Saying Goodbye: Custody Transition Dos and Donts!

Years ago, when we first began sharing custody, I dreaded the time my children were with their father. I missed them terribly, and transitions triggered all my grief and guilt about our divorce. I felt like a part-time parent and the days were excruciatingly long.

As the time came for the kids to leave for Billy’s house, I’d gather them up for extra hugs and kisses. He’d arrive and I’d hug and kiss some more. I’d reassure them that I was nearby, and available to them when they needed me. I’d send Lottie, our youngest, with a mommy memento so she wasn’t lonely. I’d tell them how much I’d miss them.

After Billy picked the children up, I’d roam around our home, sadly straightening beds and picking up socks and listening to the quiet. While they were gone, I’d check in with the children often, during our nightly call and several times a day via text. I’d run forgotten items over to his house, and linger for in-person goodnight kisses. I’d spend my days missing them and waiting for them to come home to me.

That worked for exactly no one.

I pined away my time alone. Billy had his time interrupted. The kids couldn’t settle in at home at Dad’s because they never really left Mom’s.

After more than our share of trial and error, we found routines that work better for all of us. Just like coming home, following a handful of do’s and don’ts has smoothed the goodbye transition for all of us.

Do Keep It Low-Key: Transition is part of our everyday life. It doesn’t require pomp and circumstance or tears and prolonged goodbyes. The children are just going home, not on a three-month tour of Antarctica. Gnashing of teeth just acts as a trigger for grief and worry. Today, I hug and kiss each of the kids as Dad arrives, and wave goodbye happily. Easy-peasy.

Do Take Time to Prepare: I ask the kids the morning of transition to put anything they need at Dad’s on the hall table in the foyer. I remind them once more before Dad arrives. Throughout the week, school papers he needs to see or other items that belong at his house pile there too. When Dad arrives, everything that is also making the trip is easy to find. We don’t run around at transition looking for things, and we don’t end up ferrying items back and forth (often).

One note: the kids have everything they need stocked at each house. They don’t pack clothes or other necessities. The items that transition are ones kids choose: a favourite tie for the homecoming dance, the book Caden is currently obsessed with, Lottie’s iPad and charger.

Do Anticipate the Silence: The hardest moment is still when the door closes for me. The quiet used to make me sad. Now, I try to anticipate and revel in it.

Gabe and I curl up with a glass of wine and a full DVR or I have a girlfriend over. I often leave right after the children to meet a friend for a movie or hit the gym. Proactively planning for what I will do in the quiet time after the kids leave helps reframe that time from the potentially sad absence of the children to happy, much-needed time for self-care.

Do Adjust Your Parenting Rhythm: When I was married and in a first-family, my parenting rhythm wasn’t dictated by the presence of the children. I grocery shopped and folded laundry with little ones tugging at my shirt. I read books and played dolls thinking of all the household tasks sitting undone.

Shared custody offers a chance to strike a different balance. When I’ve said goodbye to the children, I focus on the parts of my life that are easier to accomplish without kids around. I grocery shop and secretly clean out drawers. I call the insurance provider and balance the checkbook. I catch up on work and self-care.

When the kids are home with me, I have fewer distractions. My mommy time belongs to them. This new rhythm allows me to focus entirely on the kids when I have them and catch up on the rest of my life when I don’t.

Don’t Interrupt: Our routine includes a goodnight call each night the kids are with the other parent. Today, other than that agreed call, I avoid initiating texts, calls or visits to the children. I want them to feel fully at home at with Dad and Stephanie, and I’ve learned that when I text and call off-schedule they’re stretched awkwardly between houses.

The truth is that reaching out to them before was about me, not about them. I missed them. I needed to hear their voices. They’re too little to be shouldering their mama’s needs. Once I realised what I was doing, I stopped. I learned giving them uninterrupted time with their father and stepmother allows them to receive that love without any loyalty bind and free of worry about mom.

I am always quick to respond to a call or text from them, and shower them with love and attention when they reach out. But, if they don’t reach out, I typically don’t either.

Don’t say “I miss you:” I still bite my tongue on this one. I do miss them, but telling them that doesn’t serve them. It makes them think about me at home alone and worry. Instead, I say “I’m happy you’re having a great time at Dad’s!” or “I’m looking forward to seeing you on Friday’” or “I love you.”

Sometimes the children have asked if I miss them when they’re gone. I tell them the truth: I am happy they are spending time with the other half of their family, and that is really important to me. I sometimes miss having them at home with me, but I know they are at home with Dad, safe and happy. When they’re gone, I catch up on boring mom stuff until we are together again, which is always right around the corner.

Saying goodbye is tough. Transitions away can easily trigger grief and pain for everyone. We’ve learned, through trial and lots of error, that following these simple do’s and don’ts make the goodbye transition easier on us all.

Credit: Kate Chapman

Please follow and like us:

116 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye: Custody Transition Dos and Donts!

  1. wonderfսl points altogether, you just gained a emblem new reader.
    What couⅼd you recommend in regards to yоur submit that yоu simply
    made ѕome days аgo? Any positivе?

  2. I simply want to tell you that I am very new to blogs and truly loved you’re page. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You amazingly come with beneficial well written articles. Bless you for sharing your web-site.

  3. I’d like to be able to tag blogs I like and have them show on my website. Any suggestions on the best route to take on this. Any input would be helpful..

  4. I am brand-new to blog subscriptions and also I am looking for a very easy reader that behaves and organized that allows me watch my blogs from my homepage or has a little scrollbox that is always up on the side of the computer system screen. I began to use bloglines however it is actually unorganized with all the blog names lined up on the side. Thanks a whole lot!.

  5. I want to express some thanks to this writer for rescuing me from such a situation. Because of looking out through the world wide web and obtaining principles that were not productive, I figured my life was done. Being alive without the presence of approaches to the issues you’ve solved by way of your main article is a crucial case, and ones which may have in a negative way affected my career if I had not come across your website. Your actual natural talent and kindness in taking care of every item was precious. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a stuff like this. I am able to now look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so much for the expert and effective help. I will not be reluctant to endorse your site to any person who should have direction on this situation.

  6. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Truly rarely can i encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail for the head. Your concept is outstanding; ab muscles something that too little everyone is speaking intelligently about. My business is happy that we came across this around my find something in regards to this.

  7. Howdy I am so delighted I found your site, I really found you
    by accident, while I was looking on Aol for something else, Anyhow I am here now and
    would just like to say many thanks for a incredible post and a all round
    enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added
    in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be
    back to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent job.

  8. My husband and i got absolutely joyful that Raymond managed to finish up his web research by way of the ideas he obtained out of your blog. It is now and again perplexing to just be giving for free solutions that many other folks have been selling. And we all do know we have got the website owner to thank for this. All of the explanations you have made, the simple site navigation, the friendships your site aid to engender – it is mostly remarkable, and it’s aiding our son in addition to our family do think that theme is exciting, and that is pretty important. Thanks for the whole thing!

  9. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  10. I don’t even understand how I finished up right here, however
    I thought this submit used to be good. I don’t know who you might be but definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger if
    you are not already. Cheers!

  11. g says:

    Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to
    be at the internet the simplest factor to take note of.

    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed even as
    other folks consider worries that they plainly don’t recognize about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out
    the whole thing with no need side effect , other folks could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  12. Thank you for some other magnificent article. The place else
    may anybody get that type of information in such a perfect manner
    of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the search for such information.

  13. g says:

    Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this website regularly, this website is truly pleasant and
    the users are actually sharing nice thoughts.

  14. Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and
    she has 83 views. I know this is completely off
    topic but I had to share it with someone!

  15. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and
    i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

  16. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Superb work!

  17. Great blog here! Also your website quite a bit up very fast!
    What web host are you the usage of? Can I get your affiliate link on your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  18. Can I just say what a aid to seek out somebody who actually knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know how one can bring a problem to light and make it important. More individuals have to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant consider youre no more well-liked since you positively have the gift.

  19. I am about to begin a blog site. Together with numerous various other hopeful’s, I want to eventually generate income off it. I observed a great deal of websites do not enable you to generate income of google ad feeling and also things like that. What are some sites I can begin my blog on that particular will permit this because it seems to be one of the most successful way to earn money off a blog site?.

  20. Great beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a weblog website?
    The account aided me a appropriate deal. I had been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast
    offered vibrant transparent idea

  21. Every code I try either leaves an enormous gap on top of the web page, or at the bottom of the page. Its absolutely that code triggering it. I have actually tried a lot of codes attempting to conceal the blogs & extended network, yet they all leave a white void either on top or at the bottom. Any person got one that doesn’t create the white space? Or exactly how to remove the white gap?.

  22. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from
    an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your
    own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure
    things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

  23. Appreciating the persistence you put into your website and detailed information you offer.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t
    the same outdated rehashed material. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your
    RSS feeds to my Google account.

  24. I’m very happy to uncover this site. I want to to thank
    you for ones time just for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely loved every little bit of it and i also have you saved to fav to see
    new stuff on your site.

  25. Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the
    blog world but I’m trying to get started and
    set up my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your
    own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  26. I am aiding some close friends get their shop on the map as well as saw. They have a web site. Among the ways in my research study to enhance a website is to use a blog. I am not blog site savvy and also neither are they so require a little help regarding excellent websites to place there blog site to ensure that they obtain discovered.

  27. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything similar to this just before. So nice to discover somebody by original ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this amazing site can be something that is needed over the internet, someone with some originality. useful purpose of bringing something totally new to the internet!

  28. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Magnificent. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  29. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  30. This design is incredible! You obviously know
    how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit
    and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.

    Too cool!

  31. I enjoy reading personal blogs, Mom blog sites, etc. What is the best means to discover these kinds of blogs online? The very best approach I have is just adhering to faves people have – mosting likely to one blog writers “favorites” after that the following bloggers favorites, etc … I have actually tried Google Blogsearch yet all that offers me is old news articles, etc. Nothing individual whatsoever … Exactly how do you search for individual blog sites?.

  32. I have a blog site with blog owner. I have registered my blog making use of a gmail account. Now, I want to utilize a new gmail account and also I wanted to import my entire blog site along with the posts and comments to this brand-new gmail id … Please inform me, is this feasible and how can it be done?.

  33. Unquestionably consider that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be at the internet the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while
    people consider concerns that they just do not recognize about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as smartly as
    defined out the entire thing with no need
    side effect , other people can take a signal. Will likely be again to get
    more. Thanks

  34. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to
    her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab
    inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!

    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell

  35. Hi there! I’m at work surfing around your blog
    from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look
    forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!
    natalielise plenty of fish

  36. I just like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and test again here regularly.
    I’m quite certain I will be informed plenty of new stuff proper here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  37. Thanks for every other magnificent post. Where else could anyone get that kind of
    info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  38. What i do not understood is actually how you’re now not really a lot more well-appreciated than you might
    be now. You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably in terms of
    this topic, made me personally consider it from numerous numerous angles.
    Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it’s one
    thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs great.
    At all times maintain it up! pof natalielise

  39. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails
    with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you are able to remove me
    from that service? Kudos!

  40. Hello there! This article could not be written any better!
    Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll send this post to
    him. Pretty sure he’ll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  41. fantastic put up, very informative. I ponder why the other
    experts of this sector do not realize this. You must
    proceed your writing. I am confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

  42. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and
    I hope you write again very soon!

  43. I wish to begin a blog site where I can talk with people and have them respond to my blogs. Not myspace or facebook. I attempted blogger but the only blogs I can find were about international warming and weapons. I want some where that I can open an account as well as say what I really feel as well as people respond to my blogs as well as I can reply to theres. If anyone might assist me that would be terrific!.

  44. Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t
    loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking
    issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

  45. I was actually skeptical concerning purchasing a mattress online or even much more regarding the price, yet this bed is incredibly comfy and also effectively created.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *