The divorce was finalized, and while you do have joint custody with your ex, your visitation rights are every other weekend. While it may be disappointing you won’t be able to see your children as much as you’d like to, you can still make the most of the time you do have with them. Here are a few tips with how to do that.
Before your weekend with your children, make sure everything involving work is at a stopping point. Wrap up any email threads, projects or proposals you’re involved with. There’s no reason to be glued to your cellphone when you should be enjoying a family bike ride. Also, try to limit any social plans that would be distracting to the time you are spending with your children. If you have a friend who always hits you up on a Saturday night to hang, let him know beforehand you’re not going to be available.
Do things your kids enjoy doing
We know Frozen II is probably not your number one pick for a must-see film. But if your daughter has been dreaming about it for the past seven months, think how special it will be to take her to see it at the theatre. If you love basketball, but baseball is really what your son is into, dust off your old mitt, and save shooting hoops for another weekend with friends.
Still be the parent
Even though you might be tempted to make it a total fun-filled, nothing-but-smiles weekend with your children, still implement discipline. Add some vegetables to that take-out pizza you’ve ordered. Make sure they finish homework if they have any. Perhaps staying up late on Friday night is an option, but the next evening, make sure they’re in bed by 9 or 10 (depending on their age). Remember, you are still the parent, and your children still need to see you be the parent.
Find joy in the little things
Don’t feel the pressure to spend a lot of money or plan extravagant activities on the weekends you have with your children. Remember, the thing your kids are most excited about is the fact they get to spend time with you. This could mean going for a walk in the park or swimming in the neighborhood pool, or even having a dance party in your pajamas! As long as you’re present, engaged and showing an interest in your children, everything else is just details.