Monday, March 8, 2010

Obviously my belongings have sex when I'm sleeping...

Because the more I get rid of the more I seem to have.

I have a LOT of stuff. I used to be a saver. Grandma was a pack-rat and so is my Dad. So I've tried not to save too much. But I do. Not "Hoarders" or even close but there is just a lot of things involved with having 3 kids.

I have given away or sold a TON of stuff. When we moved here I gave about 7 Rubbermaid bins of clothes to a local service agency for refugee families and their kids. This was 7 bins of kids clothes, boys, up to about size 6. I buy a lot of clothes for my kids... I don't do that anymore.

I've given to The Salvation Army, neighbors, co-workers of my ex, Goodwill, friends, FreeCycle, total strangers. I've sold at consignment shops, eBay, on Craigslist and yard sales. A friend purchased a bunch of things from me. Yet I still have too many things. I sent a bunch of stuff with my husband when we split up.

Books, gave away hundreds to various people and places. Now I only save a few. Magazines, I drop at the library when I'm done.

I think I'm doing OK but....

My family recently sold my Grandmother's house. She had a lot of Christmas decorations. My parents no longer go crazy decorating for Christmas. They had a lot of decorations. My sister converted to Judaism about 25 years ago. She had a lot of Christmas ornaments. Guess where they all are? Yeah. You got it. I, literally, have enough ornaments for about 4 trees. And most of them mean a so much. The ones from my Grandparent's are easily 60+ years old, the ones from my parents are full of memories. My ex and I never went out and bought a box of generic ornaments. Everything has a story. He took some this year for his tree but wants to return them. I've given a few away to friends. I'll put away a bunch for my kids (who I've already started purchasing an ornament for each year that they'll get when they have their own place.) My nephew (the reason my sister converted) shows no signs of getting married. I've told him when he does she can't be Jewish; I simply have too many ornaments. He finds that funny.

Thank God I'm organized because it could get ugly very quickly. I've worked really hard to overcome my "I have to save this" forever tendencies. I've recently become enamored of people who live in small houses with very little "stuff". I'm working my way towards that. Slowly. I finally realized that most of the things I have I don't want. So big, huge yard sale this spring. Get rid of things, make some money, all good. Now I just have to stop things from coming into my house. And teach my belongings safe sex...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm Tired of the Pettiness...

We share custody 50/50 with the kids alternating weeks with us. It was my idea and I thought it was a fantastic one.

It's not.

It sucks.

The boys are not doing well in school.

My daughter frequently tells me "I want us all to be in the same house"

I don't get copies of school papers, announcements, invitations, etc. from the week their with their dad.

Per mediation I started sending a weekly email about what went on during the week and any future events that I knew about. No response.

I told him I was going to give him either the originals or copies of all the papers that came in so he could see what was happening and hoped he would do the same. Nope.

Part of me thinks I should let it go but god damn it! I want to know what's going on when my kids aren't with me and I don't.

When I bring this up to their dad he says "You wanted this divorce, you got what you wanted, my anger is justified. I think I'm doing a good job."

And for 6 months I've tried to be patient that they'll get their routine and things will smooth out. Well, it hasn't happened and my kids are suffering.

So I'm going to tell my lawyer I want one of us to have primary custody with the other parent seeing them on weekends and school breaks. I HATE the idea of this schedule but I feel stuck. I also hate the idea that there is a chance I might be the weekend parent but I think asking that I be the primary parent is just asking for a battle that my kids would be dragged into. As I write this I still am not sure I'm doing the right thing but I feel helpless when I watch my kids suffer.

I'm tired of the pettiness. I'm tired of being the only one who thinks school is important. Who thinks they need their teeth cleaned regularly. Who really doesn't want them sitting in front of a TV/Computer/Video System all day.

I think I probably sound whiny and sorry for myself. I'm not. I started this process and I knew it wouldn't be easy. I just didn't realize how mad he would be. He didn't love me, didn't want to try to patch things up, had no interest in doing anything as a couple or a family. I always thought he was just waiting for me to make the first move. I now think he just would have stayed until, well...who knows.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I wake up almost every morning with thousands of thoughts running through my head. Some of which I think would make a great blog post. Then my day starts and those thoughts get absorbed into...somewhere and real life comes in.

How to start a blog... I've decided to just jump in at the current point in my life (oh, and it's a crazy one) and see how it goes. Bad grammar and all!

I'm in the process of getting a divorce. Hopefully it will be final in the next few weeks because it's been crazy. We have (kind of) agreed on a schedule that seems to be working OK. We each have the kids for a week, Monday to Monday. Seems like a long time to be without my kids and also a long time to be with my kids as a single parent but it's working so far. We both see the kids even when they aren't "with" us: dance, scouts, swimming, school events. I've not gone a week without seeing them and their Dad has only had a few weeks where he has not spent at least a bit of time with them. Most importantly the children are handling it as well as can be expected.

My issue... For 12 years I've been the at-home parent. My ex was pretty traditional in his views (how a "Free to Be You and Me" raised, child of the first female manager in her company, daughter to a seasonal at-home Dad ended up in that type relationship is still a mystery): he was the "money-maker" so his schedule came first. I did work part-time occasionally, when he wanted me to, but it was difficult because if something (read-anything) came up I was the one picking up the slack. And I was mostly OK with that. It's what I wanted when I decided to stay home with the kids. What I wasn't OK with was him not realizing just how hard it was at times. Perhaps minor but one of my major issues was self-care. If he needed a hair cut he made an appointment and went. If I did I checked his schedule or lined up a babysitter or relied on friends or took them with me. I rarely went to the doctor alone (how I wish I had snapped a picture of my legs in stirrups and a little face peering over my foot wondering what the hell that was...). He has never been at the doctor with anyone but himself.

Not blaming him for it all. I let a lot of it happen. So now this...

It's Monday. Boys are off to school but our daughter is home sick. With me. It's "his" day but I have her. This has happened before. Part of me doesn't mind. I hate the idea of my kids with a babysitter when they're not well. I also have no idea who he would get to care for them. But he still relies on me to fill in for him when he can't be there. He just hasn't figured out the planning involved in scheduling and juggling. He hasn't had to. I've tried many time over the years to explain how I thought he viewed his time as more important than mine but he never got it.I could go on-and-on but I'll just say that I finally realize he was very, very set in his ways and I could continue to talk, explain, beg, bargain, compromise... but he wasn't going to change. I had to accept it or move on.

Well, here I am but I don't feel all that "moved on" to be honest. Do I say "She's sick and can't go to preschool today I'll drop her off to you at 8:15 this morning" and let him figure it out? I'm pretty sure he would give me a hard time about it which I'm afraid would ultimately affect our daughter (understand he is not abusive or neglectful in any way) but maybe not. She loves her Dad and has a great time with him. Maybe to learn to be a parent he actually has to parent during the hard times. Clean the vomit, bring the water at 3 AM, rub a back until your arm wants to fall off. He's said it to me, literally, "V is sick, I'll bring him to you after M gets on the bus". I've not complained, too much. I'm not currently working but am looking. By the fall I hope to be working and enrolled in a MSW program so he's going to have to have a fall-back that's not me. I'm not doing anybody any favors by NOT insisting he find that person now

It's just hard to be assertive after almost 17 years of not being that way... It's time though.

Friday, December 18, 2009


First post. Waiting for the words to start flowing....

OK then. Not sure where I'll go with this. Why blog? Well, a few have helped me immensely these past few months so maybe I can help others a bit.

I'm a 40-something Mom of three who lives in chilly (currently) NH. Raising 3 fun, active, slightly crazy-making kids. Getting divorced and learning to be independent. I am one of those women you read about: followed husband around while he got promoted, kept the home fires burning, never earned that masters degree, now what...

Now I'm done following and ready to lead. Even when I have to do it on my hands-and-knees. Let the journey continue!

Join me?