What Works For Me: When the Kids are at Their Other Homes

For just over 6 years now I have had to figure out how to best deal with life when my kids aren’t with me.  It used to be very, very hard for me.  When they aren’t with me, that means that I don’t have control.  Not having control isn’t something I am naturally comfortable with.  I have come a long way in 6 years.

The older 3 kids come to our home every other weekend.  It is hard to go 12 days without seeing them most of the time.  They do usually stay a full week in the summer and around the holidays.  However, having them from Friday-Sunday every other weekend, is what we are used to.

Typically James and Jordan are at our house from Wednesday after school until Sunday afternoon.  Then they are with their Dad and Jess from Sunday afternoon until they go to school Wednesday morning.  They were with us for one week from the day after Christmas until the day after New Years.  Then on the 2nd they went to their Dad’s.

Well, today James and Jordan will come back to our house after being gone for 10 days. I am so excited to see them.

I realized yesterday when I was talking to a co-worker, that at some point my view on them being gone changed dramatically.  She said that she still feels sad every time her daughter is at her Dad’s house.  Which I can totally relate to, or Stephanie of 5 years ago can relate to.  Now, it is just the way our life works.

This is something that my husband says to everyone in our household on a regular basis.  “This is just the way our life works.”  It isn’t the way that everyone’s life works, it is OK to not like it or understand it, but it is just the way our life works.

We go days, sometimes weeks without seeing each other.  Is it hard?  Of course it is, it always will be.  Do we miss each other?  Of course we do, how could we not?  Can we deal with it though?  Absolutely and we do every day!

Sometime over the years, I decided to look at the days where our house is empty in a different light.  Those are the days where I plan my “things to do”.  Appointments, shopping, getting together with friends.  I strive to schedule my life so that I am not missing out on the time when the kids are at the house.  It doesn’t always work out like that, but I try.

I know that all of our kids are being well taken care of, well loved and are just fine when they aren’t in our house.  “That is just the way their life works.”  They totally get it.  This life is our normal.  We have been making it work all together for over 5 years.

Instead of being sad when they aren’t here.  I think about all the good things they are doing in their other households.  I look forward to hearing all about it when they return home.  Then I appreciate them for all the time that they are here.  That way, when they leave again, they remember how much I love them and care for them even when they aren’t with me.

After all “this is just the way our life works”.

Any of my Mom friends out there have to share time with their kids?  Have kids living in multiple households?  How do you deal with it?  I’s love to know

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