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?