Recently, I bumped into a friend at the grocery store. Her daughter was in another state for 6 weeks to spend time with her father. Oh! Did that trigger my memory. For about 14 years I sent 3 children off to visit their father in another state. Here’s what worked for the children and me:
1. If possible have a friendly discussion with your former spouse and ask about the summer plans in a non-interrogating manner.
2. Plan with your children how you will stay in touch while they are gone. I used to call once a week at a time when I knew they would be home. I enjoyed emailing them and occasionally I would send a letter for a fun change of pace.
3. Pack together and be sure your children have whatever makes them feel comfortable.
4. Remind your children that the other parent loves them and is excited about spending time with them. Encourage your children to enjoy themselves. Be happy that your children will be having a new experience.
5. Plan to have fun and take care of yourself. I rode my bike more, took dance lessons, organized my home, completed unfinished projects or started new ones I could complete. I traveled with my mother, had girlfriends for lunch and treated myself to massages! Enjoy as much as possible as they will be back before you know it!
While my children and I all had fun during our time apart each summer, we were always happy to be reunited.