There are plenty of times when it's difficult not being with my kids. But what I can give them is 110% dad when they are with me. I have the rest of the time, when they are not with me, to heal and focus on myself and my goals.
Do you get frustrated when you're not in the highly-functional and kicking-ass zone? I am happiest when I'm in the 6's and 7's. But I'm learning to love myself even when I'm in the 3's.
I loved the family routine. I loved being their dad. I knew I was going to crash when I was no longer welcome in my own home. I knew depression was weeks away. I knew there was very little I could do to stop the sadness freight train that is divorce.
I wish I could've had more time with my kids. I wish my then-wife had agreed to 50/50 shared parenting. I wish my ex-wife would be a more collaborative parent. But even as I wish about these things, even as I can feel regret about the lost time, I am HAPPIER NOW THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN IN MY LIFE.
Divorce is not something you just "get over." And with kids, you never really get over it. I am learning to continuously forgive and forge ahead with my own life as a single dad.
My ex knew I would not sue her for 50/50 custody. She didn't want to lose 50% of the time with her kids. 30% sounded almost palatable. Painful, but well worth the freedom she imagined just ahead, as she headed towards becoming a single mom.
I felt like I had a pretty good idea of the way the divorce was going to go, once I agreed to actually get a divorce. We went, eyes wide open, into the negotiations about parenting rights, money, schedules, and I also felt like I had a cooperative soon-to-be wife who was not going to try to destroy me. The first part was true, the second part, well...
So I'm a little rocket ship. And when I'm well-fueled, well-balanced, and have a good map in front of me, all systems are go, green lights across the board, look out, cause here we go.