I think I’ve got post-holiday blues. Well, that, and some serious cramps. Blugh.
I woke up this morning with a really heavy heart. You know, that sort of sadness that sits on your chest the way a cat does, only without the lovely comfort and purring? That sadness that just lingers; a heavy weight on you.
It’s about my kids. I miss them. I miss that I only get to spend half their lives with them. (They’re at my house for one week, and then at their dad’s and we alternate holidays.) I’m sad that my son has so much anger in him, and I can’t seem to help him express it or let go of it. My daughter seems to have adjusted better, but I worry about her too.
I’m sad that I’ve somehow become this monster in the eyes of my ex and his wife, when really all I’ve tried to do is be business-like in my approach to them. I spend a lot of time trying to ‘soften’ the language in my emails (it involves smiley faces, lots of questions about how they’re doing, and remaining vulnerable and open) but their emails and correspondence haven’t changed toward me. They’re still succinct and business-like. I guess the language thing only applies to me.
I’m sad that his parents have stopped responding to my emails, and for the first time his mom didn’t contact me to have lunch and catch up when she was in town for the holidays (They live in Canada; a twelve-hour drive). I’m not sure if this was her choice, or pressure from my ex, or pressure from her husband, or maybe even my ex’s wife. They think that my having a friendship with my ex-mother-in-law is wrong. It was never about trying to manipulate or even talk about my ex with her. I genuinely like her, care about her, and wanted to continue a relationship with her. She is, and always will be, my kids’ grandmother.
A couple of a weeks ago my ex was yelling at me and saying “When you left, you said the kids would be fine, and they’re not.” Essentially, he was saying “Look what you’ve done!” I honestly don’t understand. My ex is so much happier in his new life. I am so much happier in mine, and I truly have the perfect partner for me now. I don’t believe for a second that the kids would’ve been better off if I’d stayed, because I would not have been better off. They need a stable mom, and that’s who I am now.
I do the best I can. I’ve never claimed to be perfect. I do try very hard to be loving, supportive, understanding, open. I try to listen and support, not just my kids, but my family, the kids’ dad and stepmom, friends. And it saddens me that I can’t have a relationship with my ex’s parents, even though they’re the kids’ grandparents. And it saddens me that there is half the time when I can’t be there to help my kids. I chose co-parenting thinking the kids needed their dad as much as possible. (My dad was not present until I was thirteen, and even then, not very much.) Part of me wishes I’d fought for more time, like 75/25. But I didn’t want to put the kids through a custody battle.
I wish I had the power to fix this. I wish I could make transitioning between the two houses easy for my son. I try to talk to him, get him to name his emotions, but it doesn’t work. I wish he and my daughter could understand that I made all of the choices I did with them in mind FIRST, not last. I wish that my ex’s family had a wider understanding of family. That you don’t have to choose sides. My mom says that “Love is something you don’t take away from people. It just grows.” There’s plenty to share.
So. Heavy heart. I know I’ll get through this. Kealoha helps. Having the kids here for a week at a time helps. We’ll get my son counseling. And some day I’ll be able to explain so that they’ll understand.
But right now, I really wish they could be with me and Kealoha all the time, and the whole trying to parent 50/50 is breaking my heart. And I think maybe that’s what the heaviness is.