When I first became a Mother, I thought it was the “hardest” job I would ever have. I was wrong. The hardest job has been being a Mother After Divorce. (With being a Step-parent coming in as a strong second, a topic that could be covered in another post.)
During and following the divorce, the children’s father (CP – Convenience Parent – This is how I will refer to him) has continually said and done things to skew the image my children hold of me. There was a point in time when my eldest child hated me. HATED ME! Loathed my existence. Because CP told her things a twelve year old should not know. Told her, His version of the happenings that led to the ultimate disintegration of our marriage. While twisting the whole truth eventually blew up in His face, He has only been available to “Parent” these children when it was convenient for Him.
This Convenience Style of Parenting, continues to mean that I am the sole disciplinarian, consistent emotional support, social monitor of friends/activities, and defender. CP earns my label of “Fun Parent”. Meaning, He does only the fun stuff. i.e. Buys the children’s affection – takes the kids to movies and/or out for dinner. This is also reserved for the middle and youngest. The eldest does not receive these perks. I will give CP credit for daily phone calls and supplying child support. However, child support is a court mandated form of support and a subject that He continues to try and use to manipulate the children’s opinion of me.
Our custody agreement says, the children go to CP’s home every other weekend. Alternating holidays. With a uninterrupted, two week period in the summer months. When the children are home for a solid two week winter break, and CP is asked what extra days CP would like to have the children (other than the days specified by the custody order). He only wants them for the specified day(s). Convenience Parenting. Example: CP usually says this is because he has to work. I understand this, so I don’t usually get “salty” about it. This year, I learned that CP was home for several vacation days, coinciding with the children’s break. CP did not request to have the kids be there with him. By request I mean, ask the children, if they want to come to be with him. (He rarely makes plans with the kids through me.)
I am not painting myself as “perfect”. I make mistakes. Sometimes, Huge mistakes. In spite of my short comings, I am readily available for my children. I feel they know, when they come to me with an issue(s), I will do my best to help them solve it. They know, no matter what happens, I am safe place. They can be honest with me, and I am honest with them. I will always Want and Love them.
Why am I so salty? I think it is because, I see how hurt my children are by his “rejection”. It is owing to, CP not wanting every possible second with them, is unimaginable to Me? For the reason that, CP does not insist upon the children to be at his home during the time stipulated. Is it due to CP “sticking it to ME”? He pays child support, is He “getting his monies worth” by them being at my home? Is he using them to get back at me?
It is a difficult position, to be a Mother After Divorce. Discouraging, to be the “not fun” parent. Strenuous, to be the one who holds the majority of the load. However, the benefits that I am reaping, by persevering through are priceless. I know that my children love me. Most importantly, My Children know how much I love them.