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Easter without my kids

Waking to a quiet house, no squeals of joy can be heard from my children of seeing Easter eggs left at their bedroom door by the easter bunny.

No easter egg hunt in the garden as the children scavenge for tiny eggs in shiny wrappers.

No wiping smiling faces covered in chocolate, wriggling to get away to eat more chocolate delights.

No little hand drawn Easter cards made at school from my children depicting our family at Easter.

I lay in bed reminiscing the treasured memories of my children, with tears stinging my eyes.

This is the plight of some separated parents who do not get to see their children at Easter, some do not get to see them at all.

The children are left wondering why they do not see their other parent at Easter like their friends at school do. Their Easter once filled with love and happiness has a pang of sadness because the other parent is missing. The disappointment for the child when they ask if their other parent is coming for Easter and told it is not their weekend. The children are not only sad for themselves not seeing the other parent but sad for the other parent missing out and being on their own. They have been brought up to be compassionate and not leave any one out of games, sharing toys, or being part of fun activities. This can create internal conflict as they feel sad for the other parent leaving them feeling powerless to help them.

This special time of the year, alone to reflect, should not only focus on what we do not have, but what we do have in our lives. Create new memories by doing something nice for yourself – catch up with friends or family, drive to the beach and walk along the sand listening to the crashing waves, or take the dog for a walk-in nature. Anything that will calm and soothe your soul.

You may have the chance to call your kids or send them a funny photo of you and the dog with an easter egg in the foreground. If you are seeing them next weekend you may want to make them a handmade card of you and them drawn happy with big smiles holding different coloured easter eggs. Your child may be the only kid at school that has had a parent make an easter card for them. Plan your next time with them to bake cupcakes decorated with little easter eggs on top.

You can still create easter memories with your kids…. It may not be on the Easter weekend, but it will be an easter event the next time they see you.

Your children will respond well to you creating happy moments to share, rather than being sad that you did not have time together at easter. Remember your children’s mood will reflect your mood when you are with them. If you are flat, negative, and sad, they will feel sad too. If you are happy, creating fun and new memories they will feed off your positive energy and enjoy the time with you.

Ensure this Easter weekend to surround yourself with positive happy people that can lift you up from sadness. Easter is all about new beginnings so spend some time over the weekend sitting somewhere peaceful and calm with a notebook and pen to write out what new beginnings you are going to create for your future. You may have bucket list ideas to travel or experience a new hobby. You may want to google search holidays, local interest groups to meet new people or the fun activity to take the kids to the next time you see them.

Shift from feeling helpless to being hopeful at this moment in time as things will get better as you seek the opportunities to create happy moments rather than dwell on what you do not have or what you have no control over.

Author – Cheryl Duffy, Divorce & Conflict Coach, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, NMAS mediator and Parenting Coordinator


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