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Shared Custody: Dealing with Guilt

Posted by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:16 PM
  • 9 Replies
My ex-husband and I share custody of our 5yr old and do a week-on, week-off schedule. My ex is a great dad, very involved, and it seems that our son is doing pretty well with the schedule so far.

My issue is I feel guilt from both sides. Every "exchange day" is bittersweet. I'm usually exhausted and looking forward to time to myself, but I immediately miss my son terribly. So I feel sad when he goes, and feel like I should have fought for primary parenting, but I also feel guilty for enjoying my time to myself. Also, I would LOVE the opportunity to have my son full-time, but I know that if I did, it would mean his dad was less involved in his life, and I know how much that would hurt my son.

Is anyone in this situation, especially with an older child/children who have been in a shared custody situation for a while? I would love to hear some feedback that it works well and the children thrive. It's so hard on me that I need to hear it will be okay!
by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:16 PM
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by Bronze Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM
We did 50/50 but a different schedule... but once the oldest started high school they did not want the schedule. Now they live with me and are supposed to see him every other weekend. Never happens but that is current schedule.
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by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:33 PM

I don't think I would be able to do 50/50.  

by Bronze Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 1:36 PM
P.s. I believe if father and mother are both good parents and INVOLVED then It should be as close to 50/50 as possible. The kids deserve it. If my kids had not asked for the change it would still be that for us. High school age is very different than grade school ages.
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by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM
We tried it that way at first so I know how you feel. I felt guilty at first but thought it was what she needed so I learned to enjoy my time off instead. We eventually stopped it because she was getting too confused. The rules at mommys were different than at daddys and it would take a couple of days for her to transition and when she did it was time to trade again.
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by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

 Been there done that.  Now that he has the children in his care full time it hurts that I don't get to see them AT all.  I have all the time in the world to date and do what I want without feeling guilty.  He has to take on all those girly problems twice the time.  Yet, they accused me for everything gone wrong.  Too bad. 

by Silver Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM
My son is 7 and goes to his dad's once a week and every other weekend. Over holidays and summer we do more of a 50/50 thing and I hate it. It's hard for me to have him gone so much but I know it's good for my son.

His dad has a strange work schedule so we cannot really do 50/50 year round, thankfully. I'm not sure I could handle that. And I really don't think my son could go a week at a time away from me either.
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by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 6:42 AM
I have a 2 year old daughter. I have primary placement but her father gets visits. One week he gets 2 days and the next week he gets 1 day and the weekend. I feel lucky that my "breaks" are built in and don't have to leave her with someone to go do something...I just plan them for when she's with him. I work 3 jobs cause he doesn't work at all. A lot of times when she's gone I work to stay busy. It's a huge battle at exchanges cause she fights going and I can hear her screaming for me in his truck. I thought it would get easier but it doesn't and I cry every time. My full time job is changing my schedule so I'll be working later so I'm worried that I'll miss time with her. That job is stressful and I am frequently required to work late.

It IS important for both parents to be involved. I have to remind myself that he deserves time with her cause she's a great girl!
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by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I tried something similiar at first with my ex husband as well, it didnt workout because of his travel schedule. It's hard at first to see your child leave for an entire week, you don't know what to do with yourself because your so use to doing everything for them and being there everyday. Also as mom's we are programmed to feel guilt over everything regarding our children, the best advice I can give you is try losing the mommy guilt, start seeing all the good things that come from your son being away, the first one being that he gets to spend time with his dad, which sound like a great man, he gets to enjoy one on one time with him dad which I'm sure he enjoys, his also learning early on that one week with mom and one week with dad is his routine and the younger you can get his to see that is normal the better adjusted he will be. Then they are the benefits for you, you get some rest for yourself, being a full time parent is exhausting so take the time to recharge, to do projects you been meaning to do, put social events like movie night with your girlfriend, start dating, volunteer your time at local charities, keep busy, get back to doing things that you loved before you had a child, happy mommy = happy kid, so enjoy yourself and make sure you tell yourself it's healthy for you to do those things because it makes  you happy and if you are happy your child is.

by Gold Member on Nov. 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM

My ex and I have 50/50 but not every other week, when it is his dads weekend and he's gone for 4 days its hard on me.  But I know that my son likes being able to spend time with both his father and me so I don't say much about it.  Hugs!

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