Redefining Fatherhood

I had a birth father and I have a step-father. Both of them loved me. Both of them imparted wisdom. Both of them caused me some of grief. Continue reading

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Parent Gushing Facebook Translation

In light of the recent flurry of verbose parents’ ranting status updates about their fabulous children on Facebook, here is my translation of the subtext of said posts:

My child is so utterly fantastically superior to most any other child and it must be my uncanny parenting skills that have facilitated such an undeniable fact. Thank goodness, he/she has achieved x, y or z and has a trophy, certificate, report card, beautiful face, exceptional talent or remarkable astuteness (or all of them) to exhibit as indisputable evidence that he/she is a gift to humanity. Actually, thank me for being such an extraordinary parent and being able to produce and rear such high quality offspring. And especially, thank Facebook for enabling me to alert the public to the greatness in their midst so they can be sure to start ass kissing my 2, 5, 9, 12 year old right now before he/she hits the big time. To be more concise, the world would spin off its axis without he/she/us. 

I just wonder sometimes who people are directing their posts to when they gush and brag relentlessly. I know they’re proud. But that takes one sentence to convey, if it needs conveying at all.  Of course I have occasionally, though rarely, been guilty of posting about my terrific children myself – still, I try to at least keep it to one sentence. I don’t think I’m better than the gushers, just get a kick out of pondering how awesomely funny it would be if they just went all out and posted my interpretation of their status updates. I wonder how many “likes” they’d get . 😉

The Ex sure has a lot to say about my parenting skills!

My ex bought my kids iphones. Waaay before I ever would have. And that was a few years ago.

The ex complains that they use their phones too much (bills are too high).

I start enforcing rules and field a steady flow of complaints from my boys that I am too restrictive, too overprotective, none of their friends have these rules, etc.

Kids being kids, the bills are still too high.

The ex walks into my home this morning for an impromptu “meeting” about the most recent bill and proceeds to criticize my parenting skills and lack of responsibility in front of my kids. He also mentions that the woman he spoke to at AT&T couldn’t believe a 10 year old even has an iphone. I try to calmly point out that HE bought them their iphones!!! And, that when he did so, he opened up an entire world of issues and oversight that I, alone, have to manage and it’s actually too much for me.

He smirked and scoffed when I articulated how much I am handling. I bit my tongue. I held my breath. I tried to resist defending myself because my younger boy was crying and begging us not to fight.

It just sucked.

So, NEW RULES

1) Kids’ phones are set up with a mechanism that cuts them off after a certain amount of usage.

2) We will no longer attempt “family meetings”. That it is too damaging to the kids. From now on we can discuss privately and either one of us will relay the outcome, consequences, resolution etc, or we can just put it in writing for them.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST CO-PARENTING IS HARD! WTF????

Holy shit! I’m making a date. To mediate!

So, in light of all of my recent angst and the ever-mounting signs from the universe that I should finally get my divorce proceedings started, I am making an appointment with a mediator for next week!!!

It’s been over four years since my husband dropped the bomb and after countless, sometimes humorous, more often pathetic, attempts to salvage my marriage, I am finally ready.

I’m terrified. But the lure of autonomy and being “actually divorced” instead of perpetually “about to be divorced” is too strong to resist.

This is going to get interesting.

Will I end up living in my parents’ house? Will I move to a new city? Will work opportunities magically appear because I’m finally on the right track? Will my ex use our kids as emotional pawns? Will it get worse before it gets better?

I have no idea. But I’m going to hang on tight and plow ahead. And I’m going to continue to share my journey here so that I can have an outlet and work through it and especially so that you or whomever can get a good laugh or cry out of it. And maybe someone will read and relate and chime in.

Stay tuned…

Spare the rod, but don’t spoil the child…

I’m happy to report that my weekend from hell paid off. It was a small victory. My son learned a little about his powers of self-restraint, boundaries and the importance of staying connected in real life and not just electronically. I can’t say he has transformed. No, he had a tantrum last night and woke up a grumpy 10 year old this morning. But, hey, I wasn’t planning on a miracle, I just wanted to imprint on him that I am not a spineless, waffling, sap who will cave in every time. Continue reading

What to do (or not to do) when your son’s been Inhabited by a Minecraft obsessed troll…

You want to make your life exceedingly challenging? Do what I just did. Ban your child from accessing electronics for an entire weekend. Oh yeah, this was necessary. The original offense was playing on his ipad behind my back before his designated time. His original punishment was just “no more electronics for the day,” but the subsequent tantrum (including expletives, door slamming and extreme face contorting) led to a prolonged moratorium.

We parents have to watch what we say when we are punishing our kids. I had plenty of moments of regret over the past few days, starting with 5:30 a.m. yesterday when my son woke me up (my one morning to sleep in) and proceeded to vacillate between whining, stomping and protesting and cuddling, crying and professing contrition. I finally gave up on any hope of going back to sleep when he began pacing back and forth at the foot of my bed and chanting, “I’m on strike, I’m on strike…”

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Continue reading

Looking back on the day we “told the kids”…

Two little faces, innocent and round. 11am. Awake and alert in anticipation of what that day, that Sunday would bring.

I turned the TV off. “Why?” The boys protested.

“We need to talk to you.” Continue reading

In Divorce, A Broken Heart Is Just The Start…

We’ve all had our hearts broken, haven’t we? Where our chests throb with pain and the agony of withdrawal renders us useless, doomed to a life (though thankfully temporary) of holing up in our beds, eating ice cream (or in the worst cases, not eating at all). Continue reading

Men are Oblivious and Women are Impossible…

Yes, that’s a gross but equal opportunity generalization.

I realize that there are exceptions and nuances in every relationship, but, for the purpose of this conversation, I’d appreciate your acceptance as I generalize a bit.

When I was desperately trying to save my marriage, I went to the best resource on earth, Google, and typed in “Save my marriage.” Continue reading