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Coping with the empty hours when dc with ex

(32 Posts)
workingtolive Tue 04-Mar-14 23:49:17

Just that really. A week in to our split and I'm still reeling. Very upset and drained.

Dc are due to go to him for the whole day Saturday and I am dreading it.
What did you do in those times to stop it tearing you apart? My friends all have family and won't really want to do anything or want me moping around.

Ironically he never took them for a whole day when we were together to give me a break as it was too much hard work! Likewise I always wanted a break but now it's being forced on me I feel terrible.

Any wise words on coping strategies appreciated.

MrsIrony Tue 04-Mar-14 23:56:28

Oh shit. I really feel for you. I would suggest you contact a close friend or family member as this is a real big milestone that you shouldn't endure alone. I remember the first time my dd met up with my ex and the new woman. I was ready to rip chunks out of myself. Luckily I told a good friend just how I was feeling and she held my hand all day. She was marvellous. You don't have to suffer alone.
I still find myself seething at just how loving and caring he is with her kids when he barely glanced our daughter's way when she was growing. She sees right through it now and knows that all she is there for him to show off his good daddy trophies (which incidentally he doesn't have he just thinks he has). It's a tough time. Virtual hand holding here.

MargotThreadbetter Tue 04-Mar-14 23:57:57

Hi Working - I found this difficult too. What helped me was arranging to do things with child free friends or do things that I couldn't do with DS in tow such as go to the cinema or clothes shopping.
I'd read on here that it gets easier and it does somewhat. I think it's the fact that it's an enforced separation from DC - not your choice, but it's for their sakes ultimately.

ElBombero Tue 04-Mar-14 23:59:39

Yes to keeping busy, make plans. I'd personally join a gym, it will make you feel fab and give you the boost you need. Book yourself in for a massage or facial after. Take you time

workingtolive Wed 05-Mar-14 00:38:32

No one around, moved here a few yrs ago so only know people with kids who all do stuff at the weekend.
Got no money at the moment.

Just going to be in the house on my own and usually I'd love that but I feel sick at the thought of them going off all happy and coming back with stories that they've had great fun while I'm the one that deals with the day to day shit.

I hate this so much, I have never been so unhappy and trapped in my life.

tisrainingagain Wed 05-Mar-14 00:56:33

Hi workingtolive

I am really sorry you are feeling so sad. Is there any chance friends or family from where you moved from would come to see you on Saturday?

Please keep posting here about how you feel. We are here to virtually hold your hand thanks

DPotter Wed 05-Mar-14 01:20:43

Sorry your feeling low - so you need to find free / cheap things to do. we have a health walks programme here - free escorted walks. Ours are publicised on line and thru the GP surgery. how about checking in with local libraries etc for talks - I know it may sound dry but they're usually free and would get you out of the house even if only for a little while. alternatively could you have a big cooking session preparing the coming week's meals ready to freeze and defrost as needed ? sory not the most inspired of suggestions - good luck

innisglas Wed 05-Mar-14 01:23:18

It will get better. The first time my daughter went to stay with her grandparents I just moped around the house, but the next time she went I made sure I did everything I couldn't normally do when she was around. Kids are lovely but very tiring.

FolkGirl Wed 05-Mar-14 04:43:40

Oh my goodness, I wish I could show you just how much better this is going to get!

You can download the couch to 5k podcast and start running (it's free)
You can take a really long bath with a glass of wine in the middle of the day and then have a nap on the sofa (in peace).
You can put some music on really loudly and dance around the living room naked.
You can lay on the sofa with a blanket and read a really good book or watch a film (in peace).

Use the time to be kind to yourself.

The first time my children went to their dad's overnight, I felt a bit odd. I had a takeaway and read a book and just didn't think about it.

And then after that, I decided that I was going to have fun. I told people that I needed them. I knew lots of people, but didn't really have any friends and, like you, they were all married, or busy with family or work... It was amazing, they all rallied round and now some of them have become good friends.

I found it better not to think about it in terms of I have them all week for all the shit and he has them at the weekend to do fun with them. Rather, I used to think I was the lucky one. I spend my life with them and now he only gets to see them occasionally. My children live with me, they visit him, and our relationship has got stronger as a result.

However, I would say that if you're at all struggling and finding it difficult to cope, go to the GP. They will help. There's no need to let this be more difficult than it is. My GP was fab.

You will be ok.

Logg1e Wed 05-Mar-14 07:28:23

I agree with PPs advising that you make the best of it. Don't see it as a day away from your children that's forced upon you, but the day you use your ex in order to make the time you need to be you and to heal from the situation.

What type of time do you need right now? A time to hibernate and nurture yourself? If so, plan to wrap up warm and go for a walk, take a hot bath with a good book, do your nails, take ages cooking a lovely meal for one (grown-up food you couldn't have with the children) etc.

Perhaps you need to be practical and organised? So clean and tidy, throw stuff away and get out in to the garden.

Perhaps you want to do stuff for you? Go for a run or do an online exercise video. Think of a hobby you'd never normally try and research it in the library.

I hope these aren't too trite - just trying to offer some practical suggestions.

Cabrinha Wed 05-Mar-14 07:58:37

It is weird. Cos of my job, I've actually had lots of nights away from my daughter (though never leisure time). But it still felt weird the first time I didn't have a choice. And it was only for 2 hours!

You will become glad of the time to yourself, and used to it, honestly.

Planning something fun is best, but anything will do - make a list of jobs you want to get on top of. At least you'll feel achievement.

Good luck!

Coelacanth Wed 05-Mar-14 08:09:01

It's one of the many transitions that come with the territory. My first time 'alone' in similar circumstances I spent time sorting stuff out (which, oddly, helped me sort my head out) went for a walk and then wrote myself a list of the things I wanted to achieve.

It got easier, and it will get easier for you even if you spend the first time in a pit of despair. smile

Llareggub Wed 05-Mar-14 08:21:55

It does get so much easier!

It takes a while to adjust. At first I did a lot of child- related stuff like sorting their toys and cupboards. I then had an ephinany when I realised that I now had time just to relax and recover.

Now I do all the things that I can't do with the children. I go for a run, go out with my boyfriend and really enjoy my time off. I look forward to it and try not to feel guilty about that!

Melonbreath Wed 05-Mar-14 08:37:26

Find something you want to learn and look for lessons on YouTube.

struggling100 Wed 05-Mar-14 09:04:25

I think everyone handles this differently: do whatever would relax you and make you feel positive. There is a big plus to booking a full day of activities with friends, in that you will be completely distracted and will not be alone. It's still very early days, and you'll adjust in time, but right now you need love and care.

Essiebee Wed 05-Mar-14 09:08:17

Oh dear; it does get better but the first few times are difficult; all the (free) things you would normally cherish like mooching round the shops, reading a good book, watching TV uninterrupted are spoilt because you feel so unhappy. Try for some small treats like a new library book, takeaway meal, food only you like, long uninterrupted bath etc if you can't find anyone to spend time with you. Try clearing something out, (loft, shed, garage) because you will feel immense satisfaction and have something to show for it; if you can throw away things connected with Him so much the better i,e. all the empty bottles from home brewing that took up so much space in my very small kitchen. Feeding each one into the bottle bank and hearing it smash was very therapeutic!

humptydidit Wed 05-Mar-14 09:13:56

have inboxed you

FuckItLifeIsTooShort Wed 05-Mar-14 09:17:30

Second the de cluttering. It is a hard time but spending a day making your bedroom nice might help. Could you run to a can of paint? Making things closer to how I want them helped a great deal. Although I took on so much I had a lovely mums netter come and help (BB that's you xxx). If you really can't think of anyone to be with, and are totally lacking in the get up and go to do something at the moment could you put a message in local mumsnet? I imagine there are lots of friends there waiting to be made who would love someone to go for a walk with.

FolkGirl Wed 05-Mar-14 09:28:18

Oh and just spend time planning how you want your life to look from now on.

When I was at your stage of the process, I read a thread on here and someone recommended the FLYlady website. It's a bit OTT, but I used it to help get my head and my home in order and plan things I wanted to do for myself.

Time alone is great for doing that.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 05-Mar-14 09:30:06

You'll probably find the all day thing won't last especially as he did jack all when you were together.

I would:-

Go for a long run/walk, run on my own then walk with dog (he won't run these days)
Go to the library or a book shop for aaaaaages......
Go and see a movie maybe even two (I always go alone to the cinema, far prefer it)
I might paint my hall as it desperately needs doing.
Mess around on MN and FB for ages.
Go to a coffee shop and have a hot chocolate with whipped cream and read The Guardian.
Maybe a swim in the evening.

You'll be fine smile. I've been there and a hated the days leading up to them going as well, just dreaded the whole thing. It didn't last long though (see above).

ThefutureMrsTatum Wed 05-Mar-14 09:36:22

It's a very strange feeling at first, spare time. I was meg� skint when I split up with my ex, so I took up running. Was so unfit at first, couldnt manage more than 5 mins without stopping. Just used to throw my scruffs on, headphones in ears and run. After a few months I was out running for an hour at a time. Uused to get back feeling totally exhilarated, and I lost the rest of my baby weight and toned up. My ex used to drop the DC's off and say "eww you look thin it's disgusting" I translated that to "you look shit hot, and I'm an old fat bastard, why did I ever cheat on you" haha. Go for a run, and give it a few goes, you'll start to enjoy it after the inital few.

HelenHen Wed 05-Mar-14 10:47:58

Ds has gone off with mil for a few hours and I'm at a bit of a loss at the mo too sad

I usually do a combo of cleaning and relaxing but I'm not really in the mood for either! I shoulda gone with them really lol.

FolkGirl Wed 05-Mar-14 11:06:04

It's very different when going with them isn't an option though, Helen. And when you don't have any say in the matter. And when it's because your marriage has broken down and it's a stark reminder of that.

I was trying to explain to a married friend the other day that them enjoying an occasional night to themselves when their wife is out with her friends and wishing it happened more often because they rather enjoy it, isn't quite the same as spending every evening in by yourself for the forseeable future because you have no one. As much as they tried to argue that it was and that I was 'lucky' hmm

workingtolive Wed 05-Mar-14 13:32:10

Thanks for the advice. I already run and do plenty of stuff. I think the hard thing is not being part of what they are doing and still wanting my ex back.
. There is no easy way to deal with it and I'm just in pieces, the thought of being with anyone else during that time and pretending I'm ok doesn't appeal either.

Maybe I just have to ride it out and cry a lot!

HelenHen Wed 05-Mar-14 13:49:23

Wow folkgirl, I wasn't claiming it was the same at all... Relax!

Workingtolive sad how about baking a cake so you can give dc a treat when they get back? Baking can be pretty therapeutic and you can mix/knead the fuck out of that dough!

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