You have parenting time with your child on the upcoming weekend, but you’ve got a big presentation you have to make to a potential client on Monday. Or maybe you’ve been working late all week and haven’t had time to clean the house, do the laundry or run errands. How do you make your parenting time with your child special despite your busy schedule?
That’s a problem that many divorced parents face. There’s no such thing as an 8-to-5 workday for a lot of people. Work follows you home in the form of texts, emails, phone calls and time spent on your laptop.
You don’t want your child to feel neglected. You also don’t want them complaining to your ex that you were busy with “work stuff” during your time together or that all they did was follow you around the hardware store. So what can you do?
Create a schedule for yourself
Get as much accomplished as you can before you pick up your child and after they leave. If you have to check your messages occasionally, try to deal with any issues while your child is doing homework or getting ready for bed.
Make use of your travel time together
On the trips between your home and your co-parent’s, use that time to catch up with what your child has been doing. That may mean no music in the car (unless they want to share their favorite new song with you) and no earbuds for them. If they’ve got a test on Monday, use the time to quiz them.
Make chores fun
You may not have the knack for it that Mary Poppins had, but you can turn mundane cleaning and household chores into an enjoyable activity. If your child is old enough, teach them something new – like doing the laundry or taking out the trash. If your child starts getting bored or tired, take a break and shoot some hoops or play a video game for a bit.
If your work schedule or other responsibilities have changed considerably since you and your spouse worked out your parental responsibility and parenting time agreements, it may be time to consider seeking a modification to allow you to spend quality time with your child. Your family law attorney can help you.