Is nesting the right parenting option for you?

Parenting after divorce can be challenging. Shuffling children between two homes is always an option, but is it the best option?

Some parents have gone in a different direction and opted for “nesting” (also called “bird nesting”). Nesting is a type of parenting where the children live in one home full time and the parents alternate who stays with them. It is an unconventional method that has many benefits for the children even though it can be difficult for the parents.

According to Psychology Today, choosing to practice nesting can be quite beneficial to your children because it eliminates the need for them to adjust to two homes and helps keep a sense of normalcy in their lives. However, the biggest challenge is making it work for you and your former spouse.

The setup

The basic idea of nesting is that you keep the family home intact. When it is not your time with the children, you will need to have an alternative place to live.

Some couples decide to rent or buy another home or apartment that they both use. Since one of them is always with the children at the family home, they are never in the second home at the same time. Others decide to get separate second homes in which to live.

The issues

The main problem with nesting is often the second home or homes. Some families cannot afford for both parents to get their own places separate from the family home, which means they have no choice but to share. This may not work for a couple who had a rocky divorce or where trust issues exist.

Another issue is that it requires working together all the time. Not only do you have to parent together but you also must maintain the family home together.

The benefits

Nesting can also make things easier. You will never have to worry about the children getting their things packed to visit the other parent. There will be no issues with them leaving something behind as they travel back and forth. It also creates stability for the children, both mentally and emotionally.