My daughter is having her second sleepover of her winter break. A couple of days ago, she hosted. Tonight she’s staying at a friend’s. I don’t know how it is for other parents, but I find hosting a sleepover to be a lot of work. I feel a lot of pressure to make sure they have plenty of fun and still get fed and watered, etc. That being said, I much prefer hosting a sleepover to letting her sleep at someone else’s house.

As a divorced parent, I only get to be with my daughter half the week. I want to spend every last minute of that half-week with her. I know it would be impossible to spend that much time with her. I have work, she has school and after school activities, and we both have to sleep. I truly savor the remaining time that we have together.

I also know that it’s not about me or what I want. So, I willingly give up some of my time with her to let her do things like sleepovers. Outside of illness and injury, I find it to be about the hardest part of being a parent. When she’s out with a friend during my half-week, I feel a special kind of loneliness. It’s hard to explain, but I’m just hyperaware of her absence.

Of course, it’s all OK again when I see her the next morning and she tells me all about how much fun she had. I remember sleepovers as a kid. They were awesome. I’ll accept the rough few hours of loneliness to give her that experience. It’s no fun for me, but it’s definitely worth it.

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