You have made the decision for whatever reason that your marriage is over, done, final and time to move on.
As a divorcee, I felt the worst part of finalizing the divorce was the separation of assets and surviving on one income again. Never did I stop and think about what I was doing to my kids in the process.
I put my blinders on and moved forward, they will get use to having separated parents – it’s the norm right? They will be much happier having 2 bedrooms, 2 birthday celebrations, and in the end a week rotation with each parent will mean they will get the best of each parent.
It never dawned on me that this would have an emotional affect on my kids, until one day my youngest child decided he would like to go live with my brother because “there would be a mommy and a daddy in one house”. Wow what a big statement from a child.
It was at this point I realized that I had taken the comfort and stability of a traditional family away from my kids. Something that they craved, just as we all crave to be loved in life.
Deep sadness started when I realized my actions were going to impact them for the rest of their lives. I started to notice how every family event we went to there were mostly traditional families, except for my kids, it was them and me. The constant announcements being made by children that their parents were divorced were made with sadness on my children’s faces.
Every element of our lives became non traditional. Family dinners, vacations, life in general. These kids had to go through every celebration twice, something that sounds great, except it is not so great for them. They would gladly pass up 2 celebrations for 1 as they were getting exhausted by being bounced around. As adults we even get tired of visiting 2 families on Christmas Day.
I began to think about things differently, and how their lives are. To sum it up they are living separate lives on a kid level. Different bedrooms to sleep in, different rules, half their belongings at each house, keeping track of where they are suppose to be.
Think of it as every other week, you pack your favourite things in a bag and go see someone else for a week, then do it all over again. What exactly is home?
As my kids became teenagers I realized they were getting tired of the switch. They would start asking to stay extra at one house or the other. The bag had taken it’s toll on them. They wanted a sense of “home”. All their belongings in one place, a warm welcoming place that was theirs. They had had enough of the constant shuffle.
So my advice to those that are separated or divorced, stop thinking your kids will be fine. Just as adults need love and togetherness, as children they need the sames as well as comfort.