When Warren and I were first married, our custody schedule was very irregular – three days here, four days there. Neither Warren nor the boys’ mother wanted to be away from the kids for more than a few days at a time. It was an amicable agreement, but one that resulted in chaos.
I couldn’t schedule an afternoon meeting because I wasn’t sure if I’d need to pick up the boys from school. And I couldn’t book appointments for the boys without checking their mother’s schedule, in case she ended up having them on the day of the appointment. When the boys received an invitation to a friend’s house, they didn’t know which parent’s permission to ask.
Eventually, we changed our custody schedule to every other week. The boys are now grown, but they agree that the every other week schedule worked best for everyone.
As Henry explains it, “It was less packing. Less forgetting things at Mom’s. And it made planning ahead much easier.”
Consistent routines are important for children (and teenagers) because consistency leads to normalcy. The schedule quickly became the boys’ new normal.
It was also easier on us parents. Warren and I would do our best to plan work meetings, personal appointments, and date nights during weeks we didn’t have the boys, which allowed us to spend more quality time with them when they were in our custody.