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Los días partidos son una cosa

Me presenté a la cita de juego con un niño. Mi amigo se sorprendió. ¿Dónde estaba mi otro hijo? Supongo que el concepto de tener un día dividido no es algo con lo que la gente esté demasiado familiarizada. Muchos padres sacan a un niño para una actividad especial. Muchos niños salen con sus amigos o familiares sin necesariamente llevarse a sus hermanos. Pero una vez que comienzas a dividir sus horarios en tiempo de crianza, la gente tiende a tener mucha más hambre para ese momento.
Al principio del proceso de divorcio, me preocupaba perder tiempo con mis hijos. Me preocupé por perder grandes recuerdos y todos sus pequeños hitos. Me preocupé por todo eso. Sin embargo, a medida que los niños crecían, noté que había muchas cosas que todos estábamos perdiendo. Un poco de uno en uno comenzó a convertirse en algo que esperar.
Nuestros hijos son su propia gente. Tienen sus propios pasatiempos, intereses, todo ello. Y tienen una capacidad asombrosa para interrumpirse mutuamente y un fuerte deseo de dirigir las conversaciones y jugar en su propia dirección. Se hizo evidente que necesitaban uno a la vez.
Nació el día partido. Fue un éxito tan iracundo desde el primer momento que supimos que teníamos que incluirlo en nuestro programa de crianza. También fue mucho más claro que esto no se refería a mis días ni a mis días anteriores. Todo esto es sobre los días de los niños.
Las fiestas de cumpleaños son mucho más fáciles de navegar sin un hermano extra. Sorprender a un niño de 4 años en una caminata de 4 horas es sorprendentemente factible cuando se trata de un niño de 4 años en lugar de 2. Un viaje al museo se convirtió en un evento de aprendizaje verdaderamente interactivo en lugar de un empujón hacia abajo en una espiral de agotamiento. Los niños se extrañaban y estaban felices de reunirse al final del día. Estaban ansiosos por compartir sus experiencias. Estaban encantados de haber tenido uno de nosotros para ellos mismos. Así que sí, los días partidos son una cosa. Y nos gustan.

Making Choices For Our Kids

We didn’t agree on a lot of things when we were married. We had a lot of feelings clouding our judgement. There was a lot of stress distracting us from prioritizing. After our divorce was finalized and everything was written in ink and signed off on, it all got easier.

It wasn’t quite overnight, but over time we grew closer and more capable of healthy communication when it comes to our kids. We had been on the same page before we got married and now we are back on the same page. We just needed to get rid of some of the other aspects of our relationship to become the parents we were meant to be.

So while some minor details aren’t always agreed on, we seem to always find a good place to land when it comes to the big issues. Like our children’s wellbeing, mental health, and meeting their individual needs.

Our daughter comes with a whole host of needs. Not all of which made sense to us at first. And not all of which came with any sort of “how to” guide. Allowing our child to transition was the simplest and hardest thing to come to terms with. We both knew who she was and who she needed to be allowed to be. We both were terrified of messing this up. We consulted wit ha specialist. We met with other families, some in real life, some virtually. We took it slowly and followed her lead.

Most recently, we signed documents and mailed out a check. We finally gave our girl what she needed in order to be able to live her life. A child shouldn’t have to come with an explanation or a “heads up” before starting a new class. A child shouldn’t always have to enter a new arena by waiting on the outskirts while their parents explained to the adults in charge what to expect. And now, she won’t have to.

Split Days Are A Thing

I showed up to the play date with one kid.  My friend was shocked.  Where was my other kid? I guess the concept of having a split day isn’t something people are too familiar with.  Many parents take one kid out for a special activity.  Many kids go out with their friends or family without necessarily taking their sibling along.  But once you start breaking down their schedules into parenting time, people tend to be far more hungry for that time. 

Early on in the divorce process I worried about losing time with my kids.  I worried about missing out on huge memories and all of their little milestones.  I worried about all of it.  As the kids got older though, I noticed that there were a lot of things we were all missing out on.  A little one on one time started to become something to look forward to.   

Our kids are their own people.  They have their own hobbies, interests, all of it.  And they have an amazing ability to interrupt each other and a strong desire to steer conversations and play in their own direction.  It became apparent that they needed one on one time. 

The split day was born.  It was such a raging success from the very first one that we knew we had to work this into our parenting schedule.  It made it so much more clear too that this wasn’t about my days or about my exes days.  All of this is about the kids days.   

Birthday parties are much easier to navigate without an extra sibling.  Bringing a 4 year old on a 4 hour hike is surprisingly doable when it’s one 4 year old instead of 2.  A trip to the museum became a truly interactive learning event rather than a push-me pull-me down a spiral of exhaustion.  The kids missed each other and were happy to be reunited at the end of the day.  They were eager to share their experiences.  They were thrilled to have had one of us to themselves.  So yeah, split days are a thing.  And we like them.