Monday, November 26, 2012

Disney Dads

I’ve been thankful that Peabody has his kids the same weekends I have mine. It definitely makes dating easier and allows our kids to spend time together too which I think it important.  Example – we’ve done everything from taking them to the fair to playing at home to lunch/movies with them as a group.  I think it’s a good think for the kids to get to know each other and for both Peabody and I to see each other acting as a parent and see how we get along with the other one’s kids. 

All that being said, Sunday nights are really hard for him when the kids go back to their mom’s.  He’s only had the kids every other weekend (and a couple weeks in the summer) since they’ve been divorced and he really would like more time with them.  Something he is going to likely go back to court for this spring if his ex doesn’t want to compromise.  When they split, his kids were really little, like 6 months old and 2 years old, and everyone told him it was best for them to stay primarily with their mom.  He’s regretted that every since and he’s still beating himself up for not demanding more time even though it’s been four years.

On the nights his kids go back, he is seriously down.  I mean I’m always a little bummed when I drop the kids off Monday morning at school but I’ve learned to manage it and I think going to work and not back to an empty house helps too.  We’ve talked at quite a bit of length about how badly he wants more time with them.  His ideal would be to have 50/50 custody like Duckie and I do.  And Peabody is a really good day from what I’ve seen. Definitely capable and attentive and all the things he should be as a good dad.  But I still wonder if he does get them for more time, is he really ready?

Being a single parent and juggling work/school/home is not easy.  I consider myself on the upper end ability to handle things and it gets to me sometimes.  And even now I’m a far better single parent now than I was two years ago.  I always wonder if these guys who say they want more time really get what that means. 
A lot of these Disney Dads are just focused on packing as many fun activities into a weekend as they can.  It’s all games and eating out and staying up late.  Disney Dads are all about good times and fun.  I’ve seen them in action plenty of times when I’m out with the kids myself and I’ve got plently of female friends who’s exs are big time Disney Dads.

I’m certainly not accusing Peabody of being a Disney Dad, I have seen him dole out plenty of discipline, but I wonder if single parents who haven’t had their kids for more than a weekend or vacation times really get what being a single parent 24/7 means.

In the early days of our split, my mom has told me that Duckie struggled.  He’d come to her house to swim with the kids or visit and he’d have forgotten stuff he needed or neglected to pack enough snacks or stuff like that.  She said he often looked harried or stressed managing the kids and like he needed a break.  Of course, he grew into his single parent role and he has managed quite well, though I still think he’s probably a little light on the discipline (that was always my role) and stuff like that.  I really never had any doubts that he would do great and thankfully our relationship got through the rocky stuff pretty quickly and we’ve co-parented very well ever since.

Duckie went straight from being in a two parent household to managing every other week on his own. I wonder for dads like Peabody who have had the every other weekend time for an extended period of time if the transition to being a full on single-parent will be more challenging. 


1 comment:

  1. In the end it will make a man out of you though and they will be better off for it.

    When you have to sink or swim you generally find a way to swim. :)

    Nice thoughts.