Our Family Therapist suggested that we try Nesting when we both came to the amicable decision to split and were worried about the well being of our young children. Nesting??? I had never heard of it. Nesting is when the parents take turns moving out of the family home so the children don’t have to.
She explained that the benefit of nesting to the children is to minimize the amount of change your children experiences and help them cope with the transitions. They don’t have to move clothes, toys etc. and it remains comfortable for them during an uncomfortable time.
I wasn’t too sure about this plan, but my wife seemed to like it so I was willing to give it a try for the sake of my kids.
So we tried and it actually worked for almost a year. It was almost like having a roommate, who wasn’t around all the time. We were like a tag team passing the baton every week. We were always on board with our parenting styles so it seemed okay.
The problems came into play when we both started dating and found ourselves with significant others. This devastated the kids even more than our “divorce”.
Our children were angered and defiant when I told them I had a girlfriend. When their mother brought her boyfriend to the house, the kids went crazy. I now realize that they never really accepted that we were really divorcing. Nesting allowed them to “fantasize” that we might get back together. For them nothing had really changed. Their life was exactly the same as it was before. We may have said we were divorcing but we still had family dinners, lots of laughs and shared the same house.
We had to explain all over again that our separation was permanent and we would not be reconciling. We ended up selling the family home and getting our own places, shuffling the kids and the clothes, toys and schoolbooks back and forth.
I am not sure I would recommend Nesting. Obviously it depends on your situation. We really tried to help the children transition smoothly.
In retrospect, I think we just delayed the inevitable.