When you first get joint custody of your kids during or after your divorce, it might be the first time — or only time — you spend more than 24 hours away from some of your favorite humans.
Because when they’re with their other parent, you will probably have this strange thing called “alone time.” And as good as it might sound, honestly, it’s a lot to get used to.
But as you’ll find over time, there are good things about joint custody…and some stuff that is not so great.
Yes, you will get used to it… but many of us will still feel the tug of an invisible umbilical cord for years.
Here’s a lighthearted look at the good things about you having a little time at home alone… and a few of the sad/bad things, too.
Good things about joint custody & time without your kids
- They are maintaining or growing a bond with their other parent
- Your kids are getting to experience things being done a different way, which helps make them well-rounded and broadens their horizons
- And you — now you will have time to focus on yourself!
- You can have a spa day (or three)
- You can watch anything you want on TV without worrying about it being kid-friendly
- You can take classes
- You can shop (without constant requests)
- You can travel
- You can party with your friends
- You can get drunk
- You can sleep in until noon
- You can date
- You don’t need to find a babysitter
- Nobody will ask why you got home at 3am
- You can have people over… even overnight
- You’ll save on your food bill
- You can eat deliciously indulgent treats without sharing
- Nobody will finish all but the last 1/4 ounce of the milk and leave the jug in the fridge
- You can put something down and it will still be there later
- You won’t have to do as much laundry
- You can get home maintenance or improvement projects done without getting in the way of daily family life (paint the living room!)
- You don’t have to make sure everyone’s up on time
- You don’t need to remind kids to get ready. Repeatedly.
- You don’t need to coordinate pickups or dropoffs
- You can talk on the phone without being interrupted
- You can cry without freaking the kids out
- You can walk around the house in your underwear all day if you want (PS: See 10 cute panties you should be wearing instead of that ratty stuff in your underwear drawer)
- You can swear loudly, and talk out loud to yourself, and nobody will mind
- The dog will stop ignoring you in favor of their smaller human
- You can sleep soundly knowing you don’t have to keep an ear out
- It’s so quiet!
Bad things about joint custody & time without your kids
- It’s too quiet
- It’s no fun cooking for just one person
- Nobody’s around to take out the trash or help with chores
- There’s nobody at home to talk to
- The dog will follow you around endlessly because their smaller human isn’t there
- Nobody will laugh at your jokes
- You worry that your kids aren’t okay or got hurt or forgot to brush their teeth or…
- There’s nobody who can bring you an extra roll of toilet paper when it runs out
- You worry you’ll fall down, and nobody will know, and your kids will get back and find you, and… on and on down that rabbit hole
- You miss them
- You really miss them
ALSO SEE: How to make friends as an adult in 3 (not so) easy steps – yes, we know it’s hard!