A Journey in Co-parenting {The Every Other Weekend Heartache}

I recently read that 50% of America’s children will see their parents divorce.  That one statement hit me like a ton of bricks, but sadly I can relate.  I was raised in a divorced home, and now my dear son is living it too.


I was married at the mere age of 20 years old.  I was told to wait, I was told to think things over before I rushed into a marriage, but like I said, I was 20 years old.  At 20, I had just enough freedom to know that I was the one who made decisions in my life, and with that knowledge my boyfriend and I got married.  A short three months later the little white and pink stick showed a positive sign, and 9 months later my Aaron was born.  It was love at first sight.  He was absolutely my first true love.  My marriage soon turned upside down, moral issues arose, forgiveness was hard to do, trusting was impossible, and the D word crept in.  I fought the feelings I had, so did he.  But we both knew that we wanted better for our son than what we had, we wanted him to know what a GREAT marriage was, to know how a mom and dad truly loved each other, and with that we divorced.

Here I sit 9 years later happily married with 2 more sweet boys to love, yet it is far from what I thought my life would be like.  I never imagined growing up having to send off my first born child to stay at his dad’s house every other weekend.  I never imagined having to pry my crying toddler from my legs to strap him in his car seat in his daddy’s car. I never imagined having to worry if he got his cold medicine on time, if his fever came back, or the worst- if he was missing ME.  My eight year old self dreamt of living in a big white house with a picket fence, a loving husband, and my kids all nestled in my home EVERY single night.  Sharing my kid was not in my dream.

I totally get that the dads in the picture normally get the see their children much less. I do- I get it.  I can only imagine their feelings.  But this is for my momma heart.  The heart that my child heard beating for 40 weeks.  The heart that longs to hold my baby boy every single second of the day.  You know the quote, “Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do”? Yeah, it is totally and utterly true.  The longing I have when my Aaron leaves for his “other” house is indescribable.  I miss his silly stories and random facts.  I miss saying his goodnight prayers with him and his perfect goodnight kisses.  I miss the look he gives me when I embarrass him with my dancing or jokes.  I miss singing the good morning song to him.  I miss counting his freckles.  I JUST MISS HIM.  Any parent who experiences custody knows exactly what I am talking about-whether you were married to his or father, were dating, etc….It’s no walk in the park sharing your child.

BUT for now I am thankful, albeit full of every other weekend heartache.  I am thankful that my son has a dad who is actually involved in his life.  His dad wants to be with him every second he possibly can.  I know his dad experiences heartache during the week when our son isn’t with him.  I am just so very thankful that his father and I can both be adults, put aside our differences, and come together for our son who deserves only the best parents in the entire free world.

So just like clockwork, in a few days I’ll help my boy pack up for the weekend, smother him with kisses, breathe in his stinky boy smell, and prepare my heart for the pain that will soon come. But as we pack, I’ll smile and be so thankful that in just a few days I’ll get that stinky boy back.

What are your best tips for successful co-parenting?

Katie, a self proclaimed "momma bear", enjoys living her busy, country life with her husband of 10 years and 3 sons just outside of Baton Rouge in Tangipahoa Parish. Katie attended Southeastern Louisiana University where she obtained a degree in Elementary and Special Education. Little did she know how her love of children with special needs would grow shortly after she graduated college. Her middle son, Connor, was born with a rare brain disorder called Schizencephaly-he is wheelchair bound, nonverbal, blind, battles retractable epilepsy, and is fed through a feeding tube. Katie and Connor endure the many trials they are put through with a smile and joy in their heart. Along with being an active member in her church and working for an online public school, Katie regularly advocates for those who experience developmental disabilities at the Louisiana State Capitol. She is the Region 9 leader for Louisiana Citizens for Action Now (LaCAN) and is a member at large for the Governor’s Advisory Council on Disability Affairs. When life's challenges seems too much to bear, Katie remembers this quote to keep forging ahead and being the voice for those who have none, “God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling.” -unknown


  1. Dear Katie,
    Firstly I want to thank you for writing this. I too, got married in my early 20s, the fruit of which is my beautiful 2 year old girl(my greatest source of joy); needless to say, the marriage was a failiure.
    I now find myself in a custody battle, and my momma heart breaks every day.
    My daughter still sleeps in my bed and I just cannot fathom laying in bed without the sound of her breathing next to me.
    And while I realise that she needs to have a relationship with her father, the pain of not having her with me every night is so immense – I’m worried it will swallow me whole.
    I hope that the pain will ease, and that my daughter will grow up happy and healthy and with as little psychological trauma as possible frombeing a child of divorce.

  2. This woman should be ashamed of crying that she has to share her child with his father for only two days. To think it’s right to have the child 12 days to the fathers 2 is painfully wrong


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