Tomorrow the kids go off to their dad’s for the weekend, as they do every fortnight.
It used to be a time I really looked forward to, a time to re-calibrate my burned out engine, to catch up on sleep and friends. Those two nights I was guaranteed not to have a night of broken sleep were so precious and spending the weekend pleasing only myself was divine.
But now, three years down the road it feels… different. I don’t know if it’s because of the sleep or because the three of us are so used to rubbing along happily together but I really dread the weekend they’re away. I miss them terribly – the house is quiet, I miss their chatter and cuddles and activities. I even sometimes miss the early mornings.
HAHAH only kidding. And going out after dark in that weekend is still a beautiful novelty.
This feeling of dread becomes so much worse at Christmas time. As I thought only fair, when I got divorced the ex and I agreed on a one-on one-off system, so every other year we’d each have the company of the kids on Christmas day. The year I have them is brilliant – so wonderful– but the year I spend without them is a special kind of torture.
Christmas is about children: not having them there kind of defeats the object. My ex-husband and I get on very well so I hope one day we might be able to spend Christmases together. I know some families have the arrangement that the children spend Christmas with the parent who has them the most, but I think this might make me feel guilty though I’m sure they’ll have their own opinions about where they want to be when they’re older (I know I used to!).
Because of the differing custody struggles over Christmas, family law experts Simpson Millar commissioned researched into how divorced families spend their festive season and produced this gifographic as a result:
It’s nice to see we’re not bucking the trend on too many fronts and thankfully we haven’t yet had many of those arguments – I’m sure there’s still time though! Interestingly I’ve never investigated what family law says about the Christmas custody: I’m sure there are hundreds of variations on what could happen depending on circumstance.
For now I’m happy maintaining our satisfied divorced family relationship by doing what we all think is right.