I don't know if I am going to be able to handle this. With my move being imminent I am beginning to panic at the thought of sharing custody of Lila. I don't want to have her half of the time. I want her all the time.
The idea that I will become a part time parent is soul crushing to me. I never envisioned that my life would be like this, 35, starting all over with my kid gone half the time. And there is no compromise. He would be just as devastated without her. But this means that I have to give her up HALF of the time.
I realize that I am lucky. Her father is devoted and responsible and loves her to death. He would take her full time if I would let him.
Part of me thinks that this is a terrible idea. Schlepping back and forth from mom's house to dad's house and back again will make her uneasy and she will not have a sense of "home" because her time is split. All the things that I have been reading point to this as a possibility and I am afraid of this being too stressful an arrangement for her.
But how do I convince her father of this? He doesn't want to be the parent who sees her on weekends. He doesn't want to be the parent who misses her. He is the eternal optimist who believes that as long as we keep telling her that this is the best thing for everyone that she will not miss a beat and will be perfectly fine with the split, however we decide to do it.
I am just not convinced. I know my kid. I have read all the books and talked to numerous friends who have either gotten divorced or come from divorced homes. Most agree that a kid needs a "home base" to relax and keep the majority of her stuff. They have also reminded me that it is going to be hard on her no matter what. And the truth is, even if I think it would be best for her to spend most of her time with one or the other of us, which is the parent who misses out? Is it me, who is the one leaving? Wouldn't she think I left her?
Or do I ask him to take the back seat? He who is the one who gets her ready for school every day and keeps her amused so that mommy can have quiet time after work?
Part of me (the part that only wants what is best for her no matter how much it hurts) believes that if I was truly selfless I would let him take her more. Only because I know he would never be willing to let me in any way diminish his role in her life. And the idea of her believing I somehow bowed out and was willing to see her less than every day is agonizing for me.
The biggest concern I have (and the thing that is going to break my heart) is her collection of 20+ stuffed kitties. They all sleep with her every night and she refuses to sleep at anybody's house unless she can bring a number of them with her. Where will she keep her kitties? And how will we transport them when we hand off after school? I am sick just thinking that this is going to stress her out. Because I am positive that it will.
Again, I ask you for your thoughts.