Children & divorce

I’m going to offer just a handful of my observations as a soon-to-be-divorced parent: children are far more insightful than we ever give them credit for; there are considerable differences in how siblings view their lives; as the primary parent with whom they reside for more than 85% of the time dad’s weekends when the kids are away CAN (and should) be spent doing whatever suits my fancy.

My nine-year-old was five when we split, my seven-year-old, just three. For more of Seven’s life her dad and I have not been a family, than for the portion of her life that we were a nuclear unit. I rarely hear lamenting from her of how much better it would be if we were all still a family. Her sister says it less now than she used to, but it’s still ultimately what she would wish. I’m not sure what that picture looks like in her mind, but suspect it’s a slight distortion of reality as we once knew it.

Seven’s artistic renditions of family pictures almost seem to include her dad as an after-thought. She’s never been one to talk about him in any serious sort of way. She thinks nothing of skipping one of her bi-weekly weekend visits (he lives 3.5 hours drive from us), and she doesn’t miss me when she’s gone, even for extended stays. Someone once asked her recently if she missed me while I was away on work travel for a week. Without hesitation she reported no. This is just the way it is. It’s really the only way she knows.

Her sister on the other-hand, not only would have missed me, but would have wanted very much to assure me that she did, so I’d know just how important I am to her. Seven just has the confidence that she doesn’t have to tell me, I’ll just know.

As we’ve all grown accustomed to our new lives things have changed. While I struggled for the first year with being “on” 24/7 and needed those weekends to myself so desperately, now we’ve all come so far. There are less crying jags (on all of our parts). We all feel more settled into our new routines. And I miss my babies terribly while they are gone. Don’t get me wrong I still need and appreciate having a little time-off when someone else gets to be the primary parent. In fact I probably take better advantage of the time, but I find myself wishing more for the normalcy of a single household where our lives are less divided. It’s difficult to describe exactly. The more content we all are with our new lives, the more I want of it.

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two