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separation: how to stay sane & look after dc well through early stages

(5 Posts)
lightroom Sun 27-Mar-16 19:59:50

After years of living separately under the same roof, then trying a birds' nest arrangement for a couple of years (2 dc staying in same home, while we parents come & go), I've finally realised that I'll be a happier person and a better parent if I have my own home. We currently rent a family home and a parents' flat. We're planning to buy separate properties (if possible) and to start divorce proceedings asap. It's as amicable as it can be, but it's still incredibly hard. In a way, it feels as if we've been trying to separate for 8 years and now we're finally doing it.

So in a few weeks, I'll be moving to the flat we currently rent and the dc will spend one week with me and one week with their dad to try to minimise the disruption to the dc. We'll be telling the dc this week. I think ds1 (13) will not be surprised & might even be relieved, but I suspect ds2 (10) will be devastated. All my friends (some of whom are lifelong friends of us both) are very supportive of the decision. I know that the damage to my health and happiness long term would have been very bad for the dc if I'd tried to carry on, but I know the new arrangement will probably be v hard on the dc at first.

So, lovely people: some advice on staying sane and well and supporting my dc through this, on how to make sure the PE kit is in the right place at the right time, on how to not spend the evenings weeping when the dc are with their dad all week... Thanks in advance! flowers

Joy69 Mon 28-Mar-16 10:29:34

Having also seperated this year, and finally moving out at the end of January, I would maybe reconsider the alternate week arrangement.
Depending on how your kids are of course.Mine are 13 & 8 and stay with their Dad Sunday, Monday, Tuesdays nights & every other Saturday . The youngest especially finds it difficult when there is a long stretch between seeing both of us. To be honest so do I. A week seems a very long time to be apart from 'Mum'.
Have a chat with the kids & see where their views are?
Good luck. It is difficult, but as you've said things will be so much happier for you x

lightroom Mon 28-Mar-16 11:01:02

Hi Joy69. Thanks for this.

We're trying the week on/off thing because people have told us moving in the week is very disruptive for the kids and that it's easier for them to get into a consistent routine, but I take your point. I really hate the idea of being away from them for that long, and I can't imagine the 10 year old is going to like it, but their dad is (understandably) determined to do 50/50 & the only way he can do that is if he can plan his working life way in advance, as he runs his own business and travels a lot for work, and can be away overnight or for very long days. So although I do want to get the dc's views on this, I don't want them to ask for something we can't accommodate.

Hmm...

pocketsaviour Mon 28-Mar-16 15:01:40

Why do you assume your 10 yr old will be devastated? Haven't you been separated from his dad for 80% of his life - certainly as long as he can remember?

I know kids don't like change, but TBH I think having the two of you faffing around for the last 8 years has probably been more confusing than if you'd just split up for good when they were both tiny.

Lightroom Mon 28-Mar-16 16:04:38

DS has been living in the same house. He will move to living in two houses. This is a massive change for him. He also has ASC which makes it trickier for him to accommodate disruption.

I'm asking for advice on how to handle the transition, not for judgement on past decisions. Fwiw, I thought that leaving H while he was incapacitated through a series of major surgeries would have been more than a little heartless. Why we didn't separate properly sooner isn't the issue - I want to put my energies into what happens now.

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