I am obligated to take my child to her father for 30 days a year and while I appreciate that this isn't really a lot of time, it does require extensive travel twice a year. We split the time up into two trips. After all, who can stay anywhere that isn't home for a whole month?
I make these visits happen and to some degree, my ex appreciates this, but what he aware of is the difficult behaviour that comes after these trips. My daughter is full of attitude and is quite honestly, very rude. She pushes all the boundaries and then tells me she is sorry and is tired. But this is a repeated pattern and I don't know how to deal with it. I know that I am the grown-up in this relationship but this isn't in the "how to raise a child by yourself" manual. We are both tired with jet-lag and my calmness deserts me. I know that it has to do with having different house rules with each parent. Her step-mother allows for her to wear nail varnish, which I don't. That is only one example of where we differ and being different is ok, it is how my daughter and I react to these differences that decides the impact on our lives. Apart from the very early years, this dilemma occurs after every visit and I am still none the wiser about how work through the behaviour and help her settle back down into our normal home life.
I wonder if this will continue to be our pattern or if, as she matures and develops, it will improve or not with age. I love her dearly but feel like I sometimes let her down with my mothering skills.