If Joint Custody Were a Country Song

I think that sharing custody of your child would make a great country song.

For most people, Mondays are the day reality comes calling. Mondays are when the fun ends. For me that day is Tuesday. The day real life smacks me square in the face. That’s the day, every other week, my daughter goes to be with her father. That’s this awesome thing called joint custody.


Joint Custody is like a sad country song.

You’d think after almost 5 years of the back and forth of joint custody, I’d be used to it. I’m not.

I call this the Joint Custody Blues.

Hank Williams says it best:

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill,

He sounds too blue to fly.

The midnight train is whining low,

I’m so lonesome I could cry.

If this were a country song, I’d load my hound into the pickup and head to the local bar. I’d order a Bud, put some quarters in the jukebox and let Hank Williams, or maybe Patsy Cline, sing my pain.

But this isn’t a country song and I live in Los Angeles. I don’t own a truck. And so I put my chihuahua in my Prius and drive to Coffee Bean and order an Iced Latte. I sit in the bright sun and listen to the clicking of people writing screenplays on their laptop. It’s not a jukebox full of country standards, but I work with what I’ve got.

I’ve learned that on these Tuesdays, the day my daughter leaves, I’m pretty much useless.

I don’t schedule meetings or lunches. I’m not good company, I’m distracted and I know it. I’m a stiff cardboard cutout of a person. I’d rather not subject anyone to that.

If I try to will my way out of the sadness, it fights me even more. And so, I drive around and listen to sad songs. I let this hurt set up residence for a while. If I do this, by the next morning, I’m usually up and functional. I’m back to being a regular human being.

I finally had the courage to admit this pain on Facebook. I wasn’t sure if anyone else felt this in their own divorce and custody situation. I was relieved when several other parents shared their own feelings of loss and sadness. It helped to know others get sad each time their child changes homes too. I suppose that feeling is to be expected. Even years after the divorce.

I’m realizing that the pain of this joint custody probably won’t go away anytime soon.

I’ll still be that woman driving a hybrid somewhere in LA, with a chihuahua on her lap and crying along to Hank Williams.

How do you handle joint custody? Do you get sad when your child goes to your Ex?

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