On being a weekend dad

April 20, 2007

For me, it’s an emotional rollercoaster. I went from tucking my kids in each night to seeing them for 4 nights a month and that’s hard on everyone involved. The youngest tells me how much he misses mummy when he stays with me, the eldest tells me how much he’s missed me since the last time they stayed. We try to pack things into a weekend but at the same time I don’t want to spoil them. We still have the “naughty step”, early nights when especially unruly but we also have our own routines and special things – movies before bed being the favourite (although they do have a strange thing about watching half before bed and the end of the film with breakfast in the morning).

When they’re not here I have their photos around the house and a bedroom littered with toys to remind me of the chaos 2 small kids can cause in minutes, never mind hours. Their room feels different to the rest of the house – it feels like theirs and their presence is there. Sometimes that’s comforting, sometimes it’s depressing.

The absolute worst thing is being completely at the mercy of their mother when it comes to access. Christmas and birthdays are the worst as if she decides that it’s “not convenient” for me to see them there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it. Before anyone mentions court orders it’s worth remembering that no mother that flaunts a court order granting a father access has ever had action taken against her, or at least not to my knowledge.