Split Custody: A Mom's Reality

Even when exes get along and the kids' best interests are firmly front and center, divorce takes its toll on a family. On the eve of her daughter's birthday — a birthday she'll spend at her Dad's house — MomSpeaker Toni Langdon here shares her true reality, tears and all.

My daughter turns 4 on Sunday and I have to share her. My ex-husband and I have split custody and we get along well. But the truth is, split custody blows. I don’t want half of my kids. I want all of them.  

It’s not natural.  

It’s not supposed to be this way.  

I only get them for 18 years and that time is cut in half!? 

It’s not fair. It’s not eff-ing fair. 

Today, I gathered myself together and buckled her into her car seat in her Daddy's truck. I watched her drive away and waved as I pretended to be excited and happy. As they drove away for her birthday weekend . . . I lost it. This happens often when I send them off for the weekend. Tears rolled down my face and my heart began aching. The pit in my stomach was a dull pain of emptiness. So many parents would give anything for a weekend to themselves, yet I would give anything to have my girls every Monday, Tuesday and every weekend.  

My mind is often filled with questions while they are gone. What are they doing? What memories are they creating? What if they are missing me? What if they need me?  

It’s not right.  

I’m a much better boo-boo kisser than their Daddy. What happens when they wake in the middle of the night? What happens when they need MY hugs and kisses? Why do they have to suffer because of our mistakes?

I hate that I’m not going to be there when she wakes up and announces that she’s 4 on Sunday. I want to make her that special breakfast that I make just the way she likes it. I hate that I wasn’t there when my other daughter looked under her pillow for her tooth fairy money for the first time.  

While so many parents go to sleep at night praying for one solid night's sleep, I often cuddle with their blankies wishing I could hold them tight and read Chicka Chika Boom Boom every single night.    
I’m a strong woman. I take responsibility for my part of the divorce, but split custody sucks. 

I will cry . . . then I’ll pull myself together and throw myself into work to numb the pain, but the reality is there's no easy way to share your children. I will focus on the quality time and appreciate the fact that they are in my life. I'm a lucky lady, but some days, it just doesn't feel that way.

Toni Langdon is a single mom of two daughters living in Chester County, PA. Toni is a nonstop mom juggling work, parenting and life. She brings a unique perspective while having a black belt in martial arts, a love for fashion and a passion for giving back. This post is adapted from her blog Tickles and Time Outs

Categories: MomSpeak