Friday, November 2, 2012

Co-Parenting, Marriage, Dating

So very many things going on lately, but most importantly my children are still surviving, despite my parenting skills.

I’m not saying I’m a horrible parent, but what I am saying is that there are days I’ve got no flipping idea what I’m doing. Every day I worry that I am messing up my children for life. My only real hope is that they grow up to be independent, happy, healthy, productive members of society. How to do that… I’m not sure.

I do know that right now my 8 year old little girl is sassier than I was at 13 and I was a mean kid at 13. My 4 year old whines a lot. Something didn’t go her way… solution: WHINE! AHHH! Some days if Elle’s not sassing then Rylie’s whining. It’s a vicious cycle and I’d like to change it.

I also know that my 8 year old needs to know that the man she calls dad, is not her biological father. I haven’t exactly spoken to my ex about this, but this is a huge secret we’re keeping from her. I can’t do it much longer. My journey in life was a difficult one, especially in childhood when my parents were in and out. I want to do whatever I can to provide a healthy, nurturing environment for her that is filled with love and truth. (For both of my girls!)

Yesterday, Elle was mad at me and started crying about how they (her and her sister) don’t get enough time with their dad and their (recently married in) step mother. I felt really so hurt when she said this. I’m trying to be fair and give equal time but I’m also trying to provide consistency and schedule, specifically during the school year. Part of me doesn’t think he deserves more time with them. The time we spent as a couple, I struggled to get him to parent with me. When we split, he took off. He barely had parenting time, because he chose not to. He didn’t participate in their daily activities and certainly didn’t help plan significant events and occasions for them. It was only when he started dating his, now wife that he started stepping up to the plate. That’s also the man she knows. She thinks he’s perfect and an amazing dad… she’s been quick to judge me as a person and as my children’s mother. I’m offended and hurt. It’s hard to believe that your children are hearing positive things about you when they are away with people that truly dislike you. I try to explain things to my girls as positively as possible and not talk shit about their father even when I really, really want to throw something at him. (Not that I am a violent person.)
AND THEN… I do recognize that they deserve more quality time with their father. Everything is serious so hard. There’s no perfect answer or correct way to do things.

Their father and I actually have a fairly decent relationship. It’s just those few times when things aren’t addressed or worse are not handled in the most appropriate ways. This is a co-parenting situation and I really hope my ex realizes that even though he is married it doesn’t give her rights to being a parent, considering he (fortunately and unfortunately) legally doesn’t have any rights himself.

I understand that these two are now together for life or until divorce and that is quite alright with me. But I’m a momma bear. If you come between me and my cubs I’m going to get angry and go into protective mode. I say this because when I feel like they’re overstepping their boundaries I feel like taking things to court as removing all rights. I obviously haven’t but I sure want to sometimes (even though it’s just spiteful and I have no desire to hurt my children.)

I have sole physical custody and I am never going to allow my children to be split up. Another thing I’ve been thinking about lately. So my ex got married this past weekend. They were supposed to get married in a two years or something as then suddenly its next weekend. No one told me. I couldn’t talk to my girls about them participating in a wedding and be excited for my children. But when I found out I tried my best to support Elle, specifically because she was so excited. The pessimistic side of me thought maybe they were up to something devious, like court and children. Then I hoped she was knocked up or that they truly were that in love and didn’t want to wait any longer. I’m hoping the last one. But I’m still a little worried will have to go through some huge court thing.

Like I said so many things running through my mind…

Last but not least, I’m hoping that there can be boundaries and negotiations as to how parenting and dating, co-parenting and having your partner place a significant role in your children’s life. That’s another things I want to work on. I know that there are certain things that my partner doesn’t like about my parenting or my children’s behavior and I would really like to find a solution to help everyone participate productively in each other’s lives.
I’m one lucky girl. I have 2 amazing children. I’m been somehow given a wonderful man who makes me happy, helps and supports me. There are two little girls that make him so happy and call him daddy, I’m grateful are a part of my life. I have trustworthy, kind friends and constant opportunities. We’re a healthy family and I couldn’t ask for much more. I just hope I can give others the happiness they deserve.  

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