When I got divorced, my daughter was seven. She had never been away from me. For the first four years of her life I was lucky to get to be a stay-at-home mom. I worked part-time at a photography studio. My ex-husband worked nights. I had our daughter on the same sleeping schedule as ex. I would keep her up until 4am (when he got off work) so she would sleep during the morning hours. I would go to work at 9am. I would work until 2pm then come home start cooking and let ex go back to bed for a couple of hours. Then he would head back to work at 4pm. When my daughter got a little older, she wouldn’t sleep through the day. I would bring her to work with me instead. Even after she started school, I was there as much as possible.
Really think that is one major reason I stayed with my ex after the divorce. I wanted time with my daughter. If the three of us where spending time together then I wasn’t missing out on important parts of her life.
I still remember the first night we had a drop off. My daughter cried so hard. I cried because she was crying. She wanted to either stay with me or for me to come with her.
I’ve been divorced for five years now. Three of those years I have been completely finished with ex. So, three years of drop offs. It does get easier. She is 12 now. So, I get texts or pictures from her while she is at her dad’s – sometimes. Before the deployment I had the issue of her not wanting to go with him, but she would go. The state I live in, kids have to be 14 before they can refuse time with either parent. In about a week’s time, ex will be back from deployment. I am not sure what drop off will be like this time. He has not told me anything as far as when he is getting back (I only know what my daughter tells me) or if he is expecting to get her on my days.
Now, I know what you are thinking: He is returning from deployment, it will not hurt for him to have her some extra days or during my time. First off, our divorce decree states I do not have to give extra days to make up loss time due to military. Second, I do not have a problem letting him have her during my time IF he approaches me respectfully and asks.
Honestly, I want him to take our daughter – just the two of them – and take her to do something fun. Spend some time with her. In reality I know what is going to happen. He is going to get our daughter and head to girlfriend’s house. Not pay attention to our kid, and as my daughter has put it “have some fun” with girlfriend. *Gross* (And by the way, my 12 year old should not be telling me about her dad and his girlfriend “having fun.”)