Check out a handy list of things you can do when the kids are with the ex.
Splitting vacation time with kids after divorce has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. I am so excited when I have an opportunity to have an extended period of time with my children, but on the flipside, my divorce agreement allows the same for their dad. While I find it easy and fun to fill the calendar during a vacation with my children, the same can not always be said for when the kids are with the ex on vacation. While you consider what will work best for you and the vacation time you want with your kids, pay attention to how you feel about them being away form you. If not planned for, your children’s time away from you can feel lonely, sad, anxious, bitter, the list goes on and on. The best thing you can do is to plan for the time when your kids are away from you, so you are not left sitting with nothing to do except feel all those negative feelings.
Here are 7 ideas of things to do when your kids are with the ex away on vacation:
1) Do something special in their room. I recently read from an adult of divorced parents that her mom changed her sheets every time she was away. She knew every time she came home she was coming to a freshly made bed. This is something simple you can do and it’s inexpensive. If you want to splurge, maybe there is a poster or a family picture you want to hang. Having them find a little surprise when they come home will be fun for you as well as them.
2) Work. Load up your calendar. Lots of meetings, projects, conferences, whatever you struggle to find time to do, do it while your kids are away. It will be a great distraction and you will be so productive.
3) Go visit that far away friend. Once when my kids were away, I drove 4 hours just to have dinner with a friend, I slept over, and drove home the next morning. I had the time to do it, and I was so happy to re-connect with her.
4) Go out after work with your coworkers. If they are always inviting you to a happy hour or dinner and you decline because of the kids, now is the time to accept that offer!
5) Tackle those at-home projects. Paint a room. Hang up those portraits. Change a light fixture. There’s always something to be done, now’s the time to do it!
6) Go shopping for your kids. When I miss my kids, I like to feel connected to them and sometimes will buy them a present that will be given to them later. It’s never too early to get them part of their birthday or holiday presents.
7) Make sure your friends and family know you’re going to be alone. I scheduled myself cooking lessons at both of my sisters’ houses. I learned a new recipe and had company for dinner.
Your time alone can feel like the worst part about your divorce, but it doesn’t have to be a complete loss. If the time is utilized effectively, you can take care of many things you’d otherwise be challenged to do when the kids are home with you. Take advantage of your free time when the kids are with the ex……..they will be back home before you know it <3