When parents divorce, they often obsess about missing out on their children’s lives. Sure, they might be there for the milestone events, but what about things like reading them bedtime stories each night and talking with them about their days over dinner?

But divorcing spouses can still be involved and effective parents when they share custody of the kids. It’s all a matter of parental attitudes.

It’s natural to initially be sad when your kids first leave to spend time with their other parent. However, instead of curling into a ball in bed, you can look upon this gift of personal time as the opportunity it actually is.

What aspect of your life have you put on the back burner due to your involvement with the kids and your foundering marriage? Friendships? Ambitions? Maybe time to “just be?”

All of those doors can be reopened now. Call those friends with whom you used to regularly get together and arrange to meet. Enroll in a business development or yoga class. Take up painting or target shooting.

It doesn’t really matter what activity you substitute in your life for the time you used to spend with your kids. However, drinking the night away in bars doesn’t count.

The activity should replenish something within you rather than diminish the good parent that you already know that you are. This way, when you are reunited with your children once again in a few days or a week, you can greet them lovingly and once again enjoy your parenting time.

If you discover that your custody arrangement is seriously out-of-kilter, it may be possible to revisit the matter in a family law court.