Updated: Apr 6
My ex and I split 50/50 custody. Every arrangement is different but we do try to keep things even (the one thing we agree on). But one of the things I did not foresee was the things you miss when they are with the other parent. For both sides!
Not just events or memories, which in its self is hard, but the slightest bit of development that wasn't there before. It may be their vocabulary, or the way they react to something, or food they suddenly decided not to like. Things change so quickly when they are young. Sometimes a few days is like a world of difference.
Every time I pick up my kids I feel like I'm playing catch up. My oldest son lost his first tooth when he was with his father. He sent me a picture, which immediately made me smile, but then guilt and sadness rolled in. I wasn't there. I wasn't f-ing there.
But at the same time, I feel like when they are with me...it has made me more focused on them when I have them. Not taking it for granted. When I was a stay at home mom and with them ALL the time. I had very little moments to myself. My ex was a bit controlling let's just say. But it made me not be as present a mom as I should be. I had no time to make myself feel ok. Giving everything to everyone else. You do forget. Wait what...? I am a person too? So, although it's hard not to have them part of the week, it also forces me to take care of myself. Feed my own soul. Although, usually I am working the whole time they are with their father, but work does feed my soul as well.
Still.....the guilt is enough to crush you. Feeling like you are missing part of their childhood, their journey. That guilt will always be there no matter what. But how do you get past that?
I try to include my ex when they're with me, sending pictures and updating status on food and bowl movements (lol, when you're a parent of younger children... you know what I'm talking about) And he does the same. BUT... sometimes it makes it feel worse. How do you guys cope with this?