit. Complete MESS.

But eventually it becomes part of your new "normal" and you learn to cope, deal, and perhaps even embrace some alone time.

Sorry to smack you with it, but there is no way to sugar coat this one.

Merlin posted 4/27/2014 22:10 PM

Put your fair/unfair stuff aside and do what is best for your children.

They are not luggage to be shifted around is some futile effort to be 'fair'. They are human beings, young human beings, going through something awful that they cannot comprehend or adequately deal with.

Think of them FIRST.

Bluebird26 posted 4/28/2014 05:35 AM

Depending on the age of the children ask them what they want, they obviously don't get the final decision but what they want is important to consider and what works for you family is important too.

My ex originally wanted 50/50 our children did not want this, they have watched their cousins do it and they hate it. They also did not want to lug their things to school all the time either.

My job is scheduled around the children, the ex travels frequently for his work, he can't do the school pick up or drop off either. The children also hate the OWifestress so no way they were being left with her. Our youngest has some special needs so is frequently in therapy or seeing specialists.

So whilst in theory 50/50 makes it fair it's not what works best for our children.

The ex agreed to a smaller cash settlement for EOW access he also requested 1/2 of the school holidays and 2 weeks during our summer break (over xmas here). He has only taken them once during his scheduled time during school holidays is now frequently 'unavailable' on his weekends or is late to pick up so the kids aren't exactly his first priority. He also never turns up to appointments or school things.

So whatever you decide stick to it, kids need routine.

EvenKeel posted 4/28/2014 07:18 AM

My visitation agreement does give him a week each month during the summer. IE a week in June, July and August. I told him if he wanted to plan a longer trip, I would work with him to join those weeks. IE if he needed 2-weeks in a row for Disney, etc.

I know it is difficult - but life isn't what it was anymore. You need to be careful that your kiddos are not aware of your anxiety. Meaning, that you have a really hard time when they are gone and fear longer times because you don't want them worrying about you the entire time they are on vacation with their father, etc. Children can morph that into their own guilt.

Give yourself time and permission to enjoy your "you" time. I found that was the hardest thing at first...I just didn't even know what to do with myself those first few times I was kid-free. You grow into it and adapt. For me it started with making lists of things I wanted to do when they were gone, etc.

ChinaCat posted 4/29/2014 15:29 PM

There is no way in Fuckville that I would ever settle for 50/50. It's a parenting nightmare if you ask me.

"Fair" should not even be a word in your vocabulary right now.

He brought a dirty dick back home with him, which is the equivalent to bringing a loaded gun disease wise for you and children.

I just wanted to get that out there.

And I think you are great and strong keep up the 180. It saved my life.

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