Time sharing may very well mean that you see your children less than you did when you were married. This, however, does not mean that you are now a part-time dad or mom. You are either a parent or you are not. Actually, many divorced parents spend more time with their kids than parents in intact families. But no matter how much time you spend with your children, if you commit to it regularly and responsibly, you are a parent.
Regardless of how much time your agreement or the courts have deemed suitable for you to spend with your children, this time is not and never should be confused with babysitting. There’s no need to constantly take your children on expensive adventures, buy them gifts, or keep them perpetually entertained. Children are happy to simply be with you.
Time away from mom’s house (or dad’s) is and should not be defined as time away from home. Your kids do not “visit” you; they live with you. They have one home with Dad and another with Mom. Even if your new home does not have enough space to provide your child with the same sort of living arrangements he or she has with their other parent; it can be made to feel like their home too. Involve them in making it feel they belong there.
Find things that you and your children enjoy doing together. Your children will know when you too are enjoying yourself; just the way they will know if you are standing on the sidelines of the playground checking your cell phone. Make your time together count.
Studies show that many children cope well after a divorce, especially when there is joint custody. Allow yourself to be the parent you want to be. Think of this as your opportunity to re-connect with your children – this time on your own terms; not the way your ex deemed appropriate.