By: Divorced Moms.
When my ex and I decided to divorce, I was overcome with fear and sadness at the thought of living part time without my two children. I had never been a day without my kids, and they knew nothing but the home they had always lived in with both of their parents under one roof. The idea of leaving them or living part of my life without them was impossible to imagine!
I did not know there was such a thing as “bird nesting” at the time; but, my initial thought in these early moments of planning our life after marriage was that I wanted to at least entertain the idea of finding a way not to have to live without my kids. Could it be possible for my soon-to-be ex and I to remain in the same home for the sake of parenting our kids even though we couldn’t stand the sight of one another?
Bird nesting, for those exploring your post-divorce parenting options, is a newer approach to co-parenting wherein the children do not leave their family home to visit with one parent or the other. Instead, the kids stay put, and it is the adults who rotate in-and-out of designated time with them. It is an extremely kid-centered approach because it minimises the stress of the divorce by keeping most aspects of their lives the same as before.
During bird nesting, children sleep every night in their same bed and enjoy the consistency of the same toys, environment, and routines. Nothing has to change except for the fact that both parents are not always there spending time with them at the same time.
To truly follow the definition of bird nesting, one parent actually has to leave the family home when it is not his or her time with the kids, meaning that at least one more residence, if only an inexpensive studio apartment, needs to be established for the off times. What are the chances that both parents would want to share the second address, though? So, this most likely means that a total of three residences would have to be maintained to make this work.