So the title of this entry is actually the same as a great book I read regarding children with divorced parents and shared custody. One thing that the book states: There is no single home. There's Mommy's home and Daddy's home. You're not visiting one place or the other, you live at these homes.
So, when I say I left home in 2006, that's not to say I stayed in the same home until then. In 2005, I realized that having a daughter with a woman I was no longer in a relationship with meant I had to start accepting responsibility above and beyond taking care of my self. There was this beautiful little life that I needed to provide for and protect. So I left my dad's house and moved in with my mom, working with her for 3x my former income, thus increasing my child support dramatically. This also led me to a brilliant insight: Mommy's house is not the same and Daddy's house. Yes, both are home, but the structure is sometimes different. Hold that thought.
So I lived with my mom (more on this later) briefly, establishing a career and moving into a place of my own within a year. By then I was also engaged, so I was not alone, my fiance moving with me from my mom's to our new home. This is the first time my daughter had "Daddy's home." One thing I took with me from my experience having moved back home (with my dad) and then trasferring to my mom's is that difference between one and the other. How difficult is it for a "Normal" person to go from a home where things are done one way to a home where things are different, then back again, every week or every other week? Think about that, then remember that I did this (Granted, there was no back and forth as I was an adult) with ADHD. It was difficult for me to adjust.
I discussed this with her mother and resolved to have as many similarities as I could between the two homes. Allowance is the same, and she has chores to earn her allowance as well. Bedtime is the same. I try to sit with her and help with homework when needed, just as her mom does.
Parents: Divorced or not, PLEASE give your children consistence! I have mentioned before and will again, STRUCTURE is key, along with support. Come together and agree on what rules to set for your child(ren) and stick to what you decide. Support each other in supporting your child.