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How do you adjust to being separate from the kids?(20 Posts)
My husband and I in the process of separation. Although I feel sad about that I'm ok and I think it's for the best in the long run. What I'm really struggling with is thinking about being a half-time mum to my kids. Does anyone have any advice about how to handle my emotions about that? I've got a list of things I'd like to do on weekends I won't have them, and I can probably change my working pattern so I'm later home on nights they are with their dad, but I just feel devastated about not living with them all the time. I'd love any advice, either emotional or practical.
No advice but sure you are not alone in struggling with this x
The same as with any kind of grief really... you sort of learn to live with it. Keeping busy helps. Having a good cry helps. Knowing that you’re encouraging a positive relationship with their other parent helps too. Also you’re always their mum - there’s nothing half time about it (and I say that as a 50/50 mum!)
I also found I had more energy and gave them more quality time when the quantity of time together decreased.
You may find that the novelty wears off fairly quickly for their df. Kids are hard work with no let-up. One night mid week and EOW is one thing, but all the hard graft involved here is something else entirely.
I found it hard, but soon got used to it. It is now over 10 years.
At weekends I made sure I had plans so could not mope around. The hardest for me was the two week summer holiday, I always found that very upsetting.
I did find that in the last five years the kids have stayed with me more, especially during exams etc. By providing them with a stable, calm home where they felt safe, they have ended up viewing this as their home.
Thank you lovelies. I know there's no magic way. Just got to face the pain eh? I've just snuggled mine to sleep. Think this is the last Saturday night I'll be able to do that here, but I guess that means it'll be exciting me doing it my new house with them. 😬
It's so awful eh? Separating is one thing but I've been thinking tonight about the first time I held my babies and all the promises i made in an instant about never leaving them... Ah it's heartbreaking. I guess it'll get easier with time and, like SNS says, there's a large part of me thinking there's no way STBXH will really cope that well, although he loves them too, and any gain for me is a loss for him (but I need to stop thinking about him eh?).
Hi @FloElla7 - hugs for you.
It's just crap, I've been exactly where you are. I was the one who moved out and XH and I have pretty much 50/50 care. He was the full time parent while I worked so it's been an adjustment for both of us.
The last weekend with my babies before I moved out was bittersweet, a complete whirlwind of emotions and the guilt was overwhelming, but we're now 10 months down the line and we're still standing. It's not easy, my heart breaks a little bit every time I drop them off with their dad, but they're getting used to it and have adjusted pretty well. Kids are resilient little things, being consistent and as amicable as possible with XH will definitely help.
I hope it all goes well, just remember it is far worse to remain in a relationship that is no longer working, for whatever reason. I remember reading an article about how kids looking back and thinking their parents were ok, actually skewed their views on healthy relationships when they found out that actually it was all for them - hope that makes sense!
Be kind to yourself, you will get through it
Do you feel this upset when they go to school or nursery?
Relax, what a film or a box set. I adore my dc, and I agree it's weird when my lo is with his gp as I'm with him 24/7.
But enjoy the break, and it's good practice for the future when they are teens
Ah @Louby0526 that sounds like an almost identical situation to mine. Thank you for the encouragement xxx
I'm further along, nearly 3 years but I totally understand.
I was a SAHM for my 3. I now work when my children are with their Dad, but am around whenever they are with me.(50/50 share)
While it means my life is quite hard. No social life, hobby time or free time. My kids get me with them when they are here.
It helps that the change from me to him doesn't happen in front of me, they get picked up by him from school.
I love the coming back time. They are happy to see me and the cats.
They have adapted very quickly to the 2 houses thing and seem to be doing ok.
If you can keep an amicable relationship with ex it will make the process so much easier. Flexibility makes the children's lives better. They can do the things they want and not have to think about 'who's day it is'
For you, it's hard but keep thinking what is best for the children?
Hi lovely. I’m in the same situation so don’t have any advice but wanted you to know you aren’t alone. Xx
It is difficult isn't it? For me the first couple of times were very hard but actually it's gotten much easier. Their father has them EOW and once a week but I actually look forward to that time now. You may find that you do too.
I love my kids to bits but I've been able to do things on my weekends off that I NEVER would have with the kids (surfing, new boyfriend, yoga retreat, etc).
It's worked out brilliantly for me and my ex (6/14 night a fortnight split, in her favour).
We've both agreed that in general in married life, and definitely in a failing marriage, you don't do anything "well". Feel like a bad husband / wife, don't give enough time to kids, don't give your all to work, don't see friends enough etc etc. - but that all changes when you have half your life back to yourself and half with the kids.
I feel like dad of the year when I have the kids - washing done, uniforms ironed, have time to help them with their homework etc. Then when I don't have them I can concentrate on catching up with life admin, social life, work, or just be irresponsible.
So I suppose just chose one / some of those things to concentrate on. Maybe at first it'll be reunite with old friends and get on top of the household chores (so when the kids come back you're 100% ready to lavish attention on them). Maybe you'll end up getting one of those "all the films you can see for £20/month" season tickets so you'll feel like a culture vulture, maybe you'll sit in your pants and watch back to back Friends episodes and feel 100% recharged for first time in years.
I really believe you can be a better mum and a more rounded person at the end of this.
Also someone said about the amicable relationship. Definite +1 on that.
Try and let go of frustrations with him doing minor parenting differently to you (brushing hair "wrong", badly ironed uniforms etc). Firstly he'll have to catch up on the things you did so well, but more importantly it's just not a good use of your energy. Life's too short and you can focus your W every on having a better life on your own, rather than resenting the last residual links to your marriage.
Ah BrightonTony I just wanted to say thank you for the lovely advice and support. And to everyone else XX thank you.
Two years in for me and I still find it difficult!
Like an above poster said, my focus is to create a calm and loving home here for the children.
Hugs, it's not a fun situation.
Hi having read these I really admire people who have done this and settled into a routine, it is a very difficult thing to adjust to. Well done everyone on this thread as you can see the pain but also the determination to make it work.
OP there are some valuable tips on here, eventually you will love some of the peace you have and you can make your nest special for when the kids are there. Good luck.
So sorry for everyone in this situation, it's really tough, particularly at this time of year.
I'm early on in the process and although I miss the kids so much, I think the other painful part is being on my own in the previous family home, feeling discarded by my ex as he moves rapidly forward in his new single life (although probably already has a new girlfriend). When the kids are here, I feel distracted and I have a role. When they're not, I have moments when I'm not really sure what my purpose is. It's taking me a while to get used to. I'm getting back into hobbies and interests that I previously neglected, as well as seeing more of friends, old and new. Beyond that I find a movie, a glass of wine and some chocolate also help! Good luck and hugs to everyone going through this. Here's to 2019 being better.
Hi All, There seems to be some good advice here. I'm just starting this journey myself too. Thanks @BrightonTony Good to hear a Dads point of view. My Ex and I have also agreed 50/50 although previously I did nearly all the childcare. I am trying to recognise he needs time to "catch up" with the daily requirements like brushing hair and laundry etc. It's hard though when they come back to me with a head full of knots.
Friends have said that in time Ex will get bored of the childcare and kids with gradually spend more time with me..... I guess we'll see, its early days for us. I keep trying to remind myself that actually - now they will build a better relationship with their Dad than they ever would have if we'd stayed together - as now he will have to look after them half the time - whereas before it was generally always left to me.
It’s so tough. Mine are toddlers and we split 6 months ago. I was breastfeeding youngest so today is only her 2nd overnight to their dad. From jan we start 1 night every week plus EOW. I have just put them in daddy’s car and now I am rattling around BUT I have made plans to meet friends for lunch and cocktails. I know I will miss them but I hope I will be a better mum for having some time to recharge. Stbxh never did any parenting when we were together - he certainly seems to have stepped up now and I am glad for my kids that if he keeps it up they will have 2 really good parents x
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