Child Custody is about Energy Management, not Time Management...
How long does it take to share a laugh? A hug that doesn't feel obligatory to one or both huggers? (sad but happens more than you think). Our memories, and more importantly, our children’s memories, capture MOMENTS rather than hours or days or weekends...
IntroductionThis is the hard part for us and our clients, we have to be PRESENT for them. We have to be present to experience the sight of a child's smile, the smell of the spaghetti dinner we share and, yes, even the pain of separation which is nonetheless a gift which allows us to appreciate those fleeting moments as much as we do.
Being PresentPresence is not about time; it's about ENERGY. If we're tired, hungry, hungover (whatever that feels like; we wouldn't know ;) we're not going to be fully present for those moments, whether we've got an hour, a weekend or a week's worth of custody or visitation with our children. Ever had a really good, or really bad, discussion or argument that lasted only a few minutes but left you exhausted. You don’t need a lot of time to completely engage in the moment, for better or worse.
It's NOT about more time...Our clients come in wanting so badly to get MORE time with their kids, and that's valid, but here's the secret... whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much. Yes, that's from Luke 16:10 but it might as well be straight out of the Alabama Family Court Judges' Handbook if such a thing exists. It's not until we are making the most out of our time with our child, sucking out all the marrow of our family life (that's Thoreau), that we can expect to receive more.
Final Thought...We'd all be better suited if Court orders could dictate the ENERGY we give to our children rather than just the schedule which defines our time. Courts can't do it and wouldn’t if they could... so it's up to each of us as Parents, CoParents and Relative Caregivers to focus on the ENERGY we give to each moment with our child. Thanks for reading!