Adult Conversations

Winter Break Blues

 

Sharing Custody

One of the most difficult things for me as a single mom is sharing custody of Little. Not because I am the bitter ex who wants to keep my daughter as far away from her dad as possible out of spite. I am far from that chick for so many reasons. I understand the importance of the bond a girl has with her dad. It’s something I just can’t provide. But for me, going even one night without Little is painful. When she’s out of town, I sleep in her bed and cuddle with her stuffed animals. When I’m out of town, I call her five times a day, and she always obliges, even when she’d rather be watching Bunk’d. So when summers and holidays roll around, while everyone else is basking in the glory of freedom from work and school, I am dreading that drive to the airport where I load little onto a plane (unaccompanied at that…but that’s a discussion for a different day), praying she’ll come back to me sooner rather than later.

Won’t Steal Her Joy

Her father and I alternate winter break, and this year is his year. Little is so excited to see her dad, and even more excited that she will earn her first passport stamp this Christmas. She’s been talking about this particular trip for months,  I wouldn’t dare try to steal any of her joy by focusing on my impending sadness; I have no reason to. She’ll only be gone for a week, and even though it’ll go by fast, it will mentally feel like an eternity. But I can handle it, right?

Everyone says I should look at this time as a break from not only work, but also from parenting, if only for a seven days. That I should take some time to focus on myself, and do the things I don’t get a chance to do while she’s here. However, I just can’t bring myself to be okay with maxin’ and relaxin’ when my kid is gone. Not that I don’t value the importance of ‘me time’. I do, I swear! I have no problem putting myself in timeout when I’m angry, stressed, or plain ol’ tired. Honestly, I think the problem is I carry around this guilt of admitting that I could potentially enjoy myself when Little is not around. It was difficult enough for me to even type that last sentence.

Am I the Problem?

Is this guilt that I’m feeling warranted? Am I overthinking this whole issue? Should I just deal with my issues and let Little live her eight year-old life? Should I just be glad she’s with me ten months out of the year? Did I just answer my own questions by acknowledging it? 🙂

It sounds like I need to take some of the focus of of myself, and put it back where it belongs. I want nothing more than for Little to have a well-rounded childhood. To see and experience as much good as possible, surrounded by great people. I just have to realize that I can’t always be that person.

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