Why do you want to spend less time with your children when growing up happens so quickly these days?

Don’t you look back on how many years have gone already and wonder how it’s passed so fast – and to think you’ve got to spend less time with your children because your Ex wants them, is gut-wrenching to most of us.

Divorce hurts – it hurts us in different ways but it hurts us all the same.

One of the most painful parts of divorce is the involvement of the children. We could handle it without much grief really if we could just part company and divvy up the goodies, say goodbye and have them pretty much leave our life. When we have children with them, that’s just not going to happen.

Truth is, it shouldn’t happen either.

Children who do not know one of their parents struggle more as adults than those who have good time spent with both parents while growing up.

So, do you have to share your children? The answer is not so much that you have to, but rather why wouldn’t you want your children to have the best start in life as possible … and your Ex, their other parent will help provide that.

Of course, you may well be saying, “yeah – well, you don’t know my Ex, and that’s not the best for my kid.” This is true, I don’t know your Ex, I don’t know the circumstances, however, unless you are dealing with abuse, your child benefits from time spent with both.

For decades, fathers have been cut out of valuable time with their children through misguided court orders where mothers have been left struggling to juggle being the providers and nurturers all year round.

There are generations of men who barely know their fathers because they’ve been prevented spending quality time together.

The father’s don’t know how to be dads either, because they weren’t given the opportunity to learn on the job.

These young men who have since grown up inside the fatherless home have no (or little) role models and so they continue repeating such a broken and sorry story.

If your Ex has an interest in their children, you are wise to support time with them fully.

I know you can feel really lonely. I know you can feel that you’re losing out on your marriage and now being a parent.

But truth is, being a parent is also about allowing children to have time away from you in a healthy and supportive way.

Our men need support in being great fathers. Our woman need time out from the stresses and strains of being mother. There is the possibility here for the greatest babysitting for both of you – and your children.

Ask those in the traditional family structure, they are envious of those who can have every second weekend to themselves as an adult weekend. They see the downsides, but the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence – and this is one of those green covered fields.

How you go about sharing your children’s time with your Ex will depend on more things than just your personal preference however.

• You will need to consider their ages.

• What type of care is required for them if you’re both working.

• How about the distance between the two houses and the amount of travelling that you’ll have to do.

• Think about how your Ex will view this – and what does it mean to them.

• Perhaps you’ll also need to start looking at your own priorities and working out what’s important to you – what are you prepared to give up, or not give up?

• It’s sensible to have a really good look at what is in it for the children?

• Do they benefit from being between two homes?

• What do they gain at your place?

• What do they lose when not at your place?

These are all part of how you can help communicate this with your children when it comes time to talk with them about who’s going where when.

If you’ve got questions, stories, or comments to this email, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at Questions@ComplexFamily.com


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Jill Darcey (author, parent, founder, and speaker) is a mother of three with thousands of hours of experience as a counsellor and coach, and more than a decade of real-time experience with "complex family" parenting --- parenting through separation, divorce or some other family breakdown. Jill is someone who has both vision and wisdom and has learned a lot of what does and doesn't work — and some of it the hard way!

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I’m a mother of 12 years old boy. We’ve been divorced almost 6 years. He stayed with his father all weekdays and on weekends he comes to me. The question is that he’s starting to create stories ,telling me lies and doing things from his mind without asking me. I don’t really know how to act in such situation. your help will be appreciated.

Marta Fisch

Hi Lina. Sounds like a good time to connect with your son and ask him how he’s doing and if you can help in any way. Good luck! Marta

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