Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Changes



I have to say, August was not one of my best months. I am quite happy to see that little bugger go. We went through a lot of changes in August. Ed and I decided to put Molly and Zach in daycare when school started back. Now, Molly is 3 and Zach is 2 and neither have spent a single day in daycare since they were born.  Ed stayed home with them. Abby also had to go into after school care since Ed decided to go back to work. I guess, divorce kinda puts a kink in the best laid plans! Anyway, it's been a rough couple of weeks.

Abby, of course, is doing great. I actually got a call from her teacher the other day expressing what an amazing job she is doing. She is still in a single gender classroom and that girl is just thriving. She didn't like after school care at first, but now loves it. Her homework is done by the time we pick her up and she is ready to just relax and play. Abby is my solid girl, just no worries there.

Zach has adjusted quite well to day care. He and Molly are going to a large Baptist church care here in town and I am quite pleased with the level of care. I pack their lunches each day, something I've never done, but I have gotten into a pretty good routine with it, I do believe.

Molly, on the other hand, has struggled.  Today was the first time that she did not cry prior to being dropped off or while being dropped off. At first she came home crying, went to bed crying, woke up crying...there were a lot of tears. I was calling the school each day to make sure she was OK, which she always was. This week, however, it cooled off enough for her to be able to go out on the playground. This has made her world right side up once again. That child loves to be outside. I have received some wonderfully, kind notes from her teachers each day as well. 

So the daycare/school transition seems to finally be smoothing out.

Now the next transition. This one is the hardest for me, though I know after much thought and discussion with many people that it is the right thing to do. Since Ed is no longer keeping the kids during the day we have decided to share custody. Apparently more and more divorced parents are going to this system. On top of that more and more family court judges are ruling in favor of shared custody. Obviously it was Ed's idea. I will admit that, I just assumed he would see them every other weekend and maybe an evening during the week.  When he first approached me with this I was blown away. But, I am the type of person to react first and then once I calm down discuss it with as many people as will listen, I usually can look at things rationally.

This is the best of both worlds for the kids. As Ed said, why do I have anymore right to them than he does? He is the one that stayed home the past few years, he made sacrifices just as I did. Also? He is very close with the kids and I support that. So, I will have them for a few days, then he will, and we will rotate it such we each have them every other weekend and no longer than 3 days without seeing them. It works out to them being with each parent 50% of the time. At first I worried about the kids feeling they were constantly shuffled. I think we can avoid this. Part of our deal with trying this is the understanding it will only work if we are on good terms. Let me tell you, Ed and I have not gotten along so well since long before we split up.

We both want what is best for our kids. They come first. Part of what is best for the kids is seeing that their parents are friendly. This does make things easier, especially when the kids are as young as ours are, it just makes it smoother for them.  Does it break my heart to pack up half of their clothes? You bet ya. It is tearing me apart on the inside. However, I also know that having 3 young kids is very hard. Patience wears thin. I promise you I am spending more time with my kids now, physically, than ever before. When they are here at my house I am tuned into them. This is part of the reason I haven't been blogging as much, from the time they get home until the time they go to bed they pretty much have all my attention. I am fresher, I am nicer, and I am much more fun for them to be around because I make the most of every single minute with them.

How many times, have we all put something before our time with our kids, or fussed at them a little more because we took for granted there was always tomorrow to try again. Well for me, every second now counts and I make sure I am completely present with them. This arrangement is already working in the best interest of my kids. 

You know, I've always heard the old saying, "to have a child is to forever have your heart walking around outside of your body". I never realized how true that was until I learned I have to let go a little in order to get a lot back in the long run. My kids are amazing, happy, well rounded, joyful children. I will do everything I possibly can to continue fostering their growth and to make sure they never doubt how very much they are loved and that I will always be here to offer them a "soft place to land".

3 comments:

Jay said...

It's always tough but the kids definitely deserve to spend as much time as possible with both parents. I know so many people who use the kids against their ex and it's just so wrong.

Mandy said...

Jay-yes, we both agreed to put the kids first, and that is what we are both really trying to do. I am sure it will get easier as time goes on and routines are firmly established.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

As long as you both live in the same school district and have open communication with one another, things should become the "norm" soon! I know you all can do it!