Guest Author - Caroline Henrich
We only have half of the summer left. It is ordinarily a joyous time spent outdoors, vacationing, gardening or just reading. For some parents however it is an extremely stressful time. Why?
This is often the case for custodial parents whose children spend a significant part of the summer with an ex-spouse. Some parents remain bitter and jealous that their children are with the ex-spouse and even worse, his or her wife or husband. Instead of being happy, these men and women obsess and seethe with jealously. In effect, they ruin their own summers.
This is unfortunate and in my opinion a form of self-mutilation. The answer is clear, you must accept your own feelings, take responsibility and focus on your own life. As long as the children are safe and well cared for at your ex-spouse's home, begin the process of changing your attitude.
This will not happen overnight, but it is possible. Each day needs to be spent on positive activities. After work, go for a long walk. If you have a pet, spend time with him/her. Spend time with friends or family members. These activities do not cost a lot of money.
Think about volunteering and helping less fortunate people. Go to a movie, change your hair color or begin a new exercise class. Join a book or art club to meet new people.
Consider asking a few friends to join you on a vacation trip. You do not need to go to an exotic island, but can go to a national park. You can also consider going to a day spa to treat yourself to a facial. Of course there is always retail therapy. Nothing helps like shopping.
Golf and tennis are sports that appeal to both men and women. There may be a sport that you have always wanted to try, but have been hesitant. Throw away your inhibitions and insecurities and try. You may find that you enjoy yourself. It does not matter whether you are good or not, only that you have a good time.
There are so many positive activities that will make you feel good about yourself and a better parent when your children return home. Of course if you make an effort and still feel depressed or upset, please seek professional assistance to help you through your issues.
Good luck and have a great rest of the summer.