Monday, February 23, 2015

What it's like to split custody

I am missing out on half of Lila's life.  Yup.  Exactly half.  All because her father and I split up. 

For half of every week she is with me.  On those days we talk about her day, eat some dinner, cuddle and watch TV.  And on my Saturdays we try to get out to do something fun. 

But the other half of the week, she is with him. And there is no bedtime, no cuddle time, no bath to be given. 

On those days I miss out.

I missed her losing 2 of the 3 teeth that she has lost.  The Tooth Fairy going to another house, not mine.

I missed her learning to ride her bike.  She did it while playing outside on another street, not mine.

I miss out on a lot of little jokes and funny stories and small victories.

I miss her so much when she isn't here.

Every night when she is with him she calls me to say goodnight.  And on my nights she calls him.  The days of crying because she misses one or the other of us is over, thank God, but I know that she always has that emptiness.  She would rather have us both there in the middle of the night when she is scared or sick or just can't sleep. 

I do not regret the splitting anymore.  Although for a while I didn't know if I would survive it.  When she would cry for him or when she would call me crying I would want to fix it all.  To glue our broken family back together, to make her heart stop hurting.

And although I miss her like crazy when she isn't there, part of me is starting to adjust.  I mean, it's only been 2 years. 

I am a single parent when she is with me.  I am a bachelorette the rest of the week.  I still have a hard time with this transformation. I am starting to adjust and am finally beginning to find something to do during all this extra "me time" that I have.  But I don't feel lucky to have it.  Not yet.  Not when there is a hole in my heart during that time.

Being without her so much makes the time that I do have with her more valuable.  I try not to yell as much.  I try to do fun things when I can.  We go out to eat  a lot.  We have had to put quality over quantity.  This is something I think a lot of full time moms take for granted.

And even though I am only with her part of the time, she is still on my mind all of the time.  I still put her needs first.  I am still the one who makes the doctors appointments and signs all the school paperwork.  I am still always mom.

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