I never know, until I arrive at family weekend, if my daughter will be able to stay with me at the local hotel. I always have plans loosely laid out in my head for both scenarios – staying with me, and not staying with me.
And I have learned to be flexible when it comes to the plans I make in my head. Even if she can stay with me, there is no guarantee that she will be up for my plans, which might include a haircut, or a swim, or a trip to Walmart.
I have worked really hard to avoid any expectations for these weekends – no expectations of breakthroughs in therapy, no expectations as to how my interactions with my daughter will go, no expectations as to how we will spend our time together – no expectations of any kind.
I am a very organized person. I would not start my workday without a to-do list. I would not go grocery shopping without a grocery list. I schedule. I plan ahead. This is how I am. But when it comes to my daughter and family weekends, I have learned to fly by the seat of my pants. She lacks the ability to be flexible…so I have learned to be flexible enough for both of us.