My husband is technically considered an “every other weekend dad.”
We have a baby at home full time together, but he has two kids from a previous marriage, making him the “every other weekend dad.” We’ve all heard the term; it means a lot of different things to people. To the mother, it’s the weekend of missing her children. It’s the father who they don’t see as “there enough” for their children to outsiders. To the kids, it’s the weekend they cherish more and more each time.
It seems like it’s become such a common phrase now; most people don’t even give it a second thought. Or if they do, it’s usually a negative one.
As the wife of an every other weekend dad, I see the things that you don’t.
The gut-wrenching, extremely difficult, pull your heart out things that most people don’t even know happens. It’s the perspective that you don’t see. And if you have seen it, or lived it, I applaud you. You’ve been there for your husband and stepkids, supporting and encouraging as much as possible.
If you’re the dad, I see you.
I see what you’ve been through and what you have sacrificed for your children just to be an “every other weekend dad.”
Here’s what I see every other weekend.
A four-year-old baby girl crying and clinging to her dad, not wanting to say goodbye. She is not wanting to leave her daddy after only seeing him for two days.
A seven-year-old son writing his dad notes about how much he loves him and misses him. These notes include how he didn’t even get to see him for that long and how he can’t wait to see him again. He shares why he loves his dad and why he can’t wait to do all kinds of fun things that dads and sons get to do together again.
My husband is traveling and flying for hours and hours every single time he goes to see them. Giving up his time and making the huge travel effort every. single. time. Going to the airport, finding flights, renting cars, just so he can spend two days with his babies.
There is not an amount of travel time or travel cost that would ever keep him from getting his weekends.
I see two older siblings loving on their baby brother in our home. Loving him, cheering him on, giving him kisses and hugs, and making up for all the time they’ve already missed out on.
Two kids who’ve snuggled their dad at night telling him how much they love him and how much they love their “Florida house” with dad. They share how they want to move here some day and can’t wait for a “long weekend with lots of days” to spend with us.
I’ve seen and heard the tears.
The tears that only a dad can cry for his children.
And the tears for feeling the dad guilt every time he has to leave his children again. For feeling the hurt that his kids feel every time they leave him and cry for him. For feeling like he isn’t “doing enough” for them, even though he is always doing everything he can.
The tears of a dad who hates the term “every other weekend dad.”
We see you too, dads. Especially the every other weekend dads who take it all on, do everything in their power to be just as involved as a full-time dad. We see your love, passion, and energy you give to your kids. We see you, and we appreciate you.