March 24, 2011

The Solution...for now

Last week was really rough.  I didn't even have motivation to write.  As many of us did, I was glued to the news about what was going on in in Japan with the earthquake, the Tsunami and all of the devastation and loss of lost ones.  I was also going through a tough time coming to terms with the fact that I was going to have to do what was best for my children.  Previously I had mentioned that Thing One was needing his father more than what he normally was use to.  It has progressed into a little bit more of stress induced bed wetting and has put this mommy's heart into a spin.  No one likes to see their child go through pain. 

Big Cheese and I have had no custody agreements or visitation set up by the courts, we have just agreed for the most part on what works for the kids at the time.  It has worked more or less until now.  Big Cheese has a work schedule that fluctuates every 6 months and we have to revisit how we are going to make arrangements with the kids and such.  He rarely has had the babies over night, because he works nights.  However he does get two days off of work and he for the most part has not asked to have them stay over night.  This has worked because of the simple fact that our children were still very young. 

Thing One has been asking for more time with Big Cheese.  I brought this to Big Cheese's attention in hopes that discussing it we could come up with a solution on having both children visit over night.  It has been a battle since I brought this up.  Two weeks ago Big Cheese promised to spend a Sunday into Monday with the children.  The week before this was to happen Big Cheese informed me at Thing One's soccer game that he was not going to be in town the next week.  That very moment I was sent into mad insane anger.  Thing One had already been told that he and Thing Two were going to their Daddy's house.  One thing I cannot handle very well is that my child be disappointed by something completely preventable. 

I took action and put my foot down.  Some call it spiteful, some may even call it vindictive, but I had to do what I had to for my children's sake.  The Monday following his "vacation"  I informed him that I was no longer allowing him to see the children all week as we had previously planned.  He had always said that he did not want to have the children over the weekend because: 1.  He spent all week with them Monday through Friday and he needed a break.  and 2. I always did stuff with the kids on the weekend anyway.  I explained it to him that if he thought he was spending too much time with them that we could cut his visitation to one day a week and every other weekend. 

I saw shock in his face.  My stomach churned from the stress of the decision I had come to.  I was uneasy with it, I wanted what was best for my children and I felt as if I was being cornered to make decisions based on the inability of others to see the whole picture.  Somehow coming to this decision empowered me a bit because even though he was angry and my children had to adjust to the change, I was trying to do what was right by my children.  I could see if this was a battle for time for myself(which I need from time to time) how this can be seen as wrong.  Mostly I was doing it for Thing One and his struggle to come to terms with separate homes.  That made me able to get through all the turmoil in my head. 

Wednesday came and Big Cheese picked up the children.  Thursday he returned to the babysitters home to pick up the children.  He again was shocked that I wasn't going to allow him to take the children.  Big Cheese called and I stood my ground and explained as to why I was doing what I was doing.  He started to cry and tell me that he could not stand seeing the children cry when he left them and that he loved them.  This is when I believe my point came across.  "I go through that same feeling every time you promise our children you will be there, and then you dont' come through".  The silence after that statement was deafening. We actually calmed down and talked about having the kids go over to his home every other weekend.  I even asked if he needed time to himself during the week so that I could make arrangements to have the baby sitter take the children more days.  To my surprise he said no, I'm ok. 

My head stopped spinning, my heart was happier.  Not only was I being heard, but I was being heard because of the love we both share for our children.  I would say it was a great moment for us.  Co-parenting is not an easy thing.  People get hurt, children get hurt, but when it works for the best my heart sings.

Have you ever gone through a difficult time co-parenting?  How did things ultimately work out?
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