Everyone has a childhood that’s just a little bit different than the one next door, and no one can really understand what it’s like to grow up in your family except the other people who did.
That said, there are some things that kids of divorced parents know that kids who grew up in a single family home can never get – and if you’re curious what it was like to be on the other side of the curtain, these 16 people are giving us a peek.
16. It would definitely get old.
How annoying it was to pack your stuff every weekend.
15. Part-time poor.
For me, it was weird being ‘part time poor’….I lived in a tiny trailer with my mom, where we lived a painfully frugal life, and every other weekend I would be eating a steak dinner at my dad’s house.
14. The anxiety is real.
No worse feeling than having to leave your “preferred” household on a Sunday evening to go “home” before school Monday morning.
The way the anxiety just grew on me towards end of the week when I was going to my dads, and then like counting the days to go back to my “preferred”.
But at the same time I felt bad for my dad because I didn’t want to hurt him.
13. Having to remember everything.
Getting in trouble at school for not having the right books/uniform because you forgot them at the other house or lost them altogether.
Having to be very careful about being excited or positive about the other parent’s house.
Always feeling like a houseguest in whichever house is not your main.
Generally being totally disorganized and a mess at all times and becoming an adult who is a mess at all times.
12. It’s nothing personal.
You want to say that you don’t want to go, that you hate being moved around and losing weekends like this, but you can’t without knowing it’ll deeply offend the less preferred household.
It’s nothing personal, it’s not like you don’t love that parent anymore (it certainly wasn’t your decision for them to leave), but one of those houses is absolutely your home and the other just feels like a motel.
11. You learn hard truths about your parents.
My parents divorced when I was 8, visiting Dad was always fun, he promised when I was 14 I could live with him.
He got remarried and when I was 14 he said I couldn’t. I’m 61. It still hurts.
10. It’s difficult to keep up.
Sharing time on holidays.
When you are older it’s very difficult to keep up with both your direct family and friends, forget about most extended family.
9. Hard to explain.
It can stink when your parents re-marry.
For me and my siblings, it often feels like our dad has HIS family and then there’s just us… I don’t really know how to explain that.
It basically doesn’t feel like you’re part of their family anymore.
8. Like strangers hanging out.
For me it was always awkward spending time with my father, felt forced. Most of the time we would end up watching tv for 2-3 days before heading back to my mother’s house.
Lasted for maybe 1-2 years after divorce and then would just go over for a day around Christmas time.
Probably the minority but always felt I was a burden as a kid and we just never really clicked so felt like strangers hanging out.
7. You can feel like a guest.
always was just a guest at my mums, and when i moved out of my dads at 18 i was instantly just a guest any time i visited.
It was never that ‘going home’ feeling even though i grew up there, a step sibling was allowed to move straight into my room.
6. It can affect you for years.
Lived with mum but she cheated on my dad which triggered the divorce. But at the same time my dad was a short tempered asshole and flew off the handle at all of us. My mum was super sensitive.
Of the two it was easier to live with mum which was the default arrangement anyway, but man, it was such a pain having to up sticks and go to dad’s every other weekend.
My brother and I ended up adopting their shitty traits and now I have to go through life trying to control my urge to fly off the handle at minor inconveniences. Neither of us are ever in very good head space over all and often find ourselves in conflict with bosses and work colleagues.
I now find I much much prefer to be in my own home in my own company above all things, where there is no conflict, complication or obligation.
5. It sticks with you.
I still have memories of a geometry teacher who called me lazy because I accidentally left a homework assignment at my dad’s house the night before and couldn’t get it immediately because he lived 45 mins away and I was only 14.
4. Not really, no.
Going to multiple Christmas lunches on Christmas Day was absolute bulls*%t. 25 years later, one of my parents says “but you always liked that”.
Apparently we have very different memories.
3. How exhausting it can be.
The mental exhaustion years of being a middleman for your parents takes on you. Going from one house to the next, listening to one parent bitch about the other parent, and then having to put on a brave face while listening to one parent trash one of your other parents trying not to lose respect for the parent in front of you while also trying not to harbor any feelings of resentment towards the parent at home with the parent in front of you was talking s*%t about.
When you go back, and you hear your other parent complain and it goes on and on. I think a lot of us were used as therapists and we ourselves don’t even realize it.
2. A logistical nightmare.
Even to this day Christmas, or any holiday for that matter, is a logistical nightmare! I‘m almost 30 but making sure I spend an even amount of days at both my parents house is exhausting.
Especially since I don’t have a car back at home (I live in a city and don’t need one there but it’s crucial to get from A to B back home) I still have to beg them to drive me to or pick me up from my other parents house.
1. You feel caught in the middle.
Didn’t grow up with divorced parents, but they’ve separated several times and in 2016, my senior year of high school, officially separated (though still not divorced .-.) and I’m very much caught in this right now.
I can’t even begin to imagine the anguish of being a child and shouldering that. My mom seems to think it’s okay to do to me ‘cause I’m an adult technically, but this should never be tolerated.
I love both my parents and it’s okay that they don’t love each other anymore, but please don’t air out your dirty laundry to the human you created.
Some of these surprised me, which is wild!
If your parents were divorced, what else would you add to this list? Drop some more knowledge in the comments!