A Parent’s Perspective on Nesting and Practical Considerations

This New York Times piece features a parent’s perspective on nesting, 3 years down the road.

Nesting involves parents separating, the children remaining in the home, while the parents rotate in and out of the home. In my experience, nesting is often only viable short-term. Because of the cost, sacrifice of privacy, and the complications of new relationships and blending families.

Ideally, nesting involves three homes as described in the article, and at a minimum requires two (one for the children and one alternated between the parents when not with the children).

Privacy suffers in the two-home scenario. Parents often feel like they never have a space all their own. Nesting involves a delicate balance of boundaries, trust, and respect – all of which can suffer in divorce.

Building a new relationship and family (whether blending children from separate marriages, later-born children, or both) around an existing nesting arrangement presents its own challenges. Will the new partner nest too? Does this require addition of a third residence (if only nesting with two)? Can nesting continue with the addition of other children?

Parents who choose and agree upon a living arrangement and schedule that works for both of them and their children will have greater success than those upon whom these are imposed by a court. Even if the arrangements appear unusual to outsiders.

This article’s author and her spouse are to be commended on their 3 years of nesting success. The author makes a good point – that nesting will continue until they, as parents, decide not to. In Maryland, such arrangements are always modifiable – by agreement of the parents or by a court – if there is a material change in circumstance requiring a change to suit the children’s best interests.

Flexibility borne of the need to put one’s children, and their changing needs, first.


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