Lament of a Divorced Parent
Lament of a divorced parent? It’s true. Firsts are always memorable, especially the first time that a newly divorced parent sends the children off with the “ex”. The finality of no longer being parents in the same household becomes “reality”. For most parents, it is a very emotional experience; the first time you are home alone, and your children are with the “other” parent. You wonder if the children are ok? Did dad or mom remember that Susie was allergic to peanuts, that Jimmy needed his ADD meds in the morning? And, that each child needed a ride to a sports activity.
My vivid memory of my first time without my children happened a mere two months after my divorce. Their father took them for three weeks to California, 1800 miles away. I cried every night. The house was too quiet, too clean, and too empty.
Plan ahead for this new situation. Have some new activity or outing scheduled for the “first” time.
1. Make a dinner date with an old friend.
2. Take a craft class.
3. Schedule your hair appointment or a mani, pedi.
4. Go see a movie.
5. Have something planned that keeps you from being home alone.
Oh, and write a list of meds, allergies, activities to hand to the ex as he departs. At first, it is tough to be left alone, but it does become easier, and it becomes routine: kids with dad every other Saturday, mom has them on Sunday afternoons. But allow yourself to feel a bit of a loss the “first” time- change is an adjustment.
Written by: Patricia Bubash, M.Ed., Licensed Professional Counselor
About the Author:
Patricia Bubash, M.Ed., Licensed Professional Counselor, Author, worked in the area of education for more than thirty years. As a teacher, counselor, she worked with families, divorced and separated, and facilitated group counseling for children of divorce. It was out of her experiences that she authored the book, Successful Second Marriages. Ms. Bubash writes articles for a variety of sites, and volunteers her time with children, and the USO. www.successfulsecondmarriages.com