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When the kids are with your co-parent and you're feeling lonely

We have previously discussed the fact that being a co-parent can be a uniquely complicated identity. There are numerous benefits and challenges associated with co-parenting that many married parents may not be able to fully understand. For example, the fact that your child custody arrangements may require your child to spend certain nights away from your household can be both a benefit and a challenge of co-parenting.

When your child is with your co-parent, you can have some time to attend to areas of your life not directly tied to your child. This freedom can be welcome, but at times it can be very lonely. Even if you enjoy occasional time away from your child, chances are that you also miss your child when he or she is gone.

If your child is with your co-parent and you are struggling with feeling lonely, there are a few things that you can do to turn this challenge of co-parenting into a benefit. First, understand that when you miss your child you are affirming to both you and your child that your relationship is important. You may wish to take a little time of your child’s absence and devote it to planning something for you and your child to do when he or she gets back. That way, your time apart can be used as a great excuse for bonding when he or she gets home.

Second, understand that your interests, obligations and social life not directly tied to your child deserve your attention too and your child’s absence may allow you to turn your attention more fully to these areas of your life. Every parent deserves to have a life beyond his or her child. Your child’s time away from home can help to allow you to have an increased sense of balance in your life if you will allow it to.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Coping with Divorce: When Your Kids are With Your Ex and You're Home Alone,” Jackie Pilossoph, May 19, 2014

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