So this is what separation feels like by Claire

[advert:mpu] I suppose it’s a sign of things to come, being separated from their father and me and my kids having separate holidays.

I’d never even had more than a day apart from them when I stood teary-eyed on the doorstep, waving them off as they took off with their Dad on a two-week long holiday to his parents in Scotland. Last year, we were all there together with my brothers and sisters-in-law and various partners and children. This year I decided it would be inappropriate to spend Passover with the others as my husband and me are no longer an item, a decision that was not, in itself, difficult to make but I had to weigh up the feelings of loss (albeit temporarily!) that I would have at missing my children.

Strangely enough, and this surprised me, I didn’t miss them as much as I thought I would. Maybe because I was, as the chief carer of the three boisterous, energetic bundles of testosterone, two with ASD, in need of a well deserved rest. But also because I secretly felt that it was the turn of their father to shoulder the responsibility, even temporarily, of taking care of them.

Maybe it was the idea of a week of peace and quiet, snoozing on a warm Mediterranean beach that eased the sense of loss!

Whatever it was, the pain of separation was not nearly as bad as I anticipated it would be and I certainly wouldn’t have any hesitation in sending them off again.

What was harder to deal with was the increasing questions and statements brought about by the impending holiday that the children generally made about the separation of their father and I. It was almost as if the fact we were having separate holidays cemented something for them in terms of accepting the situation as being a permanent one. Even Jack said with a sigh whilst he was packing his toy bag “I suppose you and Daddy really ARE never going to live with each other again,” said with a certain wistful regret or at least as much as an Asperger’s child can manage.

Of course I had help from the abundance of literature available that has been written specifically aimed at helping children to deal with separation and divorce. These books have been useful in helping to counter statements from my children such as from Thomas “Mummy isn’t a part of grandma’s family any more” and from Jack “How can you split up just because of one silly argument?” I found these books invaluable in helping me to understand the feelings my children had around the situation and in helping me to turn around their misunderstandings and misconceptions.

One thing is for sure, they soon caught on to one unexpected advantage of having separated parents. They get double the holidays of most children their age! I’ve booked to go to Cyprus again at half term and as it’s my turn to holiday with them, they’ll be coming with me this time! Lucky bleeders!

Good books for children about separation and divorce

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