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My Childrens Father – AKA My Ex

 

 

Within the past two weeks I have done the following:

  • Worked from 8AM-5PM Monday thru Friday
  • Commuted to said job 40 minutes both ways
  • Found out about the death of a friend, attended the funeral and wake
  • Witnessed the birth of my third grandchild after 27 hours of labor – all of which I was there for
  • Taken care of my 12 and 16 year old boys except for the weekend they were with their father (from Friday night to Sunday evening) – which includes feeding them, making sure homework is done, clothes are washed,  children are clean, rooms are picked up, children are happy….etc.
  • Planned meals, grocery shopped (for our household of 4), cooked and served said meals
  • Paid bills (some of which weren’t mine………..)
  • Planned, shopped for and prepared a meal for 15 people – half of whom were my boyfriends family
  • General household duties – ya know, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning
  • Homework for the 3 classes I’m taking this semester
  • Had my 6 year old grandson one night for a sleepover


Suffice it to say, I’m your typical, busy single mom.  So WHY on this earth do I have to endure my ex, the father of my children, making my life any more difficult? WHHHYYYYY?????

Here’s the issue:  my 16 year old doesn’t like my new boyfriend. Honestly,  I’m not certain he would like any man in my life that wasn’t his father.  How does my ex try to help with this?  By telling the 16 year old he can come live with him if he wants – in a different school district, in an unsuitable neighborhood, and with little to no supervision (from the ex).  W.T.H.????  This, makes the 16 year old incredibly defiant – and why wouldn’t it?  Now, he thinks he has options.  And from his point of view, pretty good ones.

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Here’s what happened:  I receive the 16 year olds five week report from school – not good.  Three, count them, THREE grades below passing.

A little background for you – the rules in my house when there are failing grades are #1.  No electronics   #2.  You’re grounded – period.

After a conversation discussing the rules with him and telling him to hand over his phone, he gets lippy.  My response:  “If you don’t like it, call your father and have him come get you”.  He angrily hops up, stomps off and calls his father with that “I’ll show you” look on his face.

Now, I know how this is going to go – I’ve parented with this man for over 25 years.  I KNOW he doesn’t want full time kids (he never did), I KNOW he won’t come get him (it would be too much of an inconvenience) and I KNOW that somehow he will twist the situation to blame me.

Ten minutes later I find the 16 year old crying in his bedroom because his father won’t come get him.  Shocking.  I feel horrible for him – absolutely horrible.

I get him back downstairs to talk.  He hands over his phone.  He understands he’s grounded, asks “how long”.  I tell him as long as it takes for him to get his grades up.  He’s still crying.  He’s heartbroken.

I’m heartbroken for him.  This is not how it is supposed to be.  The reality, however, is that it IS how it is.

Why would a parent do that to a child?  Why would they tell them they could come live with them if it wasn’t true?

There it is – there’s my rant.  I hate this co-parenting thing – I hate seeing my children hurt.

My hope is that they know I am always here for them.  ALWAYS.

I know so many of you have gone through similar situations.  I would love to hear how you handle it.  How do you cope and make sure you’re doing everything humanly possible to raise happy kids?

Peace and love my soul sisters.

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5 Things I’ve Learned as a Parent

Now that you’re a “seasoned” parent, how do you respond to the young, non-parent who makes the comment “MY child will never…..(fill in the blank)”?

I’ve learned over the years that the best response is no response.  Those people will never fully understand until they have children of their own.  Even then, they still might not get it.

~ I’VE LEARNED that each child, while somewhat similar, can be extremely different from each of their siblings. What worked with one, may not – and probably WILL NOT – work with the others.  Take the time to find what works with each child.   You will make their (and your) life so much simpler.

For example, my oldest daughter could have cared less about “things”.  She would not, no matter what I did, clean up her toys.  I could threaten to take them, ground her, etc.  What worked with her was having me bring a chair into her room, park my butt and point to each item and make her pick it up (or else I’d be in her room FOREVER).
Her younger sister, however, would frantically run around picking up her toys at the meer mention of them being taken (because I actually emptied her room one time).

~ I’VE LEARNED that kids are going to hurt your feelings.  They are going to say things when they’re angry at you (which will be frequently) that sting.  DO NOT, under any circumstances, let that deter you.  You certainly have a right to let them know they hurt your feelings or that what they said was inappropriate, but don’t gimp out or they’ll keep doing it.

~ I’VE LEARNED that its important to spend individual time with each child – even if its only a few times a year.  Take them to a movie or to lunch.  These will be the moments they will cherish – not a clean house.

~I’VE LEARNED that you need to accept your child for who they are – not who you wanted them to be.  This was difficult for my kids father and was ultimately what drove us apart.

I know that when I first set eyes on my daughter after she was born, I never once thought “I hope you have your first child when you’re 19”.  Hell no……I was angry.  So I get it.  You have dreams for your kids; you want them to have a better life than you did and you don’t understand why they can’t just listen to you.

Once I got over it and accepted my daughter for who she truly is rather than who I wanted her to be, I felt more at peace and so did she.

The simple fact is, they’re individuals and they’re going to do and be what and who they want.  It’s more important for me to have my daughter in my life than for me to be upset over something I can’t change.  And by the way, who she is, is pretty great.  She may not be living the life I had envisioned for her, but she’s happy, healthy and is a great mom and a contributing member of society – isn’t that all we ultimately want?

~I’VE LEARNED that even when we think they don’t hear us, they do.  They’re not going to admit it – at least not until they have kids of their own (if you’re lucky).  I still smile to myself when I hear my kids repeat something I’ve said that I SWEAR they completely ignored.  They’re listening – trust me.

~I’VE LEARNED that I have just as much to learn from them as they do from me!  They’re pretty wonderful people!

 

Have a wonderful, family filled, fabulous weekend!