An odd dynamic these days. My family is all over the place. My son is headed to Disneyland with his dad, my daughter to Indiana with her dad, and I’m in training. The days are long and I don’t see my kids as much as I’d like. In fact, I’m really hoping to make it home to see my son before he goes to Disneyland because it will be a week before I see him again. My daughter is already away and I’ll go almost 10 days without her smiling face.

But knowing that they are with their dads is a good, good thing. Sure I miss them, sure *I* would like to be with them, and I want them to miss me… but there is something sweet and awesome about kid and dad time.

For my daughter it’s like she has her own favourite play-toy when she’s with her dad. He’s firmly wrapped around her finger. And now she’s with her cousin in Indiana … and she didn’t want to talk on the phone with me, she was having too much fun playing!

For my son, there is no one cooler than his dad, the sun rises and sets on him.

If I let myself, I can give into a small sad part of me that wants to be the favourite parent all the time. It sucks that for both of them I’m the main disciplinarian, the rule creator, the rule nazi, the grounder and the Enforcer. Whether by circumstances or personality, the dads aren’t the main enforcers. Not that they can’t or won’t, it just usually falls to me.

But I don’t give into that.

Instead I celebrate the awesomeness of my kids’ relationships with their dads. Especially with my son – it’s not every divorced family that has what we have. I can trust my ex to leave the country with my son when I know other moms who wouldn’t even consider that possibility, even for Disneyland.

I admit some trepidation as both my kids head to the US with their dads, but not about safety or happiness… but about those logistics I usually take care of. Do they have metal in their pockets to set off scanners, do they have enough snacks for the flight, games to entertain, gum for take off?

I’m good at this… my daughter had 18 flights under her belt before she was 18 months old. I got this.

Except for the one tiny thing I forgot last week.

I forgot to renew my daughter’s passport.

Yeah. Whoops.

By some miracle, my husband was able to head to the US Consulate and renew it on the day of the flight. I may never recover from the total shock of my organizational failure.

But while my kids are busy not missing me, I’m left missing them.

And my husband.

And my routine.

I did not realize how difficult it is to be all on my own.

No one else to look out for but myself.

It’s not nearly as fun as I think it will be when I’m in the midst of family drama and angst… when I wish for a moment alone. When I want to wring necks and banish kids to their room and just have a tidy room stay tidy for more than a half-second. When I fret because I didn’t change careers before my kids so now I worry I’m missing the boat and things are more difficult than they should be.

It’s good to have times like this – by myself – to remember what I am really missing.


  1. Wow! You attitude is entirely commendable. I was born into a split family and then grew up and married into one. Did it take you a while to be so calm? Or has it been a work in progress? I’m sure your kids will thank you so much for putting them first when they’re older.
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    • Heather says:

      Thanks Rachel – I admit, it is a work in progress! I’m naturally a control freak so it takes work for me to remain calm :)

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