Mom’s House|Dad’s house

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (reboot)

“Mommy’s house, Daddy’s house”

So the title of this entry is actually the same as a great book I read regarding children with divorced parents and shared custody.  One thing that the book states: There is not one home.  There’s Mommy’s home and Daddy’s home.  You’re not visiting one place or the other, you live at these homes.

So, when I say I left home in 2006, that’s not to say I stayed in the same home until then.  In 2005, I realized that having a daughter with a woman I was no longer in a relationship with meant I had to start accepting responsibility above and beyond taking care of my self.  There was this beautiful little life that I needed to provide for and protect.  So I left my dad’s house and moved in with my mom, working with her for 3x my former income, thus increasing my child support dramatically. This also led me to a brilliant insight: her house was not the same as Dad’s.  Yes, both were home, but the structure was different.

So I lived with my mom briefly (more on this in my next post), establishing a career and moving into a place of my own within a year.  By the time I bought a house I was also engaged, so I was not alone, my fiancé moving with me from my mom’s to our new home.  This is the first time my daughter had “Daddy’s home.”  Before it had been staying with daddy at Grandpa’s house or Grandma’s house (this is how it was in my mind).  One thing I took with me from my experience having moved back home (with my dad) and then transferring to my mom’s is that difference between one and the other.  How difficult is it for a “Normal” person to go from a home where things are done one way to a home where things are different, then back again, every week or every other week?  Think about that, then remember that I did this (Granted, there was no back and forth as I was an adult) with ADHD.  It was difficult for me to adjust.
I discussed this with her mother and we resolved to have as many similarities as possible between the two homes.  Allowance is the same, and she has chores to earn her allowance as well.  Bedtime is the same.  I try to sit with her and help with homework when needed, just as her mom does.

Parents:  Divorced or not, PLEASE give your children consistence!    I have mentioned before and will again, STRUCTURE is key, along with support.  Come together and agree on what rules to set for your child(ren) and stick to what you decide.  Support each other in supporting your child.

Update 9/3/15: My daughter is 12 now (she was about 10 when this was written).  She’s in junior high and thus has extracurricular activities and other adolescent interests which sometimes conflict with our schedule.  Her mom and I are having difficulty staying on the same page but we still do our best to work together to resolve issues that come up.  We still do not refer to her mom’s house or my house as “home”.  When we take her back to her mom, we’re not taking her home (this would imply my house is not home), and vice versa.  I take her to her mom, and her mom takes her to her dad.  When she is with her mom, she refers to it as home, and when she stays with me, she refers to it as home.  Her mom has married and she has a step-sister; I’m married and she has 2 half-sisters.  She refers to them all as her sisters.  I can honestly say that, while it is far from perfect or simple, I am proud of how I’ve done so far with co-parenting.
read the original here.

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