Now that shared parenting is the norm, there are far fewer battles over custody these days — but what’s a parent to do when they aren’t used to being separated from their children half the time?
It’s okay to mourn the changes in your life, but you shouldn’t get stuck in a negative mindset. It helps if you start to look for the positives in the situation.
4 reasons shared parenting is good for you
Even though you realize it’s better for children to spend time with both parents, you may not be especially keen on dividing your time with the kids. However, the adjustment will come easier (to everybody) if you start to embrace the following benefits that come with some “alone” time without your children around:
- You’ll have a clear routine. Sharing custody with your ex-spouse means you have to get into a predictable routine, and that means you know ahead of time when you’re free and when you’re not. That will make scheduling visits with friends and brunch with your siblings much easier.
- You can focus on yourself: Full-time parents know that it’s a struggle to get some quality “alone time” to pamper themselves. Pick up an old hobby again — or pick up a new one. You may even reconnect with a part of yourself that you lost once the kids came along.
- You have time to build your career: Time away from the kids means that you can devote more energy and time to your side hustles, education or job. That will make you a more well-rounded person and enhance your income or job prospects.
- You have time for romance: It’s hard (or impossible) to build a romantic relationship with someone new when the kids are always around. Shared parenting means you have some space to date — without having to hire a sitter or feel guilty about leaving the kids at home.
Ultimately, shared parenting only works well when you have a clear, workable agreement in place that helps establish expectations, rights and responsibilities. If you’re still working out your parenting plan, make sure you’re thinking ahead.