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I'm Jealous of (Some) Divorced Parents

family in mexicoI love my wife.

I love my sons.

I would not change life for the world … BUT …

I get jealous of my divorced friends, I do.

I have friends who have had children and remarried, and the life they lead seems to be pretty sweet.

They’re part time-parents, part-time couple. They get the best of both worlds.

I know it sounds harsh on the surface, but give me a second to explain and I think you might, partially at least, agree.

Now I don’t mean “part-time parents” in the sense that they’re only partly involved in their kids’ lives, it’s just that every other weekend they get to be a swinging couple in the city. No worries for babysitters, no screaming for bath time, no early morning wake up call.

My cousin and her husband each have kids from previous relationships. Their blended family is beautiful and all the parents get along with shared custody agreements. And they swung the ultimate deal: both kids are with their other parents at the same time.

One weekend they’re a family of 4, the next week my cousin and her man are free for a weekend retreat, late dinner out, sleeping in, and all of the things that couples without kids can do without worrying.

My brother, on the other hand, is living the other side of the divorced parents’ coin.  He has joint custody with his ex, but he has no partner.  He’s a single parent. That’s a gig I deeply respect, and don’t envy.

My cousin and her husband get to be mom and dad, best friend and lover. My brother has to do it all on his own.

Last week, when my parents were visiting from out of town, they all went to the zoo and my wife and I just looked at each other in the kitchen a few hours after they left and just sighed.

“Can you hear that?” she asked. “I don’t hear anything,” I said. “Exactly,” she replied.

We spent the rest of the Sunday morning reading the iPad, sipping tea, and cuddling our toes under the blanket on the couch.

It was a great break. One that, for a fleeting moment, I imagined having every other weekend.

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