By JANE ALEXANDER
One of the strangest parts of being a single parent is sharing the care of your children with someone else.
When you have a child you don’t expect that you will spend so much time away from them. The constancy of parenthood is something that you had mentally prepared for and that you expected to last a long time (say, 30 years or so!).
And then, you separate so that every fortnight you have to let your children go. You say goodbye, waving and smiling as the kids go to their Dad’s place for a visit.
All of a sudden… your house is so quiet.
It took me a few months after the separation to even begin getting used to letting the kids go. I hated packing their things up the night before they left. I would even find myself pulling back emotionally in the days leading up to their going. I don’t do that anymore; instead I now make the most of their time with me, but it took a while to get used to the situation.
Saying goodbye to your children.
It is without a doubt one of the hardest parts of being a single parent.
Don’t get me wrong – sometimes I need the break, and it is good to have time to myself and especially to have couple time with my new partner.
But I still tend to avoid going into the kids’ bedrooms when they’re not with me. Their rooms feel too quiet and empty; as if a pause button has been pressed on their little lives (as well as on their noise, their mess and their chaos!).