Part-time Parent, Full-time Mom

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Post-separation with my former spouse, I found myself in this weird parenting limbo (that I hate) but is the new "normal" for our family. We are trying to co-parenting effectively, because although we couldn't make our relationship work - we have two daughters that need mommies that can work together and put them first. But I don't have my girls 24/7 and do not see them every single day. It's heartbreaking and something that I've been trying to get used to for the past 3.5 months.

I feel like a part-time parent but a full-time mom. I share parenting responsibility with my ex, so half of the month I am solely responsible for their care (when they are with me). When they're with me, I'm in parenting mode: teaching, loving, listening, etc. I'm solely responsible for their safety, their sniffles, their sleepless nights. But even though I only have them 50% of the time, I still feel like I'm a mom all of the time. I can honestly say that I think about them all day, every day. When out shopping kid-free (!) I'm always looking for things they might like or that they need. I'm always wondering about their future and if we are doing the best for them. I'm thinking about them as I budget my bills and plan for my (and their) future. 

It's tough stuff - switching gears from parenting to solo during the week. Most days my time without my girls is spent on just allowing my brain to rest. Because we're always "on" as parents, right? But it doesn't mean that those solo nights I'm no longer on mommy duty. I'll always be a mommy. I'll always have two littles to worry over. Time away from them gives me time to re-charge my mommy-brain. It gives me the opportunity to re-calibrate and center myself and that's really how I try to look at it. It can break your heart if you don't try to find the sliver of positivity in the situation.

If you're in the same situation, splitting custody and time with your kids - just remember this ... you're never a part-time mom/dad. You'll always be their mom/dad. You'll always be a part of them, no matter if you're together or a part. So, try to enjoy your solo time when you can and continue to piece yourself together. Be the best you, that you can be.

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