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The first night…

Do you remember the first night after separation or divorce when your child stayed over with you?

You can do it You've got thisI was a little nervous, I just had to step up , plan and ensure it all worked. I very quickly got in the swing of things and it worked out well. The rest is history!

Some of the initial scary thoughts that ran through my head were catering for breakfast, lunch and dinners every day, planning activities and going to the toilet whilst we were out?  This all was now all up to me, no sharing any more, just me.  I felt I grew up quickly because my desire to care for my child outweighed the hard work that I knew lay ahead of me.  I’m not sure but I think it was a mix of perspiration and desperation that got me through, I got used to planning and preparing then we were off and running.

I can’t help but think some mothers would experience the same scary thoughts, for many Dads like me, we could never talk about that, too busy hating each other.

There is definitely something empowering and rewarding when you know you have managed your access days well.  You get better at everything, you start to get a repertoire of recipes, you know what size clothes and shoes they wear.  You know their taste in music, books and movies, you share laughter together and one on one time, you understand morning routines and of course all the hissy fits that goes with it.  The sense of owning that space feels good even if it is only every second weekend.

You little girl can always bury her head in your shoulder if you go to the mens toilets.When we were out and about, and it came time to take her to the toilet or maybe I needed to go? she came with me and simply buried her face into my shoulder when we walked through the mens to the cubical, Always a good time to try and get them to go too, even if they don’t feel like it. When she was big enough to go on her own, I would stand near the door of the female toilets and didn’t move until she came out.  The wheel chair access toilets are gold!!

? I remember we were at the swimming centre one day when I walked into what I thought was the mens change room and proceeded to help my daughter change into her bathers, when a women in a towel came out of the showers ? For a few seconds I really thought she was the one in the wrong change room. Then she said “I think you are in the wrong room” I apologised and left, honest mistake but laugh every time I think about it.

Do you have experiences that you can share?

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