Thursday, October 2, 2008

Missing My Ex-Husband

No, this post is not about me missing my ex-husband, it's about my son missing his father and how difficult it is to be a single parent - for at least these last 9 days when dad's been away.

My ex-husband and I travel throughout the year - separately - for each of our businesses. I travel quite a bit more than he does, usually for five days at a time once a month (from February - July) and then on occasion the rest of the year. Dad takes two trips a year, although his are considerably longer - usually 10 - 14 days each.

My son has a hard time when either one of us are away since he's used to the routine of seeing Mom and Dad on a 2-3-2 custody schedule. The routine is great for all of us. Mom and Dad get their adult and alone time when our son is with the other parent, and we each have the opportunity to bond with our son and devote our time to him when it's "our time" with him.

You might say we're each a bit spoiled, and it's never more apparent then when one of us is left "in charge" for more than 72 hours at a time. Yesterday, my ex-husband was supposed to return from Central America but due to bad weather, his flight was postponed until today which means he won't be able to pick up our son from school as originally planned, and as I had been explaining to my son all week.

My son has had a rough time at bedtime, in particular, during these times. Just this week, he's tried to talk me into becoming nocturnal and refuses to wake up "at daytime" and also wants to go back to being a baby. Luckily, this usually only lasts a l-o-n-g thirty minutes which, to me, feels like an eternity.

Our morning routines are not much better. He's been refusing to get dressed, brush his teeth or get in the car to head to school unless I promise him that his dad will be picking him up. Of course, I never make a promise I can't keep (he'll hold me to it) so it's been especially challenging for me to "convince him" to cooperate and help me out.

I've been late this week a record number of times. His teachers probably wouldn't even recognize me if I showed up before school officially started.
As odd as it may sound, I'm looking forward to seeing my ex-husband tonight.

But that's because my son truly misses him and will explode with emotion when he finally gets to see his dad. It makes me melt to see how happy he is with his father and I love the fact that he's the exact same way when he sees me after one of my trips.

I'm leaving on a trip next week, actually. It's hard to be away, but as most parents will agree, it's difficult to be a good parent when you don't get a chance to breathe, have adult-only interactions and get a good night's rest. I encourage all parents to take a night off for themselves. Have a sleepover at a friend's home or hotel down the street and get away. Your children will thank you for it.

No comments: