It’s hard. I know it is. You and your ex have separated, even divorced. Your family is torn apart. As a single mother I know how difficult that can be. However, it’s important for children to have both parents in their lives. Visitations make that possible.
Set your own feelings aside.
Sometimes you have to set aside your own feelings. Don’t let your fears, worries, and doubts get in the way of you child’s relationship with their father. I know it’s easier said than done. As mothers though we have to do what’s best for our children and when it comes to visitations that means setting our own feelings aside.
Children need both parents to be a part of their lives. If your child’s father wants to be an active part of your child’s life you have to let him. Mother’s should encourage their children to remain close to their fathers. It’s better for the child to have visitations than to not have their father in their life. A lot better. Even if “Dad” isn’t perfect it’s still a lot better to have an imperfect father figure than none at all. When children begin to resist going for visitations you have the right to ask why. If there is no abuse or neglect encourage them to go. Encourage them to have a relationship with their father.
Never, ever say anything bad about your children’s father. Think it all you want. Do not say it. When mothers say unkind things about their child’s father to their children it doesn’t hurt the father. It hurts the kids. There’s been plenty of times that I’ve had to bite my tongue. Sometimes when my kids tell me things I would love to say “You’re Dad is such an…”. I don’t though. I know that would hurt them. They see their Dad for who and what he is. I don’t need to say a word. If I were to say something unkind that would make me the unkind one. Don’t let yourself get into that position.
Put on a happy face.
When it’s time for your children to go to their father’s house for a visitation put on your happy face. Do not let your kids see your worry. Smile and tell them to have a great time. Do not cry. It will make them feel guilty about going.
Take time for you.
When your children are gone for the weekend it leaves you at home, alone, without your kids. For the first few visitations you may find this very difficult. It’s hard not to worry. It’s hard to be without your kids. After a few visitation weekends though you’ll find that although you miss your kids like crazy it’s okay to take a little vacation. Do something for you. If there’s a novel you’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t had the time to, read it. Take a long, hot bubble bath. Go shopping by yourself. Invite friends over for some adult company and conversation. It’s okay to do things for yourself.
Have a little faith.
As hard as it is we have to have faith in our children’s fathers to be able to take care of them. A mother will never stop worrying. She’ll wonder if he’s doing this for them, or if he’s doing that for them. Take a deep breath. Your kids are fine. Dad may not do things the way you do but so long as he’s not abusive or neglectful your kids will be just fine. Don’t call to check up on them. Don’t interfere with the visitation in any way. It’s his time with the kids. They’ll be back home before you know it.
When you miss them.
When you find yourself missing your children take a few minutes to do something nice for them. Take advantage of the fact that they aren’t home and clean their bedroom top to bottom. Get all their laundry caught up and put away. Re-organize their dresser or closet. Clean out from under their bed. Doing little things like these will help you feel closer to your children when they are gone. It will also help you to pass the time. When your kids get home they will be surprised and happy that you took the time to do something for them.
When they get home.
When your children come home after the visitation do not question them about it. Hold back. If your kids want you to know something they will tell you. If you question them it will actually push them away and make them feel interrogated. Most often kids will openly share details about visitations with you. If they don’t they don’t. It’s okay. Just let it be and be thankful they are home!