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Do you ever get used to not seeing your children?

(25 Posts)
Stillafamily Mon 09-May-16 13:12:07

On the brink of separation. My ideal is that we will eventually manage 50/50 residence. Might not quite be achievable but will aim close to this. One child is still quite young so not yet.

I've barely ever been apart from my children. I cannot imagine several days without them. Nor can I imagine them coping. They spend lots of time with DH but rarely bedtimes without me. Does it ever stop feeling sad? Do you get used to it?

DH is more than capable but my heart is breaking at the thought.

SoupDragon Mon 09-May-16 13:13:56

Yes.

And no.

I've got used to the nothing here every other weekend, even kind of looking forward to the peace, but it still seems wrong that they aren't here.

Stillafamily Mon 09-May-16 13:16:49

Is it a painful sad feeling or does it dull to manageable?

claraschu Mon 09-May-16 13:21:25

My children are gone because 2 of them are older teens. It is hard.

One of my divorced friends told me she forced herself to have lots of interests and a lively social life because her kids were with her ex half of the time. She needed friends and hobbies to keep her from pining for her children. Now that her kids are growing up, she has a far more active life outside home and work than I do, as I never wanted to leave my kids (and wasn't forced to when they were little).

Stillafamily Mon 09-May-16 13:27:05

Aw, must be hard when they grow up.

Natsku Mon 09-May-16 13:30:43

I found I did get used to DD being away (was nearly 50/50 for a while, then 70/30). What helped was keeping myself busy when she wasn't home, and using that time to do most of the cleaning (so vacuuming and mopping was always left until she was at her dad's) and making the most of the lie-ins.
She doesn't go to her dad's any more though and hasn't for a long time, so would feel very weird if she wasn't around now.

willconcern Mon 09-May-16 13:35:11

Yes.

It's hard to start with, but I am used to it. I enjoy my time when they aren't here, I do adult things - my hobbies, spend time with my DP, sleep, read, see friends, go away for the weekend, visit friends, watch movies. Find the silver lining.

SoupDragon Mon 09-May-16 13:35:23

It's only painful when you dwell on the feeling that you should be a whole family if that makes sense. It's fine though, really.

SoupDragon Mon 09-May-16 13:36:36

Find the silver lining.

Absolutely. Whilst the cloud is still there, the silver lining is that you know they are OK and having fun and that its OK for you to have fun too.

willconcern Mon 09-May-16 13:36:55

Yes, claraschu - I get what your friend is saying. I know that when my DCs leave home, I have a v active social life already, independently of them. That's no bad thing.

Stillafamily Mon 09-May-16 13:38:33

I can already kind of imagine enjoying a lie in and a bit of grown up time. blush
I guess it's just bedtime and not seeing them at all in a day.

mushroomsontoast Mon 09-May-16 13:42:44

I find the weekends are ok, as I'm usually so knackered after 2 weeks of childcare and working full time that I'm glad of the rest! I try to have at least one thing planned, whether that's coffee with a friend or a night out. I catch up on the cleaning and washing and enjoy the peace. I've also started seeing someone so that helps take my mind off things grin

I find it much harder when they're away for a whole week... Again, having a few things planned is the key. Nothing worse than moping around an empty house feeling like everyone else is out having fun with their families. I've even started going to the cinema on my own, which is actually brilliant!

WannaBe Mon 09-May-16 13:42:45

Yes and no. When he goes to his dad's I like the idea of being able to go out in the evening or have a lie in. But when he's been here for a prolonged period I.e. During the holidays I find it harder when he goes to eXH's. Also if he goes abroad with eXH I find it strange that he's not just down the road iyswim.

He hasn't been to his dad's now for nearly five weeks, so I admit that when he does go there I'll find it strange. Especially during the week when DP isn't here.

TimeforaNNChange Mon 09-May-16 13:48:03

My DDs been 50:50 for the last 7 years (since she was 8) - with the occasional 2-3 week holiday away with her dad thrown in for good measure.

It's never felt wrong as such - but I had spent time apart from her before her dad and I split; weekends away, work conferences etc. Yes, I miss her, but now she's older I can text/message her etc, so it's easy to share something ive seen or chat to her about her day. I've helped her with homework via text, mediated in arguments with her stepmum and send her jokey memes and pics to let her know I'm thinking of her. She doesn't always reply, and that's fine - she's always said that she doesn't mind me getting in touch as long as I don't mind her ignoring me!

I have two very different life routines - one for when she's with me, and one when she isn't. I shifted my work pattern so I could be around for her before and after school when she was younger, and work extra hours or travel away when she's scheduled to be with her dad.

It wasn't easy to start with - her dad I don't coparent well, so it was a case of parallel parenting for the first few years until he and I established boundaries and ground rules.

Stillafamily Mon 09-May-16 14:10:19

Interesting to read the replies.
I guess it's my toddler I worry most about. It's such a full on relationship until preschool. It's a very physical age as well, I already notice something feels missing when he's not with me, albeit i enjoy a break.

Stillafamily Mon 09-May-16 14:15:25

Said toddler is now awake so I'm off for now but it'd be really good if anyone has any tips for preparing the children for and coping with separation with each parent.

Ledkr Mon 09-May-16 14:24:22

Aw, I feel for you all. My ex has hardly had our dc but I have to say I didn't mind as dd was only a baby and Id have been gutted to not be with her.
I'm remarried now and if we split DH would want 50/50 but Id hate it.
My friend has this and it's not fair as it was her Dh who cheated and now she's missing out on her dd.

PatMullins Mon 09-May-16 14:26:52

It's been 3 years for me, OP.
I've found it has got easier over time, I agree with what SoupDragon said smile

SoupDragon Mon 09-May-16 16:40:32

I've been thinking about this and I reckon I spent so long putting on a brave face and saying to friends etc how wonderful it was to have child free time that I never noticed when it became true smile

CommonBurdock Mon 09-May-16 17:06:41

Yes, but I won't pretend it's easy. I've got a 70/30 split in his favour as they live in a different country. I don't fully enjoy all the time apart but to be quite honest I think they enjoy the time with me more than before. You can certainly put a lot more into the time you do spend with them in terms of activities and teaching them stuff, sharing things with them.

Stillafamily Mon 09-May-16 19:20:46

How quickly did your children adjust to being away from you?

Terrifiedandregretful Mon 09-May-16 19:55:41

Dd (2) spends 4 days a week with me and 3 with xp. This is a very new arrangement (4 weeks) but she is coping brilliantly (much better than I am). She is equally happy with either of us and we've always shared bedtimes which helps. as yet she's never cried for the absent parent. For me it's the lonely evenings after dd has gone to bed I'm struggling with most. On the days in not with her I keep very busy, but evenings I mope (not helped by the fact I don't have tv or Internet yet)

Halleberry Mon 09-May-16 20:31:12

My sons dad and I share custody. He is with me midweek for school, and his dad's every weekend then during the holidays we do week on week off .... And j can promise you it DOES get easier. It's hard at first but you will honestly start to enjoy that little break. I now have an almost 1 year old with my now husband and we never get a sitter lol and I look back over the last nearly 12 years with my son and realise How lucky we both were to get a real from each other. My daughter is stuck to me like super glue, my son is very independent. I don't wish for my daughter to go away for weeks at a time, I just mean j realise now having her stuck to me constantly that with my son it was so different and so much easier. Please don't worry. you will eventually start to enjoy it xx

Terrifiedandregretful Mon 09-May-16 20:31:22

I wanted to add that I do find it so sad that I only see dd for half the week. I wonder if it is too high a price to pay sometimes. But she is fine and we are not modelling an unhealthy relationship any more and that is what I have to keep telling myself.

Stillafamily Mon 09-May-16 21:41:10

Yes Im thinking it's a high price to pay listening to the reality. I think it's the only thing to do though.

It seems like you get used to it, like anything I guess.

DH is so down its impossible to work anything out. [Sigh]

I hope your evenings get better Terriifiefandregretful.

DH is going to have to start doing weekend bedtimes.

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