Making the right decision isn't always simple. Co-parenting is a clear illustration of this—even if the break-up is amicable, single parents will still be robbed of time with their children, and having to face the loneliness that comes with the child going to the other parent can be hard. Knowing that you’ve made the correct choice doesn't always ease the suffering.
That is why a father's video documenting his own episode of his offspring's vacant chamber is striking a chord with other single parents on TikTok.
In his video, @ainjole admitted that the most difficult part of co-parenting is handing his daughter over to her mother and returning to a quiet home.
Going on, he said, “As any overwhelmed parent would, I desire a quiet atmosphere when she's overly energetic and boisterous. But then I miss it when it's gone.”
After Penny, his daughter, goes to be with her mother, @Angel is seen shutting the door. The room is left in a disarray of toys, a reminder of the good times they had.
The soundtrack of Pixar's “Up” plays, while @Angel tidies up the toys, sweeping and dusting away the last few days.The video ends with @Angel alone on the bed, the stuffed animals surrounding him, just before he extinguishes the light.
The father's later reflection was, “I now treasure every scream, every dirty hand print, and every mess.”
@Angel's touching video resonated with single parents, as many can relate to the profound sadness that comes from the first quiet moment after their child departs.
That's so spot-on. Tiredness, sorrow, and a sense of relief are all strangely bundled up together. Another person said, "It happens to me every Monday; I don't have the energy to tidy up after I take them home, every mess is a memento of them." Someone else wrote, "Every day I miss my daughter until I can have her back with me. I always embrace her favorite teddy bear until she's back with me." It's a sentiment that never fully disappears.
Even after two years, I still find myself in tears when my children and their dad leave. One parent confided, “It's something that I can never get used to.” The other parent concurred, “I've been doing this for 16 years and it's always a struggle. I can't count the number of times I've laid in their bed in the dark.”
@Angel, in spite of feeling downcast, is evidently trying to remain positive, leaving the comment “it’s painful to see them go but even more special when they come back.” This is a familiar experience for many single parents and talking about it could prove to be therapeutic and help diminish the sense of loneliness.