Think about when you go on vacation. The hotel is nice, the location beautiful, its so great to get away! But after awhile you want to be back in YOUR home, in YOUR bed, surrounded by YOUR stuff, no longer living out of a suitcase. That moment when you flop down on your bed and think, “Ahhh, it is good to be home!”
It takes a long time for a child of divorce to feel that connection to “two” homes, especially when one of them is, “Mom’s House,” and the other, “Dad’s House.” Where is their house? Two houses can feel like not having a home.
Its important that you don’t minimize how hard it is on your children to be constantly moving. Do whatever you can to make it easy for them. Minimize your requirements and expectations for them to be “organized,” and to remember every single thing they are supposed to bring to your house. Don’t berate them if they forget a school book at the other house. Just say, “not a big deal, we’ll go get it.” Put yourself in their shoes…back and forth, two houses, two sets of rules, two sets of expectations. Its your job to make it the least stressful as possible.
I’ve gotten into the habit of saying, “your house with Mom,” or, “your house with Dad.” For instance, “Are you at your house with Mom tonight?” It may sound awkward initially, but it reminds the child that they have homes, they are not just visitors to someone else’s residence.