A brief overview of my situation to help set the stage.
My divorce was amicable with the goal being to avoid the courts to ensure that we had control over how our world would be divided both financially and as parents. It was important to both of us that the kids had strong relationships with both of us and saw both parents in a positive light. It was not easy by any means, but we both gave a lot to keep the peace.
We share custody 50/50 with the kids staying at our homes every other week. On the weeks that we don’t have the kids we have one night a week where the other parent has dinner with them. Our homes are very close (within 5 miles) making it easier to co-parent and be there when needed. These were all conscious decisions some more difficult than others.
It would be very easy for each of us to say, “Hey … it’s your week … you deal with it.” But we both choose to be there when the other needs. It makes both of our lives easier knowing we have back up. My personal feeling (I can’t speak for my ex-wife) is what’s the point of being jerks about it. Who benefits? Certainly not the kids and neither do we. The bottom line is we’re going to be in each other’s lives the rest of our kids lives whether we like it or not. It’s the reality. So as difficult and frustrating as it can be at times, we make every effort to help when we can and be flexible with schedules. In the end we both get to see the kids more on weeks when they aren’t with us which benefits everyone.
I have chosen to work independently to provide more flexibility with my schedule. Not everyone has that luxury and I may not always have it in the future. But I work hard to maintain it and provide that for the kids. For now I’m lucky.
Our divorce is relatively new so there aren’t other adults directly involved (boyfriend / girlfriend). That will probably change down the road and when it does it’ll certainly bring on an entirely new set of issues. But for now it’s just us.
Obviously, your world and situation may be different. Fortunately for us there was no abuse, no drugs, no infidelity etc. that led to our divorce. I can’t imagine how I would approach things if that were the case. I can only tell you about my situation and how I face things day to day.
I sincerely hope you find value in the posts that find there way onto “Life as a Divorced Dad” and hope you’ll consider passing it along to others who may be struggling with life as a single parent through divorce.