Now living in Mississippi is not the same as living in some place where there is a steady stream of activities, but your weekends don’t have to be like a trip to Disney or “Dad Camp” each and every time. The most important thing is to be together- to be focused on your child and not whatever else or whoever else is in your life at the moment.
Occasionally, Rachel goes out of town on the weekend and leaves one or both of the girls at home. I guess it is the divorce lawyer in me, but I often wonder if the people who see us together around town think that it is “my weekend.” These are among the times that I relate the most to my divorce clients. While I have helped over 500 people through the process of divorce, I have never lived it, so I certainly cannot relate to all the blended internal emotions. I find myself explaining to people who could not care less why our family is not together. I don’t know why I feel the need to make an excuse as to why I am with my own kids without their mom. It’s almost like I think there is some ridiculous shame in one on one parenting.
There is not. In fact, I think one on one parenting is the best way to get to know your child.
I am experiencing a little one on one parenting this weekend. Rachel took Emma to Pensacola because our nephew was being dedicated in church and she has been honored to be his godmother. Because my dad has not been getting along well and we have a big thing at work next week, I decided to stay behind with Mollie. It didn’t matter to me whether Mollie Ann or Emma was staying- our decision was based on logistics.
As I am sure you can relate, we have been on the go since she got off the bus Friday afternoon. About ten minutes after she got home, we went straight to the hospital to see my dad. Mollie Ann made his day. Like Rachel, she has an amazing way of interacting with the elderly. I think that serving others in some capacity with your kids is a good way to spend your time on the weekend. They have a blast, you are blessed more than you bless someone else, and you are setting the right example for your child- teaching them to make eternal investments. Embrace the time you have with your kids. You can be sad about your lack of time or you can make the very best out of it by really dialing in.
After the hospital, we went to a minor league baseball game. She loved it- maybe a little too much. I had to drag her away at the end (we called them cleat chasers when I was in college). While Mollie doesn’t really sit still, I was able to tell her a little bit about what position I played when I was younger and a little about the game as it unfolded. The outing was an inexpensive way for us to be together one on one. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money on your kids to be with them. You can go fly a $5 kite, go to the community pool, grill hotdogs or buy art supplies and work on a craft. Use your imagination, and remember to focus on being together.
Talk to your kids. You will be amazed at what they have to say and some simple insight they have on the world. For example, we passed a man that appeared homeless with a cardboard sign asking for money. I have always had this weird anxiety about panhandlers, but I fought those instincts and pulled out a couple dollars, looked him in the eye and handed them to him. He said “God bless you!” as I pulled away.
Mollie said from the backseat, “Dad that was a nice thing to do. God WILL bless you.”
By: Craig Robertson