Drop off’s can be super stressful.
There is really no other way to put it.
Getting dropped off or picked up to go to your other home shouldn’t be such a stressful event.
Let’s break down how each individual involved can make the drop-off process as seamless as possible.
What Do You Mean By ‘Drop-off’?
When you’re a kid with two homes, you have to find your way to your other home when the time comes!
When you’re under the driving age, this means getting dropped off or picked up from somewhere by (usually) your other parent.
For example, my drop-off or pick-up situation looked like this:
Mum would drop us off to a carpark at a local sports complex where dad would be waiting.
On weekdays, dad would pick us up from the school bus stop after school.
So, What’s The Big Deal?
Drop-off’s/pick-up’s can be super stressful.
Why? Because often, it requires your parents to interact.
Other stressful factors may include:
· Worrying about being late
· Worrying if your other parent is running late
· Worrying if your parents are going to find something to fight over
Now, we have already spoken about the role of worry and the harm it can cause. However, something super important to remember and focus on is what you can control.
What CAN I Control?
My biggest stress around drop-off’s would be that we would run late and make the other parent annoyed.
Reflecting back, this was so far out of my control!
After all, I wasn’t the one controlling the traffic or driving the car.
However, what WAS in my control was:
· Making sure I packed everything I needed to for my other home
· Making sure I was ready to go when the time came
Now, if you find yourself stressing about a similar situation, try to focus on what you CAN control.
If your parent is taking a long time to get in the car and take you to your other parent, this is out of your control.
If your parent who is picking you up has gotten there early, this is out of your control.
If your parents decide to argue when you are getting dropped-off/picked up, this is out of your control.
A few key points to remember here:
· Your parent’s reactions to each other and uncontrollable situations is not your responsibility
· Communication can be super helpful to express your feelings of stress
o For example, you may communicate:
§ “Hey mum, do you mind if we do our best to get dropped off on time today, it makes me super stressed if we’re late.”
· Worry never solves any problems.
Focus on what you CAN control.
Hey Parents- Listen Up!
I get it. Dropping your kids off to go to their other home can be super tough.
It’s not easy that you don’t get to be with them 24/7.
However, when tough situations like this arise, it is vital that you remember the paramount consideration that you must have:
Everything should be done in the best interests of your kids.
If safe, having a relationship and spending time with their other parent IS in their best interests.
Being late to drop-off in spite of your ex is NOT in the best interests of your kids.
It’s tough for you, I get it. But it’s also not easy for your kids.
Its harsh, but it’s true- they come first. You’ve got this.
You’ve Got This
No really, we all do.
Because you can make difficult situations as seamless as possible by focusing on what you CAN control.
We can do hard things.
Although not being in your shoes, I aim to understand and honour your unique position in this world. Please feel free to contact me by submitting a contact form here or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.