The One Thing I Miss Most as a “50/50 Parent”

What do I miss most about 100% parenting time (vs my 50/50 parenting plan)?

Relishing. Relishing the “before-moments” of getting ready, rushing around looking for shoes, butterflies and nervous silence for an important day. Relishing the “after-moments” of an event, a life moment, gift opening, a first race, a first dance. The easiness of knowing you have all day to casually say, “good job”, “I love you” or “you rock.”

It’s hard to be away from my kids when they are hurting, but it’s just as hard to be apart from them when they are changing before before eyes and they are celebrating “today.” Yes, I show up, cheer them on, hug them a little too long, chaperon when they will let me and otherwise be there as much as I can. But at the end of the day, the hardest moments for me are missing the relishing of celebrating my kids’ right now’s and milestones.

I make up for it by remembering that I have a lifetime to love them, and that other people  love them too. I get double the time to pray for them on quiet drives to work without kids arguing in the back seat. Seeing them when it’s not “my time” is like meeting Mickey Mouse at Disney but better. Small moments that aren’t milestone become BIG. Donut dates after school are better than a night on the town. Cuddling on Thursday’s before they leave on Fridays is better than ANY medicine.

I can’t say that I appreciate my kids more than other parents do. It’s not a contest. I just know that “50/50” has changed me. It has changed how I view 20 minutes with my kids, and the opportunity to drive them around town 5 times in one day. I still want them to grow up and move out someday (Lord please, I’m not kidding), but in the meantime, I am praising God for every tuck in, every minute on the porch swing and every “first” my children get to enjoy and that I get to relish in.

50/50 was never God’s plan for families. But I know that God can use whatever time we have and whatever circumstances we face to create joy, lasting memories, steadfast love, and unbreakable bonds. Today, I am praying for just that.

Today was Jackson's first cross country meet. I got to see him run and watch his bro sleep all the way home, before telling them "bye". Don't worry, I called Jackson and "relished" the best I could over the phone. Then Kaden called me later to tell me to tell the dogs "hi."

Today was Jackson’s first cross country meet. I got to see him run and watch his bro sleep all the way home, before telling them “bye”. Don’t worry, I called Jackson and “relished” the best I could over the phone (he rode the bus home with his team). Then Kaden called me later to tell me to tell the dogs “hi.” #lifeisgood

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