Kate Meyers: I have learned many things -- good and bad -- from my divorce.
One of the more practical bits of knowledge I've taken to heart is this: Everyone needs a day off.
Because I co-parent with my ex, we split the weekends. I have the girls on Saturday, while he takes over on Sunday. Even at the beginning, when I secretly cried every time they left, I loved my Sundays. I would spend hours leisurely reading the New York Times and drinking coffee. I would go to my yoga class. I would shave my legs. I could have an uninterrupted long-distance conversation with my girlfriend in Boston. By four o'clock, I was a new person. And it didn't even take a whole day.
Of course, the sad part of co-parenting is that, by Sunday evening (when I desperately want my girls back), they are with their dad. The good news is that I can take this knowledge to my next marriage -- if there is one -- and work with my partner so that each of us gets a long block of alone time at least once a week.
All humans need space from each other. Especially partners. We also need time away from our responsible roles, both occupational and domestic. Think of it as a personal sabbath in which you step away (for even bigger fun, ditch the cell phone) and renew in whatever way you need -- a round of golf, a pedicure, a nap, a long stretch with a favorite author. Who wouldn't come back a nicer person, a better partner and a more patient parent?
|Kate Meyers writes the Colorado-based blog www.iamminivan.com. Her work appears in O, InStyle, Cooking Light, Redbook and TV Guide.|