Transition day for child custody is always tough and a bit awkward, especially in the beginning. You don’t know what to say, there might be anger there, and you’re left trying to make the best of the trade-off for your children. Navigating that time spent is tough. And if you and your former spouse had a rockier-than-normal divorce— it can be downright disheartening. So we’re gonna help you navigate it from the do’s, to the don’ts. No one said you had to be good at this, but here’s to trying.
Transition Day: Making the Best of Your Custody Swap
Keep transition day low-key. Don’t make a huge deal out of the entire day, treat it just like any other! Create rituals around it. Maybe you always do breakfast with your child on the way to meet up, or you play road games. Create a tradition that makes you both look forward to that time instead of dreading it. It’s not uncommon that the custody swap-off is dreaded more by the parents than the child.
Put on a happy face. I know, I know. You don’t want to, but there comes a time when we all have to do things we don’t want to. Especially when you have kids. This time is about them, so make it painless. You don’t have to communicate again until the child returns, so do your best to manage this moment. Reward your own good behavior with a glass of wine or a nice, solid scream in the empty car afterwards. Ya done good, mom/dad.
Don’t guilt trip your child. While you might not think you do it, the ‘mommy is going to miss you soooo much’ or the ‘call me every day’ puts a lot of pressure on the child. We know you’ll miss your child, but saying it over and over again can make them feel guilty about wanting to spend time with their other parent. This time is for them and their other parent, honor that just as you would want the other parent to. And enjoy your alone time!!! Most parents would kill for a quiet weekend, don’t feel bad for enjoying it.
Don’t interrupt the other parents time. Don’t call/text/email every day. As we’ve said, enjoy your time and let them enjoy theirs. Constantly reminding your child of you can make them feel bad, or ruin the quality of the time spent with the other parent. If there is an emergency, call the other parent. If the child wants to call and say goodnight, let them. But don’t put pressure on the situation.
Enjoy. Your. Time.