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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am newly going to be single. My partner and I (of six years) are splitting up, and I am a wreck. I feel like I am walking underwater all of the time, hard to do my work, take care of a toddler. Argh.<br><br>
He is a great dad, but not a great significant other, so we are going to split custody 50/50. My son is three. Every time I think about not being with him I can hardly breathe.<br><br>
Does anyone else have this going on? The ex is a great dad and I don't want to prevent Henry from seeing him, I just am so sad about the whole thing. I have slept with Henry almost every night since he was born, and now I won't get to. How do I not be mad at my ex and make this work? How do I not start crying constantly? How do I not drink so much wine? (actually, that sort of helps--only a glass a day, don't worry. . .)<br><br>
I once read a quote that said, "I want split custody without the divorce," and I liked the quote but now its haunting me. What do I do? Will Henry be okay? How do you all split custody?<br><br>
peace.
 

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You don't have to do this. And I wouldn't if I were you. Just because he's a "great dad" doesn't mean your son should be seperated from you half the time.<br><br>
My understanding if the court system (and I'm going thru it right now) is that 50/50 splitting of time is no longer widely considered to be in the child's best interest, so it is rarely done unless asked for by the parents. I don't think it would be good for you, or for your son. And it's hard to undo an access agreement once it is made.<br><br>
Start with him living with you, and short frequent visits with his father if that works for your schedule. And increase it from there if it seems good for all of you.<br><br>
That's my 2 cents. Good luck!
 

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Keep your options open. There are so many ways to share custody. I know two parents who lived in side-by-sides so the kids went back and forth as they pleased. I also dated a guy who lived across the street so he could see the kids everyday, yet not have to choose which house to sleep at, etc.<br><br>
Three may be too young for a 50/50. If he is a great dad and you are a great mom, you can figure out ways to make it work for the way that is best for you little one. If you both truly have your son's best interests at heart, you will find a way to work things out so his needs are met first and everything else is secondary.<br><br>
It is difficult and scary looking at the prospect of separating and splitting custody, etc. But as you go along and get things in place it will get easier.<br><br>
It can be difficult to be away from your little one, but I find positive ways to look at it as a "much needed break" and it makes the time go much faster.<br><br>
Hang in there.
 

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well honestly it is henry's decision isnt it. if u guys are civil about co-parenting then shouldnt henry be calling the shots? i mean yes i know it is hard on u and it may seem harsh but isnt teh point here does henry want to sleep over with his dad. and thru experience i can tell u inspite of everything u will survive and life will go on.<br><br>
really ur post brought tears to my eyes because we split up after 9 years. and that was not my decision. but having cried my heart out for two years, tried to work our marriage out for 2 years, hindsight tells me things will be ok.<br><br>
the way i felt about it is it really doesnt matter how i feel, what i want. yes it is painful. yes i have slept with my dd of 2.75 years everyday of her life. how will i survive her first night without her. yet part of me wanted to celebrate my freedom (we've been separated 14 months) but mostly i missed my dd. so when i got the phonecall at 11:30 saying she is crying for u i jumped in my car and got her. we went to the restaurant in our pjs and had a late snack in celebration.<br><br>
my situation is a little different than yours. my dd's dad is a great dad too, great when they are together but he is not an enthusiastic dad who wants to spend all his free time with her. he prefers being single living the carefree life without responsibilities. we dont have any court orders but our practical custody is 80/20. u know 9 months ago 50/50 would have made me so happy. nights over i would miss my dd but i also know she wants her dad too. becasue she started really missing her dad and crying for him all the time. she wanted to spend more time with him and cry for him. but he didnt respoind with his time. i would yell and cry at him and so for a couple of days he would volunteer extra hours but hten back to square 1. that's when i decided to back off. it wasnt my duty to take care of him. but it was important for me to console my dd. and as much as i longed for her to spend nights with daddy as much as she did i just simply focused on her. i explained family and if she tried to say daddy, mommy and i are family i would tell her no, daddy and u r family, and mommy and u r family. today her dad is the loser. she sends him off on the weekends asking him to get out. i can see from teh expression on his face that he is sad - but he has kind of dug his own grave. she is doing great emotionally. she is happy with the time she gets with him, but no longer expects more than she gets.<br><br>
so do what u have to do to get thru ur hard times. find a friend to talk to if u are not already doing it. ur heart is broken and u need to grieve. but also remember as much a s u miss ur relationship - the past family structure, ur son needs u too. at 3 he is much more aware of whats going on so u have to be careful u dont let him see u too sad. he might blame himself.<br><br>
do give urself time to grieve, but use part of that energy to keep urself occupied. clean ur house - or do something to get ur mind off ur situation. i know its easy to say and hard to do, but unfortunately it is true. the healing process begins when u start focusing on how u can move on, not on how life hasnt worked out teh way u wanted it to.<br><br>
the time now is to focus on urself. do some inner soul searching and find out what U want to do. should u go back to school? should u take some fun class like yoga? do any volunteer work? look for enrichment. maybe join a gym and get healthy. take some soap making class. follow whatever are ur interests depending on ur financial situation.<br><br>
hang in there. u will be ok one day. i promise the pain will lessen. hopefully like me it wont be replaced by anger
 

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Just want to offer you hugs ... I agree 50/50 might not be the best thing for a 3 YO, but you are really the best judge of that. My STBX is really only hung up on it saying "joint" physical custoday - no matter what the actual percentage split is - it's rather stupid, really, as I will be using this as my negotiating chip, and it really don't mean anything - it's just a word [sorry to get off track]. Anyway- I plan on caring for DS during the workday, and trying to work from home, at least for the next 6 months to 1 yr ... we will alternate weekends, and sets of weeknights ... So far we are both really liberal and flexible with the schedule, I hope it stays that way. Maybe you 2 can work something out similar? I know how you feela bout the wine ... STBX & I used to go wine tasting every year in Sonoma & Napa ... it's a big thing with us, I like my wine - and, it's easy to "hide" in it, too. I know it's hard, but try not to [telling myself, too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ] ... the more you can have your head clear, the better you will be able to handle the stress - and, it really does not make you sleep better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
I think Henry [DS?] will be fine. I believe, IMO, that if the 2 of you are not meant to be together, it's better now than later - My belief is that younger children will adjust better than older children - I've read that too ~<br><br>
You will also be OK - sounds easy to say, but you will. We all have a right to be happy, right? I believe it's better for our children to give ourselve that opportunity, than to stay stuck in a relationship that is making us miserable - how can be good parents that way? And what does that teach our children?<br><br>
Anyway... Hang in there ~ don't isolate yourself. Talk to your friends. Get out every day, even if it's just to the grocery store or for a little walk. It really helps. I miss DS terrible when I don't have him, but I also have craved some 'me' time, so I know I'm a better mom when I've had a bit of time to myself, to think, and just to do things for me.<br><br>
Best wishes to you ... you will get through it - and will most likely be better and happier in the end, even though it might be hard to see now.... (((hugs)))
 

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Albird, I can imagine how you feel!!! I am dreading the same thing and almost started bawling when I was at McDonald's and realized the mom was sending one of her children off on an overnight and keeping it together ( but having to really work at it) Having a teenager now I can tell you that the older a child gets the easier it is to send them off but before about 6 yrs old I have my own hesitations. HUGS
 

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I am doing almost 50/50 right now and my DS is 2.5 yrs old. It's hard, but like your ex, my ex is a great dad. I couldn't imaginine depriving DS time to be with his dad. I would love to have my DS 100% of the time, but since his dad and him have such a great relationship I think it is best to allow them their own time too. If I felt at any time that my ex was not capable of raising him, or damaging him in any way, then I would take full custody. But that is not the case.<br><br>
I think it varies from person to person. It really depends on your situation. I think that in my situation, allowing my DS 2-3 nights a week with his father has been good for him. It has also been good for me, and it gives me time to refresh and helps me to be a better mom. DS seems to be doing well with this arrangement too. The beginning was tough but now that we're on a set schedule, he knows what to expect and he enjoys his mommy and daddy time.<br><br>
Feel free to pm me if you have any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone, that really helped a lot. Its hard now because I am the one moving out (we owned a home together and I can't afford to maintain it on my own so he is going to live there for a few years, then we'll sell it and split the $. . .plus I like apartment living. . .no surprise bills, etc)<br><br>
I don't move til July 1, so it is really hard to stay there, and until we get the custody thing totally worked out I don't want to leave. We are on good terms, just both really sad and disappointed that things didn't work out so its hard to think that we won't be a family unit any more. . .<br><br>
I know that 50/50 can work, I'm just really sad. . .<br><br>
thanks again, Al<br>
I'm going to keep writing here because it helps a lot. . .
 

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Boy, it sucks, doesn't it? I have no desire to be back with my ex, but I so much wish that being with one parent didn't mean not being with the other, for my daughter. She's 3, too, just turned, and we've been split up since she was 18 mos. My ex is a good dad, too, and loves our daughter a lot. For all his emotional immaturity and difficulty with communication, we've created a relatively good situation.<br><br>
We never went to court, we didn't want the decisions to be taken out of our hands, and we both agreed from the beginning that we would base decisions on what was in dd's best interests. I had been a stay at home mom since Maya was born, and her dad slept in another room.<br><br>
We kept a joint bank account, that we still have, and we trust each other on that level. I work 2 days a week and he works full time, and we pool our money. I'm in charge of the money, paying bills, both our rents, etc. Luckily, our spending habits are similar and we trust one another on that level. Plus, there's never anything left over after expenses, so there's nothing extra to spend! I'm sure I use more of "his" money than the court would have given me if we'd gone that route. But the way I see it, it's a lot better for Maya to be with me all day than in day care while I work! Things are really tight, but it's totally worth it to me.<br><br>
We both decided from the beginning that she was too young for overnites with him, and that we'd wait til she was 3 to start them. She seemed ready back in January, so we did 1 overnite a week for a few weeks. Then she and I went away on a vacation for 9 days, and when we came back, she didn't want to sleep at papa's anymore, so we stopped. We're now thinking about starting them up again.<br><br>
My ex is pretty into his "single" lifestyle, but he is reliable when it comes to his time with her. He is with her from 9:30 to 6 on Mondays, while I work, then 6ish to 9:30 Wednesday nites (she's a nite owl, so that doesn't interfere w/ bedtime), 6ish to 9:30 pm Fridays, and on Sundays we either alternate, or we split the day. So she sees him every other day, at a minimum.<br><br>
But where we live is "home", and his house is "papa's house", which is also how he sees it, I think. I think he knows that I am more suited to the day to day ins and outs of intensive parenting than him, although whenever we get into a conflict he threatens to quit his job and tells me to get a full time job. But I think deep down he knows he wouldn't make it as a sahd for more than a few days.<br><br>
What's really hard for me is the "phase" she's going thru of never wanting to be separate from me (unless she's w/ one of her little buddies and their mom). So she begs me to stay and cries and it just kills me. The thing is, I know she always has fun with her papa, always has good things to say about their time, when I talk to her on the phone when she's with him, she's always happy, and her crying will stop after 1 or 2 minutes.<br><br>
HOWEVER, it taps into something in me, and she sees me hesitating, and that really just escalates things. I know I need to be upbeat and firm with her, "Yep, this is mama's time alone and your time with your papa. You're going to have a great time, and then I'll come back, I always do!" I hesitate and waffle, tho, cuz part of me just wishes we could all be together as a unit!! Again, I have no desire to be with him, but I so want her to have a life that isn't split up!<br><br>
But that's our reality and I know she'll be okay. We really want to start the 1 overnite per week again, but it feels weird to me doing it while she's in such a clingy phase to me. But maybe she needs more time with him? I don't know!!<br><br>
I will say, when there isn't drama during the transition, I sure appreciate the breaks I get, way more than I got when he and I were together, but not too much that I miss her. I don't know what our percentage is, but out of 168 hours in a week, he's with her 18 to 20, and I'm with her 148 to 150. Sometimes I'm sad that he doesn't want to be with her more, take a more active role, but the truth is he works 40 hours per week, and is with her probably 3/4 of the time he's not working. And even tho I'm exhausted and burnt out some times, I know that I am the lucky one, to be able to sleep with her every nite, and spend most of my days by her side. She is so precious and it is really such a gift.<br><br>
You guys might want to do some reading about what the common wisdom is around time with mom/time with dad at different developmental stages/ages. You might also see if he's willing to ease into a 50/50 thing, while you observe how your son is doing with it.<br>
Good luck, I know it isn't easy.
 

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I was seperated from DH for over 2 years, my DD's were barely 3 and 5 when we split. It was of the utmost importance to me that DH and the girls have as much time together as possible. When we first seperated, we "shared" the house. I was a SAHM and I made a little money watching two other children. So in the beginning, I rented a small place (I could have never afforded the house even with child support and I really didn't want the house). During the days, I stayed in the house with the kids, took care of everything I did before including the bills, and 3.5 nights a week (we alternated Wednesdays), I left without the kids once DH got home from work. The other 3.5, the kids went home with me. DH could plan his long work hours on the nights he did not have the girls.<br><br>
Once DH started dating seriously, his GF didn't like our "arrangement", so I stopped keeping the kids at the house and DH just brought them to me on the mornings he had them. It turned out that I still was with them everyday (Sunday was the only short day) and they actually saw their dad more after we seperated than they did when we were together. Somehow the structure made him prioritize his work and he made the changes so he could be home on his nights with the girls. He was much more of an active parent as a single parent. We got along very well all during the seperation and would have even considered buying a duplex or homes on adjoining properties.<br><br>
Our ability to coparent so well did cause issues with both of our SO's, and we did end up back together (maybe our SO's saw that we really belonged together even when we didn't) I was able to be a SAHM and homeschool, I worked part time when he had the girls, he gave me way under the child support that the court would have ordered because I think the figures are way out of whack in SOME situations.<br><br>
There are plenty of ways to creatively coparent if you both agree on the priorities. I wish you all the best, you, your exSO and your son. Just keep your issues straight, it can get very, very hairy. Good Luck!
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;"><b>well honestly it is henry's decision isnt it. if u guys are civil about co-parenting then shouldnt henry be calling the shots? i mean yes i know it is hard on u and it may seem harsh but isnt teh point here does henry want to sleep over with his dad.</b></div>
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Respectfully, no. 3 is way too young to be saddled with those sorts of decisions. (Speaking from experience here) It's overwhelming and unfair for a child to be forced to choose. And, also, children that young don't always understand what exactly they are choosing. Sleeping at dad's house sounds great when they're at mom's, but what happens when they walk out the door and want to come back? And then, once in mom's house, want to be with dad again.<br><br>
OP - As L.J. said, there are many options for co-parenting, not all of them requiring that you have 50/50 time. If your son has never spent a night away from you, it's probably not the best idea to suddenly have him spending a few nights a week away from you.<br><br>
What my ex and I did that seemed to work well for our son was, at the start, keep ds' schedule exactly the same as it had been - with me during the day, with ex for a few hours in the evening, then back home with me for the night. The only difference was that instead of hanging out with his dad at our home, he went to his dad's home for those few hours. That way, he got used to the new place. Once he was comfortable, he started spending one night a week there (a night where he'd come back to me in the morning). Once that was going well, he started spending one more night a week there - Friday night, and then he spends the bulk of the day Saturday with his dad.<br><br>
Baby steps. See how your son does at each phase of things, but strive, at first, to uproot his life as little as possible.<br><br>
Also, there's a great children's book called "Two Homes" that I found at my local library. Ds loved it and I think it really helped him understand that his situation wasn't going to be worse, it was just going to be different. It also does a great job of explaining the particulars of separate households without all the "It's not your fault!" baggage that a lot of divorce books aimed at children carry (which, in our situation, wasn't a necessary message to convey as ds was so young).<br><br>
Good luck to you. It's overwhelming, but it <b>will</b> get better and less scary. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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ex and i split up when ds was 1.5 we didn't do any overnights for him at his dad at the time because he was still nursing but he weaned shortly after that so we started talking about it more.<br><br>
i believe the overnights started when ds was 2.5 and we've been doing something close to 50/50 ever since (he is now 6.5). like yours, my ex is a great dad but he was a horrible partner. i can't imagine depriving my son of that precious time with his dad.<br><br>
my son knows he has 2 homes and he has 2 parents that love him and we all even go out to eat together from time to time.<br><br>
you have to go with what works best for you. jumping straight into the 50/50 thing may be difficult so maybe y'all can find a way to ease into it?
 

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My parents split when I was 8, and even then I was only ready for a weekend every 2 weeks. Later we went 50/50 - one month at mom's, one at dad's - it was our choice (my brother's and I).<br><br>
We were not clingy kids (bro was only 6), but there is something different about a Mom.<br><br>
If I were you, I would start with evenings with dad, and work up to overnights, adjusting the days/times to Henry - If he readily accepts it, then go for it.<br><br>
I just think you both need to talk about other options, because Henry might not adjust well to being without you, and how will Henry's dad feel if you haven't talked about it? He may feel like it is your fault, and blame you, and that could put stress on what is already hard for the two of you.<br><br>
Good Luck!!!
 
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