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The Handover Guilt

(4 Posts)
Boomerwang Fri 20-Jan-17 09:03:57

I'm struggling to think of a good title for this issue I have.

I split up from my ex a few years ago and now live a 3 minute walk away in a flat whilst he stayed in the family home. We have a 4 year old daughter who spends a few days at mine, then a few days at his etc. When either one of us is working it's a more routine arrangement.

I love my daughter very much and I'm very proud of her, but I always look forward to the time when she goes back to her father. In my head I'm free from responsibility and can lie around doing whatever I want at whatever time of day. The reality is that once she's gone to her Dad's my flat feels empty and cold and lifeless and I miss her terribly.

When it's time to have her back I seem to stuff all the things I should have done into a couple of hours before her arrival and the whole time I feel ominous and down like 'oh god I have to put her first again'

I feel incredibly guilty about this. I'm lucky to have her, and I'm lucky to get free time too, so I don't understand this process of emotions I go through all the time.

I'd like to know that I'm not the only one who gets up and down like this, and feels massively guilty about it?

Boomerwang Fri 20-Jan-17 09:08:04

Actually my ex says it's exactly the same for him. I tend to have her about 4 days at a time and him about 2 or 3 because he asks her where she wants to be and she always says mummy's house. this is because there's nothing to do but sit on the pc or play on her tab which suits her fine. Might also be because he's living with four dogs and two cats which means she shares attention. He wants her to come to me, but still feels a bit empty and sad when she does.

bananaleaves Fri 20-Jan-17 10:50:24

Oh god I think everyone has this don't they?! Not exactly the same situation but my daughter is 14m and goes to nursery two mornings a week, one of those I work but the other is just "me time" and whilst I do enjoy it I do feel guilty and also miss her and love picking her up, but then start daydreaming about free time again! I think it's just one of those contradictions of being a parent.

I realise you're away from her for a lot longer time than me but I would try and keep busy while shes away, really make the most of the time, even if it's binge watching boxsets or whatever. She's with someone who loves her and somewhere she enjoys going, even if she does say she wants to go to mummy's house when asked- it's probably just cos you're her mummy! Most children gravitate towards their mum at that age.

Boomerwang Sun 22-Jan-17 09:26:19

I have another kind of guilt today. Last year we had a 4 day switcharound to keep things regular for her daycare, who like to know exact dates and times she's coming. This was because I was working and she had to be there at 6am when I had her, but only 8.30am when her father had her.

I'm starting this job again soon to last for a year but she is now used to being able to stay at mine whenever she wants. She's had two nights at her daddy's house and we're trying to get her back into the routine of four nights each but she begs to come to mine.

So now I feel guilty that I somehow don't love her enough if I refuse to let her stay with me. I want to see her but she will end up in tears when I leave if I don't take her with me. That makes me not want her to see me, but then I get upset because we're apart.

How can I get her back into the routine?

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