Living in two places would be complicated for adults let alone children. Where are my black loafers or where did I leave my gloves? Yet this is exactly the situation all children of divorce face every single day. One of the things you can do to ease this burden is to have two sets of everything. To the extent this is financially possible, get this done.
One for each home (even if you (as opposed to sharing the expense with your co-parent) have to buy both of them) so that they will never be without the essentials. Having two of important items will make life easier for you too as you will not have to drive between households if items are forgotten.
Here is a list that seems to be doable for most folks
- Cell phone and computer chargers – worth the $20 you will spend.
- Your children can then set up a desk in each home with only bringing the laptop and cell phone with them; they will feel more secure
- Toiletries and personal items
- Tooth brush & floss, hair brush, hair dryer, contacts, case & solution, make up, razor & shaving cream – all the items they need to get ready for school or bed.
- Running shoes & slippers
- Duplicates of their favorite blanket or stuffed animal (this can be tricky)
- You may need to introduce them to the stuffed animal’s twin sister or brother who lives with you.
- Medications – inhalers, epi pens, medications at least 2 days worth
- Desk supplies – staplers, pencil sharpeners three hole punches, small amount of school supplies (folders, dividers, Bristol board, sharpies, colored pencils).
- Sports equipment – if possible – this can get very costly. Tennis balls and extra soccer and hockey socks may be doable.
- Items for their activities – photocopies of sheet music or extra ballet slippers.
- Clothes – Usually children will have clothes at each home but if your parenting time is mostly on weekends having extra socks, undies and one or two sets of clothes is a good idea.
Put this concept in your parenting agreement or property settlement agreement if you can. As you prepare for your divorce keep the needs of your children front and center, try to lift the burden of the process off their shoulders as much as you can.