How do you cope with your kids having a totally separate life from yours?
How do you cope with the fact that when your children aren’t with you, they’re with another parent/set of parents? They’re making those people feel like a million bucks, the same way they do to you. They’re showering them with cuddles, compliments, and love, the same way they do you. They’re giving other people their little sweet kisses. Making memories, memories that you will never be a part of.
Those parents are serving as their caretakers… serving in your role. They [hopefully] are feeding them, keeping them safe, loving them, and providing for them. They are getting to pack their lunches, brush their hair, get them dressed, take them to school, cook them dinner… all the things that you look forward to. They have their own bedtime routine, which probably looks different from yours. How do you cope with having another set of parents in the picture, when they can’t communicate with you without it being a disagreement or production?
How do you cope with not knowing if your children are being taken care of at all times? Are they being bathed? Are they eating well? Are they being watched at the playground? Are they dressed weather and size appropriate? How do you cope with feeling like your home is the better home, but having shared physical custody, and no firm way to prove your home is “better enough” for primary physical custody?
When your kids aren’t with you, even you are living a different life… a “double life,” if you will. Your daily routine is completely different, and there is an unimaginable void. How do you cope?
How do you cope with your children constantly bringing up their other home? Is it a sign they trust you and want to share happy memories with you, or is a sign they miss their other home?
How do you cope with being a part-time parent, when in your heart, you’re a full-time parent? If you’re the stepparent, how do you cope with being a full-time parent in your heart, when friends and family only see you as a part-time parent?
These are the thoughts that consume my mind. These are just a few the pressures and realities of a blended family.