Using TalkingParents to Cope with Missing Your Kids
4 ways to help you cope with missing your kids in a healthy way.
For parents in a shared custody situation, being separated from their kids can be a difficult experience. Letting your sadness take over may seem like the natural way to cope with missing your kids, but there are many productive ways to process your feelings while making the most of your time. Here are four ways you can productively handle feeling sad when you and your kids are apart.
Parents experience a variety of feelings across the emotional spectrum when their kids are with their other parent. You may feel relieved to have some time to yourself one minute and then feel discouraged that your kids are gone the next minute. Whether you are happy or sad, do not ignore your feelings in these moments. It’s important to take time and recognize your feelings, whatever they may be, to better process your situation and the factors that impact you.
Journaling is an effective tool in helping you improve awareness and understanding of your own emotions. By writing about your feelings, you can take inventory of major milestones in your experience as a co-parent. You can take note of significant changes, both negative and positive, to better understand your progress between custody exchanges. By tracking your feelings through journaling, you can gauge whether you may benefit from additional support from friends, family, or a professional counselor or therapist.
The TalkingParents Personal Journal is a great tool for notating feelings that stem from your co-parenting journey. You can make private notes to keep track of your feelings and the interactions that may have caused them. Additionally, you can write as much as you want and include up to five attachments per entry. Your co-parent cannot see any journal entries, so you have complete privacy to keep track of your experiences with as much or as little detail as you want.
2. Stay in touch
When your kids are with your ex, it can sometimes feel like they’re miles and miles away. You can feel isolated from your kids simply because you can’t have face-to-face conversations while they’re gone. This feeling can be heightened if you live a considerable distance from your ex. It's important to fight the feeling that you are isolated from your kids when they’re not with you, whether you’re in the same neighborhood or another state.
Thanks to modern technology, there are countless ways to stay in contact with your kids while they’re with their other parent, regardless of how long the break is. You can check in about how school is going, what they’re doing over holiday breaks, or whatever they’re interested in at the time. Some of the common options for keeping in touch during any length of break include:
- Phone calls
- Video calls
If you’re looking for a more secure and documented way of staying in touch with your kids, TalkingParents offers a great solution through Accountable Calling. Co-parents can call each other through phone or video calls to communicate with their children. Both phone and video calls come with recordings and transcripts, and video calls provide the best way for you to fully interact and communicate with your kids because your children will be more engaged when they can see your face.
3. Make the most of time with your kids
Depending on your custody schedule, you could have long periods of time or brief stays with your kids. No matter how much time you spend with your children, it’s important to make the most of every day. Being intentional with this time can make it easier to cope with being apart from your kids between visits. Unfortunately, keeping track of custody exchange schedules can be difficult and even take up a significant amount of time.
By using a joint calendar to keep track of important dates, you can ensure that your kids get quality time with you no matter how long or short it is. You can keep track of the length of each visit and create a plan with fun activities to help you connect with your kids. Additionally, you won’t have to spend time worrying about when your next custody exchange is once it’s tracked in a calendar.
Our Shared Calendar gives co-parents the ability to create shared and private calendar events for anything related to co-parenting. Appointments, custody exchanges, extracurricular activities, and more can be added to the Calendar with dates, times, and other relevant details. Events can even be color coded to give a better at-a-glance understanding of what’s coming up for your kids, helping you and your co-parent stay in sync with each other and optimize your time.
4. Embrace alone time
Even though it can be difficult, parents strive to put their kids first in everything they do. In the time that your kids are with your ex, it can feel like you are aimlessly waiting for the next time you are with them. It can seem counterintuitive at first, but redirecting your effort and energy to yourself when your kids are away is a great way to maximize “me time.” If your kids have a healthy relationship with their other parent, your kids can benefit from spending time with them.
Whether you’re taking time to enjoy an old hobby or catch up with friends, it’s important to reconnect with yourself and embrace the benefits of alone time. You can take time to care for your mental health by meditating, journaling, or even catching up on sleep. If you feel that you are struggling with alone time, remember that it is okay to ask for help. Consider reaching out to your support group or a licensed therapist for guidance. Regardless of what you do in your alone time, make sure to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your kids and loved ones.