X factor

yellow and pink lighted x decor

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When you are divorced and have had a child (or children), there is always the “X factor” to consider.

It’s sad to say, but as fathers we very typically get the shaft when it comes to co-parenting the children after a divorce. There is honestly no logical reasoning behind this precedent other than the mother is nearly always seen as “the fittest parent” in these situations, regardless of the circumstances. Even when you can demonstrate, with evidence, that as a father you would be a better choice for the child’s custodial parent it is a costly uphill battle that has no guaranteed outcome.

As I was preparing the visitation calendar for 2020 for my teen daughter, it just brought back all the times where I have had to consider the X factor over the last 14 years. We divorced when she was under two so I have had a lot of considering to do, and still have a little while longer to deal with it. It has been a challenge over the years.

How will the X respond to this? What will the X do now? Is there a way to get the X to be reasonable? How crazy is my X, really? I can’t believe the X responded the way she did. Why does the X have to make everything about herself? Why does the X always make this more challenging than it needs to be? How is the X gonna take this? How can I do this so it doesn’t piss the X off? Now what does the X want? 

If you are a divorced father with children, you likely know all too well what I mean. Or, maybe you are even a mother with a crazy X, you know too. Really this post isn’t so much about fathers (though that is my experience) but about the fact that while raising children as divorced parents you are always having to consider the X factor. Everything you do seems to revolve around the other person even though you aren’t with that person every day.

I am thankful that it has gotten a little better since my daughter is now older and can transport herself, but as I was still working on a visitation calendar (which really hasn’t been followed since my daughter is old enough to have a job now) that I still have to consider the X factor when it comes to my daughter. Just a couple more years that I am REQUIRED to consider the X…then it will only have to be during major life events for my daughter. That will be a whole new chapter of X factor to deal with.

Can anyone else relate to this?

There she goes

silhouette of girl running on the seashore during golden hour

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Strange things have been happening around here. My little one has turned 16 and a new form of freedom is upon us both.

I love it!

I hate it…

It feels very weird. I mean really weird.

Yesterday, after having her license for three whole days, was the first time she got in a car and drove away by herself. There was no one in the car…except her…

After 16 years, it is time to do a little letting go and I have to admit it is scary. I mean, I love watching my daughter grow and mature and become her own person, but inside the pride is mixed with hurt. Not the kind of hurt that is caused by someone that has done something to you, but a hurt that just aches because you know the “little girl” is gone.

It was surreal watching her drive away. Away to a place of her choosing. She has many more destinations ahead of her and I am not going to be able to protect her as she goes.

Man, growing old is tough. These new adventures my daughter is taking me on are tough.

There she goes…