Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Help w/ transitions for 2 yr old daughter

Posted by on Sep. 4, 2012 at 12:38 AM
  • 8 Replies

Hi Everyone,

This is my first time posting here because I need advice on how to make the transitions from Mom to Dad and back again easier for my two year old daughter. Her dad and I got divorced when she was one, and the transitions are only getting harder and harder now that she is able to verbalize her feelings about it.

Tonight, I literally had to peel her off her dad after his 4 days with her, and had to force her into the carseat while she kicked and screamed "Daddy!" in the middle of a busy parking lot. She cried the whole way home, then made it nearly impossible for me to get her out of the car and into the house. When I put her down for bed, I just had to listen to her cry herself to sleep and I went and sat on the couch and cried too.

I know the majority of it is that her dad doesn't keep her on any type of schedule (whereas I am a strict wake/nap/eat scheduler), so when she gets home to me she is completely exhausted from lack of sleep and overall structure. Usually after one full day, I can get her back on track and she is her normal happy self. The main things I have tried to do to soften the transitions a little are to keep her select comfort items with her to and from each house. When possible, we use her daycare as the middle man between pick ups and drop offs, but many days (such as today, a holiday) we aren't able to do so.

The feeling of guilt is so overwhelming when this happens. I know I made the right decision in leaving the marriage, but then I feel guilty for thinking putting her through this could ever be the right thing. Plus, her dad purposely prolongs their goodbye and makes it even harder than it needs to be, and makes sure that I am well aware that it is completely my fault. I am so angry that his bitterness towards me is affecting our daughter.

Does anyone have any other advice or suggestions to help all of us through this?

Thank you!

by on Sep. 4, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-8):
StephMarie_Mom
by on Sep. 4, 2012 at 7:00 AM
I have no idea... I don't have this to deal with.

BUMP!! For better advice
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Mommyto2LilMen
by Tina on Sep. 4, 2012 at 7:55 AM
So sorry the transition is tough. My boys at 4&6 have a hard time going to their dads most of the time and have been known to kick, scream, Hell and everything. It is awful.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
easinpc
by Gold Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 10:57 AM
1 mom liked this

I would just keep with your consistant schedule and remind your ex that to help her with the transistions to please keep it short and simple when saying good bye.  Is there anyway you can talk to him about maybe using the same rules/schedule that you use so that way it is consistant at both homes?  I know that may be easier said than done (my ex was the same way) but as my son got older the transisition became a lot easier for him to cope with.  We also do the majority of ours via daycare and that seems to help a lot.

owl0210
by Bronze Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I could have written this myself. I go through the exact same thing with my 2 yr old son and ex-husband. My son will cry and fight me when his dad drops him off and my ex also prolongs the goodbyes which makes it even harder to transition. My pedi said it's completely normal for a toddler to have difficulties after a divorce. I'm the custodial parent so my son knows I'm not going anywhere whereas he only sees my ex-husband every other weekend so naturally he will cling to him because he doesn't see him as much and he's the fun parent. He usually settles down after 10-15 minutes and we go back to our regular routine.

MiriRose923
by on Sep. 4, 2012 at 1:07 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this - it sounds very stressful. While I've never had any experience with this kind of situation, I wanted to let you know about an organization I work with called Focus on the Family. They offer some articles on their website about custody issues and transitions. Focus also has counselors that can offer further guidance to you over the phone (for free!). Here is the link to the contact info if you're interested.  I pray that things get easier soon.

brieri
by Platinum Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM

 Hi and welcome to the group.

CAfilly
by on Sep. 4, 2012 at 10:55 PM


Quoting owl0210:

I could have written this myself. I go through the exact same thing with my 2 yr old son and ex-husband. My son will cry and fight me when his dad drops him off and my ex also prolongs the goodbyes which makes it even harder to transition. My pedi said it's completely normal for a toddler to have difficulties after a divorce. I'm the custodial parent so my son knows I'm not going anywhere whereas he only sees my ex-husband every other weekend so naturally he will cling to him because he doesn't see him as much and he's the fun parent. He usually settles down after 10-15 minutes and we go back to our regular routine.

This is exactly my situation. My ex is the fun parent who doesn't discipline, and has no concept of keeping a toddler on a schedule. When I get her back from him, she is absolutely exhausted, destraught from having to part with him, and full of horrible habits that I can break within the next week, only to have her pick them up again next weekend. He can't stand the thought of her being upset, and even cries and gets her  more emotional when they say goodbye. He stands around forever and makes me the bad guy who has to tell him to leave and get it over with. I'm sorry you are dealing with this as well, but am glad I am not the only one who understands the pain and frustration.

MiriRose923 - Thank you for the links. I am a huge fan of Focus on the Family, but never even thought to look on their website for advice. I will start browsing now.

Thank you everyone for all the responses!

LifeCafe42
by Nora on Sep. 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Welcome I'm sorry you are going through this
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)