As it turns out, this peace between the co-parents thing (other posts are here and here) is really striking a nerve with you all, but it’s definitely making the process of working in a new family situation a bit more feasible for me. At the moment, I’m prepping for my first journal writing classes and I’m trying some new things out when it comes to using my journal to help me through it all. Let’s just say that I’m great at the journal part, but the getting through part is hard as hell.
As of now, my interactions with my co-parent and his girlfriend have been kept to a minimum. For no reason other than I recognized that I need to get use to our new visitation arrangement and all that comes with that. It’s a slow process, but I’m getting a handle on it all in large part because of my journaling. I’ve been taking note of EVERYTHING that’s good and not so great about the situation and where I fit in, and to be honest, at one point I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere. It sucked too. I know, I know, I’m the mother in this situation and we’re invaluable and all, but when you’re living with the fact that one parent has become settled in a more traditional situation than yourself and the youth enjoy it, you kind of feel like the outsider. I’ve been able to write my way through those feelings and I eventually came to the conclusion that I’m not traditional and I’ve never been, so the way my co-parent approaches things don’t necessarily work for me and that’s okay. I had to list the things that make my non-traditional approach the bomb. In my writing I needed to expand and meditate on all of the benefits. It made me appreciate what I have to offer the boys much more and celebrate the well rounded experiences they’ll have as a result.
I’ve had to really come to grips with a lot, especially my guilt. I feel bad sometimes that I actually had to ask my co-parent for help. For the entirety of their lives, I’ve been the primary person making decisions for the boys and making sure they have what they need and a lot of what they want. It’s been my calling to pay close attention to them as individuals and as a group, and now I have to share those duties with someone that I’ve had to work to trust, and by default, someone I don’t know, so I don’t trust at all. I always thought I could be superwoman/supermom forever and do all of the things that I want. That’s still true but I didn’t expect it to happen in this way. I’m getting the time I need to be great in my other endeavors, but at what cost? After a bit of recording my thoughts on it, the cost is actually pretty minimal, but guilt can still be a mutha…
Lastly, my less than like feelings for the my co-parent’s significant other were starting to color my attitude about the smallest things. I was finding it hard to give her the benefit of the doubt in our most basic interactions. Grant it, our communications styles are a bit different and that it’s understandable to have hiccups when we encounter each other, but I had decided that I was not here for her. AT ALL. It didn’t (and doesn’t) help that I felt like my toes were being stepped on and after I acknowledged the concern, it didn’t immediately change. Thank God for the journal, AGAIN. I’m still working through the steps, but it made a major attitude shift when I decided to write down all of the ways she’s an asset. When you see a list of pros and cons and the pros are clearly outweigh the cons, acceptance of a decent person isn’t so hard. One journaling session won’t get the job done, but I’ll keep trying.
****Don’t forget to sign up for “When We Journal, We Journal Hard”. Register here. If you follow me on FB or IG, you might be chosen for goodies connected with the class! I love you all and thank you for the constant support!****