While change is a necessary part of life, it can be the hardest thing for humans to do. This is one of the reasons that divorce tends to be so difficult for all members of the family. When mom and dad’s marital status changes, kids may find that their living arrangements change with it.
The good news is that although change is hard, we are all capable of adaptation. For some recently divorced parents, the most difficult adaptation period they face is the first time that they are separated from their children due to child custody arrangements.
This topic was the subject of a personal essay published in the New York Times by a woman named Jessica. In her essay, Jessica writes about the first time she had to be separated from her young son. She had just gone through what seemed to be an amicable divorce, lived less than a mile from her ex-husband and agreed to a two-day custody rotation period.
She writes about how much of a wreck she was for those first 48 hours of being without her son, despite knowing that her ex-husband was a loving and responsible father. Of the custody agreement, she writes: “On paper our alternating two-day routine seemed fair but once it began, the separation felt suffocating.”
This story, told with a lot of candor, shows that adjusting to a post-divorce reality is rarely as easy as it looks on paper. But once we endure the difficult period of adjustment, we often come out stronger on the other side.
If you are going through a divorce or child custody dispute, it is important to seek the help you need to make it through this difficult transition. And while you seek that help and support, remember that if we can endure the transition, the end result is often better than we expect.
Source: The New York Times, “Shared Custody: So Even on Paper, So Hard on the First Night,” Jessica Ciencin Henriquez, Feb. 5, 2015