This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.
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I have been divorced for 6 years. We have 2 daughters: a 6yo and an 8yo. We have joint custody and a weekly rotation. This has been working out pretty nice. But lately, our youngest one is starting to cry whenever I say it's time to go to Daddy's. I ask her why. At first it's superficial things, like "It's boring there, he makes us do chores, he's always busy, etc." But when I dig a little deeper, she talks about how she wishes how we could just switch to every other day, not do a whole week at a time. She just misses me (or daddy even) too much. She wants to spend time together as a family.
I don't have a problem adjusting the schedule to shorten the amount of time spent with one parent and then the other. I can see how 7 days is a long time to go without seeing the other parent. My question is: Is it ok to spend time together as a "family", even though I'm no longer married to their dad? For example, eating together? Going to the park? Wouldn't this send mixed messages to the children? He is dating someone, so I'm faily confident they know that we won't be getting back together. Your ideas and suggestions are appreciated.
I have the one week on one week off schedule also with my ex-wife, and it works really well. The other visitatin schedule that I've heard parents use is one parent has the children Monday's and Tuesday's and the other parent does Wednesday's and Thursday with rotating Friday, Saturday and Sunday's. This way the children don't go so long without see the other parent. I sometimes wish I had this schedule, since I miss my son when I have to go a week without seeing him.
We switched to 2/2/3 and that has worked out better. M/T mom, W/Th dad, F/S/S mom, then next week M/T dad, W/Th mom, F/S/S dad, etc.
Might be something to look into. About the "family dinner" stuff, I have done that a couple times. For my daughter's last birthday she wanted to have me and her mom both there for dinner. So I think that kind of depends on the circumstances. Good luck!
We will go things "as a family", but at times it is hard on my son because he doesn't want to leave one parent. Right now he is starting to have behavior issues at school again, and we are using "family time" as a reward for good behavior. Since his dad moved out when he was about 2 1/2, he really doesn't know any different.
Whoever said something about a Wednesday night dinner had a great idea. I would see if that could work for your family.
I will share my experience, and if it does not apply, then I agree with the thoughtful comments above.
My wife enjoyed our time together, but (and this is personal, but that is the reason, I believe, to be honest on this site), we did not share relations as husband and wife for 10 years prior to our splitting. Well you see, I was Catholic, and she was not, but enough of that. The fact is, we lived together as if we were very friendly and cordial college roommates, and never raised loud voices. As I said, (to me, in retrospect), unusual.
Anyway, Monday, last Memorial day, our that day 14 year old, asked if we could have dinner together, like the good old days. As it happened, we had a very nice and friendly dinner at mom's house (burgers and corn on the cob), presented him our gifts, and he gave both of us a hug. I only tell you this to share our experience. If it does not fit you situation, then ignore my comments.
Anyway, our son often asks to spend time at dad's. Maybe because all his pets are here(!) But it is pleasing nonetheless. Is it unusual? Heck no. Your doctor will tell you that, at the teenage years, boys who clung to their mothers, will now crave their dads. Should mothers feel awful? Heck no! It is the way of natural progression. And let me assure you, a boy never stops loving his mother (did you ever see a football player on "Monday Night Football' look into the camera and say, "Hi Dad!"). I don't think so.
Good luck. God bless.