As I move further from the divorce. I move further from needing to get out how I feel about it all. But I’ve been in a wave of new “things” that are what I consider “Divorce Fallout” and I figure it’s time for a recap.
J and I are doing great. I went to California and met his sisters, mother and grandmother. Little guy was hit with his family and it was so comforting to feel like I fit in with them. We felt like we were on a honeymoon on the trip, we even kissed at sunset on the beach while my little man was running with the waves. It was great. And even a week of vacation for us never felt strenuous or tense. This feels like we are “forever” people. And I am very OK with it all. All of the doubt and hesitation and insecurities for me have faded and I am just relishing in this life we are building and all the new and happy memories we can create.
I am working on moving in. It’s been interesting and slow but I will get there soon. Hopefully by March. Which was my goal, that I have pushed back about 5 times now.
My newest “fallout” issue with the divorce is some less than fun and less than awesome tidbits. Aside from my normal daily battles with my ex (money… he never pays me for the preschool costs or for his share of the boys daycare costs… he does I just have to basically beg) we have a new ones.
He wants me to enroll him in a sport. Fine. But he doesn’t like gymnastics, because it’s not masculine enough. I put that argument to bed fast. I explained the importance of letting him try it, release energy and assured him that a gymnastics class cannot make your son gay (oh and if he is gay… whatever). I found a “Ninja gymnastics” class that is seeming to be the winner for now.
He went off on me about going out on a night I have the boy for a birthday party of a close friend. He heard that I was out with J and not the boy that night through Facebook somehow. He now thinks I go out every night and leave the boy with my parents. Which is not true. That is the first time I have done something like that in months and I was gone for 2 and a half hours. Back home in time for bed time cuddles. We have the right of first refusal in out agreement but the stipulation is for extended periods of time. A few hours is not enough to warrant me contacting him. I had to reiterate that with him and remind him that I do not owe him explanations anymore. He now has told me that he thinks my life is not stable because I go out all the time, I do not provide structure and I don’t spend time with our son. Putting my back right up to the wall.
Not long after this he sends an email asking to switch the parenting plan up. Giving him an extra day every other week. While that is fair, I refused. His reasoning was off base, insinuating it will be easier on the boy (who already does express his frustration with not being able to stay at one home for long) and that it would give me time on weekends to have fun. My stomach churned and ached at the though of less time with my boy. Remind me again how fair it is? I know 50/50 is right, he is his Dad blah blah blah. But I didn’t ask for this life! I didn’t ask to be a part time Mom. When I was pregnant and feeling the kicks of my little peanut I never thought I would lose half of my time with the little life I was growing because some selfish man couldn’t handle the pressures and messy life of being a parent. But here I am, compromising every day. Dealing with the empty feeling of missing my child 3 days a week and this guy wants one more every other week? Some people would say “oh it’s only a day, every other week” or “he’s his father he has rights”. But I say, let me mourn. Let me cry and let me try to fight to be his mommy as much as I can. I’ve lost enough. Let me be selfish just once. He got to do it and implode our lives. I selfishly want to kiss my baby before bed, snuggle his little body, and hear his funny little stories as much as I can.
I was mature in my response. I simply said I am opposed to this plan, I am not rejecting a change in the plan but I am rejecting your idea of doing this outside of a mediated agreement. Lets discuss this at a later date after I have moved in and settled. It’s been about a week. No response in e mail or in person. So I wait. I wait for someone to uproot my life again. I wait for him to decide when he wants to make my heart sink to the floor again. I wait. And I wonder. How long can I do this? Does this always feel so unsettling? Is this really the shit sandwich I have to eat? I have always put our son first. I have always thought of what was best for him, and how much is too much? When do I get to even entertain me. I don’t mean me coming first, I know that is my life as a parent. But when I put his father before me, when can I stop and focus me?
Through all this there was J. Reminding me to stand up for myself. Reminding me that I am a wonderful mother. I was crying in his lap and he played with my hair and rubbed my back. He told me he was here for me, he was my rock. I don’t remember ever feeling so supported and so comforted as I did then.
So here I am. Reaching out to the pediatrician, school district, our divorce mediator and anything else I can think of for help in building a parenting plan that will be the least disruptive for my child. I have a lawyer now too, but I plan to keep this out of court because I am not a fan of litigation. The fight doesn’t end but it does get better to manage with the support and the care of the people you love.