When you take the decision to break up with someone – the father or your children in particular – you know its not all going to be plain sailing, but you also know that, in some very important ways, life is going to improve – it has to be that way, otherwise breaking up would be unthinkable.
Lately I have found these things really tough:
– Having to live so far from our own home and driving an average of 400 miles a week to get the kids to school and me to work. I spend an average of four hours a day travelling and the kids spend an average of 2 hours a day in the car. I’m spending around £160 a month on petrol.
– Juggling work and childcare with a co-parent who just isn’t willing to take some of the slack. Yes he’s a shift worker and that is generally the biggest excuse, but he’s also told me in no uncertain terms that he will not do anything to ease my life or make things any more convenient for me. He is blind to the needs and routines of the children, and sometimes makes me question myself – am I using the ‘children’s needs’ as a way to try and score some ‘free childcare’?
– My worries over how I’m going to cope in September when my youngest starts school. I have already taken two weeks off work in the summer holidays when our childminders are away on holiday. Now I realise that my little man will be starting school part time, spending just 2 hours 40 minutes a day at school for the first week. In theory that is great and I wish I was in the position to let him continue part time for as long as necessary (he’s a late July baby so one of the littlest).
Unfortunately my annual leave is finite and it just so happens that my parents are going off for the holiday of a lifetime in Canada two days before school starts for two weeks. I think I will have little choice but to take another week off work and just try and put any spare cash (pah!) aside in preparation for the day when I start having to ask for unpaid dependents leave.
– Feeling a bit down about the lack of a holiday: my six year old has started talking about going away and I just don’t know what to tell him right now.
– Worries about my three year old’s current defiance and general naughty behaviour. I know all three year olds go through this to some extent but under these difficult and confusing circumstances it is easy to question the triggers and how all this might be affecting him.
Lately, these things have made me feel happy about where we are at:
– Every now and then I get a flash realisation along the lines: ooh – now I’m solo parenting, from this point onwards it’s ‘my house, my rules’ – there is no one there to undermine me on decisions about what food we have in the house, how money is allocated, how my home is decorated or what I choose to do in my spare time. No more compromising; no more negotiating.
– Leading on from that thought is the idea that I might be able to tackle some of my children’s picky eating habits through having the ability to maintain a consistent approach (obviously not when they’re with their father but that seems to be ‘very little’ right now – he hasn’t had them overnight for three weeks at the time of writing and won’t have them overnight for at least another week and a half now due to his work).
I’m generally a very healthy eater with a wide-ranging palate compared to their dad who is terribly fussy about food and eats a lot of rubbish. Modelling healthy eating to the boys will hopefully set good habits and choices for life.
– Despite the fact that I have just had to cancel and re-book our Mediation appointment for the second time due to his work which is incredibly frustrating, I’m looking forward to finally getting into that meeting room and laying out the bare facts of the situation for him to defend in front of a professional Mediator.
The first goal is to get back to our home town – preferably our own home, at least until the practicalities of separation and divorce are finalised. If he is unwilling to move out and let that happen then we will have to let the court decide – either way I will know where I stand.
– Slightly off topic, but I recently had a change of line manager at work. My previous manager has made life a bit miserable for the last three years (and not just for me). He is a lazy person himself, constantly away from his desk, long toilet trips, off on last minute flexi-time, etc., whilst also being a massive jobs-worth – going out of his way to block annual leave requests, refusing to respond to emails, taking issue with the most minor of dress code violations, you get the idea.
Now I finally have a lovely young lady taking his place as my supervisor who is like cheese to his chalk and I couldn’t be happier! At least one problem male is out of my life!
– My blog life stalled massively when I first split up with the husband two months ago. It hadn’t been too great in previous months either due to his general dislike and mistrust of the world of blogging in general.
I was struck down with a debilitating case of writer’s block – the only things I wanted to say were unfit for publication (hence starting this anon blog!) but gradually as the week’s have gone by I am finding ideas just naturally coming to me again. My headspace is finally starting to be my own (albeit that I generally only get about two hours to myself in the evenings once both kids are tucked up in bed).
– Lastly, I’m feeling grateful that I had the courage to leave and managed to do so at the best possible time – we have (literally) had some dark days as winter tapered off but now spring is kicking in, daylight, a bit of warmth (on occasion – this is England after all) and seasonal attractions opening up (including the worlds of Merlin of which the kids and I are now members – eek!) all mean that we have plenty to keep us busy and distracted despite all of this upheaval.