Parenting After Divorce: Do You Have A Plan for Emergencies?

Posted by Delaine - February 3, 2011 - Co-Parenting, Parenting, Single Dads, Single Moms - 8 Comments


I was at home working when my phone rang – my ex-husband’s number popped up.  Thinking it was my children, I quickly answered.

Instead it was my ex. I heard, “We’ve had a bit of an accident.  We’re on our way to get stitches.”

“Who’s hurt?”  I asked heart racing.

“Janet.”  (My four-year-old daughter)  “She cut open her chin pretty bad, maybe three quarters of an inch wide.  It looks deep.  So I’m taking her to get stitches so she has less chance of scarring.”  He then went on to explain that they’d just arrived at an outdoor skating rink and Janet had no sooner stepped on the ice, that she did an immediate face-plant. The cut was UNDER her chin, thank God.   “I didn’t see it happen,” my ex continued.  “I was putting on my skates.”

I asked to speak to my daughter who was in the backseat of the truck with her older brother.  “Guess what mom?”  she answered happily.  “I’m eating chips!  And having coke.  And daddy says after I see the doctor, I can have a sucker!”

I grinned: She’s my candy monster.  I spoke to her for awhile, and my heart resumed its normal pace: the accident could have been much worse.

This incident showed me how important it is for divorcing couples to have a plan in case of emergencies; something my ex and I had never discussed. Luckily, I had been home to provide him with her Health Number to see a doctor – but that’s something that both parties should have on hand. Both should also know where the closest clinics are, including after-hour clinics like the one my family had needed to visit last night.

Obviously, I’m more than relieved that our daughter is doing fine.  But I must admit, a part of me is glad this incident happened when she was with my ex – and I say this is a positive way, not a negative one.  Cause he had to learn first-hand how to cope in an emergency situation like I’ve done numerous times solo.  He had to leave his house full of guests to spend four hours waiting to see a doctor. He had to feel the fear, swallow her tears, make decisions, and step into a different area of fatherhood.

Cause parenting is definitely the hardest job in the world.  And it’s often not until we become single parents, that we gain the knowledge – and desire – to appreciate that fact.