Updated: Jan 31, 2020
There's a trumpet and a guitar by the door, the basketball uniform is washed and folded, and all devices are packed safely in backpacks. Today's the day my Sunshines go to their dad's house for a week. We've grown as used to this routine as much as possible.
We call this "Transition Day". Their moods are weird. We're all just off. They are excited to see their Dad and his new baby, but they don't want to appear too excited in front of me. "It's okay" I say. I'm happy, you're happy!"
Truth is, I'm exhausted, my house is a mess, and I am ready for a little break, and I feel guilty about that. That's the life of a back-and-forth-family as I call us.
This is the TRUTH of what you need to know if you or someone you know is contemplating living this back-and-forth life.
1. Try as hard as you possible can to make it work. Unless there is verbal or physical abuse, please find the best counselor possible and change what YOU need to change to be the best partner you can be. Trust me, it's a lot less expensive than a divorce. You still deal with your ex spouse on a daily basis when you share kids, and divorce doesn't make it easier.
2. Acceptance. You must arrive at this place of accepting the way it is. Yes, our family is not at all what I thought it would be, but it's the way it is. I've learned if I mope around and complain, I'm hurting my children's opinion about their life. I want them to see me happy, confident, and content. If I am, then they will be too.
3. Make the Best of It. This is the way it is. You might feel a bit abnormal for a while, but trust me there are a TON of families in your neighborhood, at your school, and even your church that live this way. Find them, bond with them, have dinner parties with them. Choose to find the best part of coparenting... hey how many moms of 3 get 2 weekends a month to herself?! I feel a nap coming my way.