Blueberries on his Face

Your child struggling is the worst. It’s so hard to see them have so many issues and anxiety over things. Last year, my oldest child had a rough transition into school and it was a battle all year long. He woke up with tummy aches every single morning and had nothing nice to say about it when he got home. This year is a complete difference and transformation from last year. I am not sure if it is just old hat for him now or if the school he’s in makes a difference- could be both!

This year, however, we are battling with a different child’s struggles. Now, he struggled last year too but it was more mild or well hidden than the issues this year. His issues are behavior both in and outside of school and they are progressively getting worse and worse. From not bringing home assignments and vital pieces of school work/supplies to smearing blueberries all over his face to make the other kids laugh we feel like we are in over our heads.

His behavior feels as though it could be helped if we had cooperation from his other parent and since we don’t get any of that, it is even more difficult to correct. The teacher sends sometimes weekly emails home about her feelings of being stuck and unable to help him. He is a constant disruption to the class. We spend every day after school and on the weekends trying to teach him the habits he needs to go off in the world only to have it all cancelled out over a night at Mom’s house.

Mom is the Disneyland parent and ALWAYS has been. It’s a free for all over there and the rest of us are suffering so badly. But the one that is suffering the most is this child who can’t understand why he keeps getting in trouble everywhere and then can be perfect at Mom’s. Well, my dear boy, that is because instead of parenting you, you are being put in front of a tablet or a video game console where you can zone out of reality for hours and she sees a little angel.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, we parents are attempting to build proper habits, common sense, motivation, and focus in 50% parenting time.

So, for now we keep the faith and walk the uphill battle knowing that the children, the teachers, and the therapists know who is really committed to helping this child succeed. We will prevail over the lazy and neglectfulness and he WILL succeed!

Look out: we are raising some super amazing children to be productive members of society and NOTHING/NOONE will stand in our way!!

Confessions are Delicate Affairs

I had an affair. It didn’t start lusty, hot, heavy, or sweaty but before I knew it I was taken with this man that was not my husband. I woke on a daily basis in my own bed after sleeping beside the man that I had vowed to spend my life with and promised myself that I would be done that day. I would end things and do them the way I was supposed to. Then, the hours of of the day would tick by and I would hear the whispers of my heart telling me that there is no way I can put this fire out. It is burning much too brightly.

My marriage was over. It was over before I allowed my heart to stray. I know this because there is not a chance in the world that another man could steal my heart today. It was my mother who said to me in my kitchen the day that I confessed that I was in love with another man that there is no way that would have happened if my marriage was healthy and if I loved my husband.

Still, it took me over two years to work up the guts to leave my comfortable home in pursuit of my own happiness that was for sure so selfish of me to want with two young children. The truth, I know now, is that my children are happy with two happy parents. The most important lessons I can teach them is to reach for their dreams and to do what makes them happy. My dreams of having a nucelar family ended up not being what was in the cards for me and that is okay.

I still get a lot of flack from people because of the choices that I made. I am not perfect and mistakes were made along the way. Feelings were hurt on many different sides but look where we are now. Pain would have happened regardless and relationships are messy.

I fell in love while I was married but not with my husband. I fell in love with myself and the knowledge that I deserved more. I was no longer happy living a passive life rather I had needs and desires that were not being met.

Surely you have heard the old phrase “once a cheater always a cheater” but sometimes that isn’t the case. I do find sleeping around inside of a marriage to be wrong- I am not proud of it at all.

I am happy to put those years behind me and to continue to build my amazing family that I am blessed to have. It may not be how I imagined it but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Co-Parenting / Single Parenting / Parallel Parenting

Co-parenting. Single parenting. Parallel parenting. Counter parenting. There are so many words for the parenting that one does post divorce. If you Google any of the aforementioned words you will find tons of articles about how to do this, that, and the other thing.

The theme is the same throughout: you got a divorce more than likely due to the fact that you didn’t get along anymore and now you are finding yourself having to navigate the good, bad, and ugly parts of parenting with that person in two different homes. You may get along great for the kids sake or you may hate each other. You may find yourself somewhere in between or on the different ends of the spectrum all within one day.

In my home we have four children. Two of them have parents that co-parent better and better with every passing week. Two of them have parents that can’t have a simple conversation without a fight relationship starting.

Co-Parenting:

My ex husband and I have it pretty well figured out. There are things that I wish he wouldn’t do and I am sure he feels the same about some of my approaches. We have a mutual respect and understanding of boundaries, different parenting styles, and the importance of our children seeing healthy interactions between their parents. We aren’t friends, we don’t hang out, or have any desire to do so and yes, at first we had a rocky start attempting to navigate this new territory. We experience disagreements and hurt feelings on occasion especially when decisions need to be made or something changes with our routine.

Despite the bumps in the road we maintain the same mindset in all that we do: Best Interests of the Kids. Period.

Counter-Parenting/Parallel Parenting:

The other set of children in my home experience parallel parenting and sometimes counter parenting. This is done to the extreme based on unforgivable past issues that put the children in danger. Real danger. As well as continued instability with the other parent. Mom and dad can’t have a conversation without a fight starting- usually started by a condescending attitude from Mom.

In this situation things are not done in the best interest of the kids in both homes. Unfortunately what is in the best interest of the kids in this situation is total separation from the other parent so as to not cause turmoil and to not create a toxic environment for the kids.

Post Divorce Parenting Effects

My children are thriving and growing. The quality time they are able to spend with both parents is wonderful for them. We still have moments where my oldest will ask why he can’t see both his parents at the same time so he doesn’t have to miss either of us. Those moments are hard for me because I don’t want to say the wrong thing to make him feel like he is being dismissed. I believe we as parents are getting better at making time to do things together with the kids still as appropriate. This past Halloween we trick or treated together. We had a joint birthday party last February. I am hopeful for more joint gatherings in the future.

One of his kids is still young enough where he doesn’t see the damage that the arrangement with his other parents
is causing. We see it in the inability to do simple tasks without a melt down, the issues in school, and the level of personal accountability/responsibility. He is so young and impressionable that once we are able to deprogram him from the habits that are formed in his “co” parents home and remind him how things work in society and in our home things begin to improve and he builds this level of confidence in himself and his abilities that is so moving. Unfortunately, it doesnt last because our parenting time is over.

The oldest is growing and changing at a rapid pace that even she is surprised with. She is quickly developing her own voice, thoughts, and convictions. She regularly confides in us small things that to her are huge things. It is my firm belief that how you approach the things that we consider small will determine if a child trusts you with the really big things.

Children are resilient, yes this is true. But, not when all they have to do is try to bounce back from every issue. People often debate how ending a marriage will affect their kids- it’s not the divorce that causes the problems. It is what you do after the fact that defines their life.

Top