Dear DK,I continue to struggle with not getting to see my kids every day. I am trying really hard to get myself OK with it, but I'm just not getting there. I know a big part of this is that I don't think my ex-husband deserves them. He wasn't around when I was married to him. I couldn't even get him to get off the couch to tuck them in at night. Now, suddenly he is super Dad. I know it is good for the kids to have a relationship with their father, and I work really hard at keeping my feelings to myself. In fact, they appear to be clueless about my feelings towards their father. I just feel cheated. I guess none of us enter into parenthood with the plan of seeing them only half the time. How do I get myself OK with this arrangement?
Dear feeling cheated,
Ahhh. I remember the days of sitting in my kitchen floor crying my eyes out because I couldn't see my kids 7 days a week. My ex was a little hands off when we were married, and then kicked in suddenly when he had them after our divorce. As far as getting yourself to be okay with it, I would begin focusing on just that...."yourself". There are so many things that "full-time" moms neglect about themselves when they are raising kids. Us part timers have a gift in that we can do our chores while the kids aren't underfoot so that we can really enjoy the kids when they are home. We can take bubble baths, meditate, shop, see our friends, read books, or whatever we enjoy. Find ways to enjoy yourself when they are away. Begin finding your own identity (you do have one that does not involve the letters MOM). As you begin to start enjoying yourself again you will likely enjoy the balance of kid time and no kid time. And as far as your ex goes............well, be thankful on your kids behalf that he seems to have had some kind of wake up call. If he is stepping up........you are all very fortunate. Appreciate that for what it is, and save the resentment for something else, because it won't serve you well here. I hope that helps...........dk