Tag Archives: divorce

Yup, Nope! Not Today

Yup, Nope! Not today..

It is Sunday afternoon I am drinking Diet Pepsi and literally slammed a snack size bag of Cheetos and Oreos. No music. I am listening to my daughter visit with her Dad. I am trying to be calm but if you read what I ate I think you know the level of anxiety he brings.

He is always late for his visits. When he does get here, he stands outside our front porch until somebody lets him in. Today I gave him some updates and reminded him of some appointments and how much everything cost. To which he says “oh … I forgot your check”.I say that’s ok.

It’s not.

But as I mentioned before he hasn’t helped me hardly at all. I don’t trust him to start. It’s hard not to be angry at how little he helps with everything. I texted him asking for our daughter’s dental office number the other day and four hours later he responds with the number and ” I thought your parents handled that.”

When I ask why he doesn’t ZOOM or visit more with our daughter he says because he’s waiting on her. Yup, Nope!

I really try, I  do. I want to get along for our daughter.But he knows what buttons to push and he says he will try but when push comes to shove… yup, nope. That’s Midwest for no. He doesn’t come through.

Which is why we are here.

He didn’t when we were married either. That’s how we got here.

When I was pregnant and we were getting ready for our daughter he didn’t help. Imagine me almost nine month pregnant getting her room ready. Getting the inside and outside of our house ready.I had a hard delivery so we had to stay in the hospital. I reminded him to please clean out your car before you pick us up. 

He didn’t.

It was so bad the nurse wouldn’t let us get in until he cleaned it up.

If you ask him he was always too…

Tired

Busy

I never did enough.

There are always two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

This is hard.

This is frustrating.

But this is what it is.

And at the end of the day it’s not about me.It’s about our daughter.She’s what matters. So I can continue to try through all of it. No matter how hard it is. And it is.

Let’s be honest, no one gets married to get divorced.All we can is try our best. We have some pretty important people counting on us.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

💚Caprise

A List Of Things I Dread -#1

A List of Things I Dread

Number 1:

First Happy New Year Mamas!

We made it….

Thank goodness.

It’s Sunday night and I have sufficiently procrastinated. My new co- writer by my side, although my furry sidekick is asleep. I’m munching on Starburst Sour gummies. Ever since my solo trip to California and being introduced to a sour gummy candy bar provided for the musicians, I always have some on hand.

Music today NEEDTOBREATHE: Banks.

It calms me down.

Tomorrow I go back to work which is not a worry but at some point next week I need to talk to my ex husband about our daughter.

Specifically that she will be going to a therapist. 

AND that he will have to pay half.

Money is a tough topic anyway.

With anyone, but someone who you aren’t married to anymore.

Who when you were married kept a spreadsheet of the money he did give you.

Ugh

Here’s the thing. If he can’t or won’t help I can figure it out. I always do. The deal is he is supposed to help.

Which he sporadically does. 

And here’s the thing: it is fine. 

Because again I will figure it out.

I always do.

But what it is how he makes me feel. 

How he has always made me feel.

That he forgets when we met he was unemployed, a college drop out. I was working three jobs trying to pay off my two degrees.

I found him a job, put him through college.

When I left he wrote me a check let me fill up a U- haul and told me I made this choice.

He wouldn’t divorce me for years. So I couldn’t get aid or insurance. 

When he would come pick our daughter he would walk in my apartment and sit down and talk to me about his job and how much money he was making. The women he was dating. 

Finally one day at the urging of my friends I told him he can’t keep doing that.

The fight that followed was so bad that after that every time he came to my apartment my neighbors would make sure they were around.

Flash forward we have been officially divorced for nine years.

But I have had similar incidents. An unfortunate phone call from the lobby of my workplace. A co-worker walking in on him yelling at me.

Veiled threats about taking me to court knowing financially I can’t fight him. 

To the point I now own a house with my parents. They are my buffer.

My anchor. My shield.

All of this is I’ve held onto and I am not even sure I should put it here.

But everyone thinks they know the choices you make. 

Sometimes you let them believe it, it’s easier.

Two years ago I confronted him about an incident with my daughter he lied about, the next thing I know he has a lawyer.

All I want.

All I have ever wanted is a co-existence that is best for my daughter.

I want to be able to just say hey…and have a discussion.

Instead I have to worry.

Should I have asked first.

Do I just pay for it?

I mean the guy on our divorce agreement changed half of college tuition to state college… to save money. 

Will this make things bad again. Especially now that we seem to be at a place of calm. 

So… I am dreading this.

Asking for money.

For help.

Even though he is supposed to.

So this as a single Mom is something I dread.

Talking about money.

In the coming weeks I will add to the list.

Send good juju.

 

Be safe.

Much love Mamas.

💚Caprise

Making It Full Circle

Full circle… that what I would call the last 5 years.  On December 5, it was exactly 5 years since my divorce was finalized in court.  And I feel like my ex-husband and I have come full circle in those 5 years.  Well, I think most of it was just in the last year.  

What is more crazy to think about is that on December 5, 2020… my ex husband and I were having a conversation on going in “together” to buy our children Christmas gifts.  Years ago, we would not even discuss Christmas.  Everything was separate and there was not even a discussion about gifts.  He would have never had a conversation with me about what to get the kids or even asked for ideas.  And today, we are going to sit down and actually discuss ideas and split costs for our kids Christmas gifts.

Actually, the divorce was the easy part of the last five years.  No one prepares you for all the challenges after the divorce is finalized  I have wrote many times about how co parenting did not work for us, how I had to set up numerous boundaries, and how important it was to stay out of the drama…    

In the beginning, we said we would remain friends and always put the kids first, then over the next few years our relationship changed for the worse.  We did not have much communication, it was very tense, many wasted hours spent in mediation and court, stressful situations with our children, etc…the list goes on.  

I have always wanted to have a good co-parenting relationship with ex-husband.  It was what I had envisioned when we went through our divorce.  Unfortunately, my ex-husband had additional influences in his life, which prevented us from having any sort of co-parenting relationship.  I spend the next four years, developing amazing self control.  

I would have not made it through those years without building my self control and learning to let things go.  Its amazing… that I did not lose my shit daily on the crazy requests… 

So instead of fueling the fire, I learned to stay calm and let things go.  I developed insanely strict boundaries. I would only respond to any communication regarding the children and I stuck to the facts. 

I also learned that as my kids got older, I would initiate them to be involved in decisions and speak their minds with both parents present.   I would refuse to be the middle person between them and their dad.  I wanted them to learn to speak up for themselves.  I would always offer support and input, if needed.  And for some reason, my kids tend to feel more comfortable coming to me.  

In addition, the best advice that I ever received was from a friend..she said, “  When it is your time with your kids, be with them.  Do not worry about that they are doing on their dad’s time.”  I kept to what was important, which was the time that I spend with them.  I did not get involved in any outside drama that did not include myself.  

And as much as I wanted to blurt out my opinions and comments to my children regarding their father, I always kept them to myself or my close friends..  

I know I somehow pulled this off because my daughter, who is now 16, brings it up all the time.  Of course, now having two teenage girls, they have lots of normal venting about their father.  

So, After all those challenges, that I had to experience and muddle through… we have made it a full circle…  

Blame it on covid, but we have even had to celebrate a few kids birthdays and milestones together.  Honestly, it took me a while to actually feel comfortable doing this…I have had my guard up for quire awhile and I still keep my boundaries in place. 

I am grateful that we have made it full circle…I believe that it does take time to get through all the muck after a divorce and the challenges will continue.. however being able to make it full circle, gives me hope.  

-Snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Holidays Are Hard

Holidays are hard…I am writing this in a crunch. I am listening to Taylor Swift, a Diet Pepsi that is so flat it’s not worth it is nearby, as is my daughter’s Christmas list.

I have been writing these blogs for almost two years. The first one I wrote as a regular contributor was right around this time and it was about the holidays and that pang. That pang you get as a parent who shares holidays with a former spouse.

Holidays are hard.

Let’s be honest they suck.

That dance you do. My least favorite dance by the way.

I wrote that blog from my perspective.

I didn’t stop to think about my daughter’s Dad. More importantly I didn’t stop to think about my daughter.

We have been attending this “dance” for almost eleven years. One year Santa didn’t come until the day after Christmas. She has had to wait. Ask me to share lists. Some people think she gets two things isn’t that great.

Is it?

So I asked her. How she feels about things. What she wants. She’s thirteen now. 

Well I should first tell you…Last year she put her foot down and told us how it was going to be. She wanted to wake up Christmas morning here, then go to her Dad’s. Then come home. She told me she was mad we waited so long to ask. I said well you were little…

That kind of smoothed things over. 

This year we now have COVID to contend with. Our state has actually mandated no gatherings with people outside of the home. So I asked her…now what? How are you feeling about things?

Meh she says.

What does that mean?

Mom, I can’t get upset about things I can’t control, remember? No point.

Wow. You are much calmer about this than I am. 

I know. She laughs.

I still worry that Christmas is never what it should be or Thanksgiving or Easter…

I will always feel that pang when she goes. I will always worry she is not getting the holidays she deserves.

The older she gets we are talking and making the holidays more hers. As they always should have been as I meant them to be. But as you know there’s no playbook for this. What you think is right maybe isn’t. So you try to make each moment, each holiday,better.

I am thankful for such a great kid in spite of me figuring this out as I go.

And maybe figuring it out wrong.

 

Be safe Mommas and much love.

💚Caprise

The Day

The day…

I am not listening to music. I just finished a very watered down iced latte that I picked up on my way home from work.

This week was the week

Full disclosure I am really bad with dates.

I ALWAYS remember my daughter’s birthday but if there isn’t a calendar reminder for it I won’t remember. (Her birthday being the exclusion)

AND

Except of course the day my divorce was final.

Which was exactly nine years ago. The exact date and time I can tell you as well.

I even remember what I was wearing.

So when I got up on Monday because it was on the 12th… I was already sad. 

I had a good solid cry in the shower.

I put on one of my favorite, comfiest outfits. I took time getting myself ready for work.

On my drive in I listened to one of my favorite songs and willed myself not to cry again.

Here’s the thing. I don’t get sad on this day because I miss my ex husband. Leaving him was healthy for me. It was the right thing. You either grow together or you grow apart. The reality is when someone constantly makes you feel like who you are is not enough… How can you grow?

As a person? Or with them?

I am sad on this day because I am a natural caregiver. I like to take care of people. I am an incredibly independent person but I have parents who have been married almost fifty years. They have family meals. They dressed up together for Halloween. Valentines Day, Birthday, Holidays everyday…. They showed us what it was like to be married to someone you liked, loved and was your partner in crime.

That is what I wanted.

I still do sometimes. But I worry. Always, if I can’t make someone like my ex husband happy. Maybe I can’t make anyone happy.

Maybe I’m the reason.

I know that I’m part but not all.

But no one gets married to get divorced and as someone who honestly never thought they would get married. To have my marriage fall apart.

It hurts.

I thought I did everything right and it still wasn’t enough. And now years later he is still so incredibly angry at me.

So every Fall on a certain day I just want the day to be over before it starts.

Then I take a deep breath and focus on all the positives that have come out of one of the hardest decisions I made.

It’s silly to think hard decisions are ever easy. 

But they make you stronger.

In my case if I’m being honest. Better and I feel guilty for saying this.

Yes, happier.

I didn’t fail because I’m divorced.

It doesn’t mean I’m not lovable or likable.

Hopefully at some point this day will be one I don’t remember. Or at least one that won’t hurt as much.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas 

<3 Caprise 

I Missed Your Birthday

I missed your birthday.

You were at your dads, I’m supposed to “get used to it” and learn to share you but I don’t think I ever will. 

I had you last year, it’s only fair your dad has you this year. I get it. I do, but I’m your mommy I’m supposed to be there for the big deals and yeah,I’m throwing a party for you on a different day but it’s not the same. You’re only two you’re not going to know the difference, but I do. I feel it every child exchange, every missed birthday, every missed milestone. 

I want to be there, I do, but I need to share you and it’s the hardest thing mommy’s ever done. I have practice, I learned how to share your brother and sister but its never gotten easier and now I’m seeing the results of sharing as you kids get older.

Things aren’t always easy, you guys struggle with the back and forth, and I know that and I feel guilty but its necessary. You have a Dad and he has a right to see you as much as I do. We are in this together, you’re lucky to have a Dad so involved in your life and I love and respect that, but I’m also selfish and want you to myself. 

I want you to know I fought for our family. I fought hard but I fought alone. I was fighting for a fantasy. You deserve better than that. You deserve a real family and I know now we are a family, a family I created with you children. I have spent my life fighting for a “real” family and it’s taken me years to discover I had one all along. Once your brother was placed in my arms we were a family of two, then your sister and you came along and made us a complete family of 4. Now we all have each other to rely on and yes you have two large extended families to rely on, but it’s the special little family we have that means the world to me. 

In our little world its just us for a few days at a time and I love those special moments. I may have missed this birthday but there’s plenty more I will get to share with you and I’m learning to be okay with that. 

Serendipity

The Power Of Candy Corn

The power of candy corn…

It’s actually Saturday while I write this. No music too early, but a big cup of coffee. My even bigger shaggy dog is hanging out with me and my teen is in our easy chair. The last few days we have not been far from each other.

This morning she did something she hadn’t for a while. We had a cuddle with before we got up.When she was little. I didn’t need an alarm clock because she would climb into bed with me and snuggle in. I usually could convince her to sleep a little longer. At some point a little voice would say “Mama time to get up I’m hungry.” And our weekends would start.

With everything going on in the world like a lot of people- our world, her world has been turned upside down.She has handled better than most adults, but it has once again changed her relationship with her Dad.

I could tell you  all the things. But the important thing is her and helping her feel safe, loved and secure.No matter how uncomfortable it makes me.And dealing with her Dad makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

I will break out in hives.

I will get inside my head.

Get sick to my stomach.

The laundry list of all the reasons is long. But at the top a few years ago is him taking her out of state without me knowing and manipulating the situation so my daughter lied to me. Took the blame. That night I had gone out with friends, I had a few cocktails. Then after a series of frantic phone calls found out she was three states away. I stopped going out with my friends on the weekends she stayed with him after that.

So when it comes to talking to my daughter about her Dad. It’s tricky. I never want to be that parent, but I also know she struggles with why we aren’t together. 

With that she and I have started a new ritual. Every Friday night she and I lay on someone’s bed with a bag of our favorite candy between us and talk. About whatever she wants.This week the candy was candy corn and the topic was why her Dad wasn’t visiting.  When I talked to him about it I got three different answers. When I talked to her about it I asked her what she wanted. What she needed.She told me a phone call would be good.

It is still tough diffusing him. Protecting her, but it’s my job as her Mom.

I told you last week I made her a promise.

As I wrap this up it’s afternoon and her Dad is with her at the park. A long overdue visit thanks to a talk over a bag of candy corn.

Be safe

Much love Mommas 

<3 Caprise

The Mom Rollercoaster

The mom rollercoaster…….

It is Sunday. As I do music in my ears.. Coffee in my mug. Writing. Today’s. Song is David Gray “This Year’s Love.”  It’s a beautiful lament about someone he loves and the hope it sticks. Not really relevant to this blog but I would be lying if I didn’t say it is definitely hitting some things for me.

Maybe a blog for another time. Today is about my daughter. This extra time while what we both needed has also given us time to have some deep conversations.

Hard conversations.

Painful conversations.

About her Dad and I.

I naturally assumed she was too little to remember the constant fights. I wrongly assumed that even after we left because they weren’t as frequent that would make it easier on her.

I naturally assumed because we didn’t do it in front of her she didn’t notice.

Since I used the word assumed several times. If you are assuming I was wrong you are correct.

My daughter writes. Tons of stories. Her characters are off shoots of her friends and herself. Bits and pieces. Some truths, some exaggerations. Like all storytellers do.

Last night she was telling me about one of her new characters and it opened up a conversation about how much her Dad and I fought.

She point blank asked me why I never shut  him down. It goes without saying I started to cry. 

I asked her if she thought I enjoyed arguing in general. She said no you are incredibly kind Mom.

I said right. I asked if she had ever heard of the path of least resistance.

She said no.

I explained to her. Sometimes it is easier to just let things go then fight back. Other times you have to yell to be heard. For me there felt like there was never a right way.

I can’t tell her – your Dad was emotionally abusive. I can’t tell her I would start to have panic attacks at 4pm everyday because that is when he came home.

I can’t tell her how I had to ask him permission to even change the color of our living room curtains.

Instead…

I told her she is my favorite person. I love her more than anything. I am not perfect, I mess up and I am sorry that she was ever made to feel anyway by seeing her Dad and I fight. But not to feel she couldn’t continue to ask me about things. To not feel we couldn’t continue to talk about things. She needs to know she may not always like the answers and I may not give them to her.

I am not going to lie to you Mommas my heart hurts a little from this. I tried really hard to bubble wrap her from some of this and it appears I forgot the tape.

All I can do is keep talking.

 Keep telling her I love her.

 Keep on keeping on.

This Mom thing is quite the ride,a rollercoaster, but it’s my favorite of all of them.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

And Just Like That…Gone

And just like that she was gone.

I have wrote before about another woman spending time with my kids.   Now I am not sure what is worse… a new woman spending time with my kids or when that new woman just unexpectedly walks out of their lives. This woman came into my ex husbands life about five years ago. And immediately she was thrown into mine and my children’s lives. She wanted to be involved in every aspect of their lives. And now 5 years later, their step mom walked back out.

I always knew she would eventually just walk out. I believe it was just a gut feeling… I can admit now that I was never a fan of hers… never.   Yes, for years I bite my tongue in front of my kids. I put up with her lack of boundaries for myself or my children. I lived with the constant disrespect that she showed to me and my kids for years. And I did this because I knew my kids loved her…

Instead of of participating in any engagement with her, I set up numerous boundaries over the years. I had to set up these boundaries to survive.   I know many of my friends that have great relationships with their ex spouse and their new partner, but this was not the case with us. We could not co parent due to this woman being involved. And its not the story of the jealous ex wife, this woman had no limitations.

For years, I learned to let her be involved in school activities, conferences, religion class, field trips, sporting events, etc. And when I mean involved, I mean from the point of walking into my kindergartener’s classroom and introducing herself as their mom. From volunteering for field trips before I was even included. For volunteering for my daughters summer mission trip, which It did not know about until I attended the meeting. I would just back away and let her do it.   Arguing with my ex, was just useless… and I could not live my life with constant fighting or arguments. I knew the older my kids got, the more they would realize that she pushed herself on them all the time.

Yes, I still believe she did help my children in many ways. And I believe that she loved them…. However one day she just walked out. And I mean she just packed up her stuff and left for good.   My girls are teenagers now, so they had become less close to her over the last couple of years. Like all teenagers, they wanted their space and independence. She had a hard time with that and did not let them make their own decisions. In return, it caused a lot of arguments and tense situations at their dad’s house. And as they got older, they noticed the disrespect that she showed me….

However, my son is still young and impressionable. He was very close to her the last couple years. Since he was the youngest, they would spend a lot of time together.   He respected her and lover her… And he still has a hard time talking about her…. I remind him that she loved him and that she did a lot for him. I still want him to talk about the fun times with her and remember her for that.

I try to be as positive as I can in the situation with my son, without telling him my true feelings and anger towards what she did to them.

As for me, I have a lot of anger built up because I put up with this woman for 5 years. I put up with her pushing herself into their lives. I tolerated her obsession to be included in everything that included the kids. And then she just decided to leave their lives.

And as a mom, I just wanted to protect my children from everything. I always said my greatest fear would be that she would just walk out of their lives, and she did.   I knew I would have to be the one to help pick up their broken hearts. And I let her be involved in their lives, because as much as she paid no respect to myself or boundaries, she was still their step mom.

But the next time, I will not be as tolerating…

-Snarky

http://www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/

It Took A Pandemic To Co-Parent

It took a pandemic to get us to co-parent…Co-parenting during COVID… I have wrote before about how co-parenting is not for everyone.  My ex and I have not co-parented very well over the last 5 years. In the past, we have had minimal communication.  I have spent years developing boundaries and sticking to them.  I have limited the form of communication to mostly email and not engaging in additional texts on parenting.  As long as I kept it to those guidelines, things would stay civil with us.   

Then COVID started and everything had to change.  There is no way we would have survived parenting, teaching our kids, and working from home with how we had co-parented in the past.  We had to start communicating more effectively and become more flexible with our schedules.   

My ex had a very strict schedule with the kids at his house.  I had always been the more flexible parent and had adapted to my kids lifestyles.  My ex had a completely different parenting style than myself.  However, he learned that he would have to loosen the reigns a little to be able to survive having 3 kids at home everyday.  In addition, trying to work from home and following up on their school work.  He had to learn to give my kids some independence and trust them.  And in return over the last few months, my kids have enjoyed being there a lot more.  

We now had to communicate daily about the kid’s schoolwork.  We also had to schedule google meets between houses and teachers.  In addition, we had to be more flexible with our time with the kids.  We basically had to work together so that we were both able to work from home and divide up our kid time.  We had to learn to help each other out, which is something we had not done in years.  We had to be flexible on drop off and pick up times, along with additional time with the kids.  If one of us had more work commitments on a certain day, the other would take the kids longer.  

We also had to trust each other because neither one of us knew what would happen in the next few months.  We had to trust that what each other said or did would be followed through.  We had to trust that schoolwork and similar routines were followed at each house.   This was hard because I had not really trusted him in years and it made me nervous that it would backfire. 

I think one of the things that turned it around was that my son had to celebrate his 1st communion virtually this year due to COVID.  We all got together and my house and watched the 1st communion service virtually on the TV.    Watching it virtually was hard to get used too, but then we all had to sit together in my living room for over an hour.  I had no idea what we would even talk about.  This is the 1st time in 4 years that my ex has came past the front door and now he sat with all of us and we celebrated my son’s 1st communion.  A couple days after that, my daughter said, “ you and dad actually seem like you are friends”.  That was crazy to hear from my daughter, because over the last 5 years we had such limited communication. 

This was completely different from the past.  It was hard to get used to our new relationship.  I had always wanted this type of co-parenting, but it had never happened.   There had always been so much anger and conflict from him over the last five years.  It was hard to trust that he was beginning to be flexible and even supportive of my parenting.  

There was no more questioning on my decisions.  In addition, he was letting the kids make some of their own decisions at his house.  Having the kids notice the difference in our relationship was probably the greatest outcome from COVID.    

I can only hope that six months or a year from our now, we are still communicating and showing each other more respect.  Maybe it’s covid or the amount of time that has passed since our divorce, but I had always wanted my kids to see that we can still be great parents even though we are not together.  I hope that we are finally on the right track…


-snarky

 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/