The Easter holidays have arrived and as a non resident parent you hopefully get to spend time with your children that goes beyond the odd over night or weekend visit.
The short two to three week holidays bring with them extra joy and extra problems…. For some it means time off work or child care issues and for others, it is about managing the expenses of days out. These times are full of fun and laughter, but also of frustration as you explore the boundaries you have with your children.
In an overnight or weekend, you may let things go or think better of it because you don’t want to spoil precious time with the children. But with longer stays, you can’t afford to let things slip; you can feel like you are becoming a mean ogre.
Changes in rules and routines can be traumatic for a child and adult. For example, I don’t restrict time on computers or a DS to 30 minutes a day like my ex-wife; it is their down time too. The flip side of boys being happy is me feeling neglected as they play Super Mario or Minecraft rather than sit and chat or do something with dad.
For me, balancing the needs of a 6 and 11 year old is not an issue, but changing routines or having them accept how I do things is difficult for them when considering that their mum has a different approach to mine. From understanding that the dog needs two walks a day, or that I expect them to wash and shower every day, to making their own breakfast. Some things are the same however, like expecting them not fight over everything!!!!
As non-resident parents we accept this is now part of our lot, but our partners also have things turned upside down such as limited time spent with them and the invasion of their time and space too. Where a few days or a night can be tolerated, longer stays can grate as they are stuck in the middle, especially if they still have to maintain their normal routines or work patterns. For them too, it can be good at times and at other times- a strain. Silly things like they may do things differently or comment on how you handle something can irritate even momentarily, and that can strain your relationship.
We love time with our kids and sometimes the extra time in the holidays can be great and at times, even push the sanest person to the edge of madness. Often because we value the time so much and we invest the time and emotion into fighting to get it, we may feel it is wasted when problems occur. When they go, we miss them. We would struggle and fight to do it all again because we love them and it’s all part of the job description of being a parent and dad!
‘til next week,
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Dad.info.