Someone ain’t happy!

As I had offered to pick up someone else’s kid from school, said to AH that I could get our three if he needed to work.

He got home at 3.50; just as a real estate friend arrived to do an appraisal.  Not sure if he was already in a bad mood or whether seeing her there started it (I hadn’t told him I had made appointments – was just going to give him their responses).  He took all three kids to Master 10’s soccer training and I showed my agent around.  Kids were happy when they got back but all AH could do was bark at them to get their stuff sorted or, if they weren’t ready when he left, they’d leave without it.  He seemed in a hurry to get out – not sure if that was just so he could get them settled at the other house or, having seen on his brother’s FB page that their resident’s visas had arrived and they’d be drinking to celebrate, whether it was because he didn’t want to miss the party.

Had asked around if anyone had a car I could borrow for the weekend (didn’t want Papa to walk from the bus station tomorrow and, as AH has the kids, he has our only car).  Workmate came to my rescue so I told AH I’d have a car and could do the soccer run for one of the boys (Master 10 is playing at 10 am and, on checking online, Master 8 is playing at 8.45).  He told Master 8 to leave his soccer stuff at the home as I’d be taking him, to which I said I thought he would as I took him on Monday.  He said ‘just coz you want the sleep-in’ and that he hadn’t seen Master 10 play yet (as he’d had a bye on Monday), but I didn’t say what I was thinking — that we’re only onto week 3 of a long season so there’d be heaps of time for that!!

Nothing more was said until they were just about to leave, when I pointed out Master 8’s stuff was still in the lounge.  Again, AH said ‘is this so you get the sleep-in’.  I told AH that he’d already said that and was wrong and I’d appreciate it if he stopped suggesting that.  Said Master 8 said on the way to soccer on Monday that ‘Daddy had taken him the first week, so it was my turn and Daddy would be next week’ but if he really wanted to sleep-in, I would take Master 8.  Then asked Master 8 who he wanted to take him – he said “Daddy”.  Asked Master 10 who he wanted to take him — “Mama”.  Out of the mouths of babes, ay!?

Man, if he’s in a bad mood now, how’s he going to be once my Papa turns up on his doorstep on Saturday??!!  Still not sure how I feel about that.  It might make it seem like I want to be back with him and, given things that have happened (especially the turfing out of the home) I really don’t think that I do.

Positives from the day:

  1. getting some more sexy lingerie … hot pink to really shake that fuddy-duddy boringness away;
  2. knowing I have a counselling session tomorrow;
  3. getting the grocery shopping done before I even got to work today.  Have also changed Miss 5’s bed ready for Papa.  Success!
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Better day on the rollercoaster

Felt dread most of the day as expected to receive email from AH or his lawyer stirring some shit after last night’s episode.  He called later in the afternoon to check which child’s parent-teacher interview was first.  I’m surprised.  I hadn’t reminded him they were on as it’s not up to me to be that person anymore.  Great feedback from all the teachers when he asked if there had been any change in the kids: Miss 5 and Master 8 had shown no negative behaviours and were dealing with it really well (in fact, Master 8’s teacher was ecstatic how he’s stepped up this year); Master 10 has had some ‘sad’ moments but they don’t last long, but he is a much more sensitive child so that comes as no surprise.

Had said AH could come back for dinner as the kids wanted it.  I went to get Master 8 from soccer practise while AH went home to get dinner on.  Had a civilized chat while we both worked in the kitchen – asked him how his day was (he seemed to have excuses for a potential situation at work with his new boss; he also doesn’t seem to listen to my advice that it’s not his problem, but neither of those responses from him are unusual).

Have said I’ll get the kids from school if he’s back late from a course in town.  Your day, dude.  Means you need to be there at 3 pm.  Thankfully, I enjoy my kids so will be happy to step in as back-up.

Today’s positives:

  1. Hearing from the kids’ teachers that they’re all dealing well with the split while at school;
  2. Hearing from my Papa – he’s coming down for a surprise 1-on-1 with AH (bit nervous but believe I’ve put the honest side of the story on the table);
  3. Great phone call with another brother (I spoke to one yesterday and another the day before) and the support they’re all giving, along with my parents and my sister makes it really clear in my mind that going back to my maiden name is the right thing to do.  Very lucky!

Whoops!

Well, that didn’t end so good.

AH comes after work to take the boys to swimming lessons.  He asks if “we’ve taken a step backwards” and I ask does he really have no idea why.  He says he’s not sure if it’s from Friday (when I went there for dinner), Saturday or Monday.  I say the reality of bro/GF moving here is starting to play out just as I was dreading with them being involved in the friends’ moving on Saturday/drinks afterwards.  Point out that they’ll now be at all parties held by people who I have instigated the friendships of – and that when I turn up, I’ll feel like its a 3 vs 1 scenario.  Also say it’s going to cause an issue for those friends who will either cause upset to me for allowing AH to invite the other two, or to him for saying he can’t bring them as it’d offend me.  He doesn’t get it .. but never will when it’s my feelings over his brother.

Then I stuff things up.  Say I was upset with the candle as it looked like it came from the $2 shop and that was all I was worth.  He flipped.  “I paid nearly $50 for that.  I didn’t need to get you anything, you know”.  He grabs it and leaves with the kids to swimming.  When he gets back, I apologise for being rude about the candle. [I subsequently find them online for $20].

At that stage, he was still able to stay for dinner.

We speak some more in the kitchen, away from the kids.  He asks if he should return the candle and get vouchers.  I don’t answer – I don’t want the candle and would rather the kids chose me something (plus we’re going to have to separate all our belongings, I’d rather have something that will be of some use.  I don’t tell him that!).  He tells me he’s trying to do things better coz of my alopecia but he’s the one doing all the accommodating and stopping the stress/hurt (implying I’m not), and that all he gets is shut out.  I point out that he knows how I go when I’m hurting.  Apparently I’m not telling him what I want as well, which I don’t understand.  He says how it’s going down the same path as always with me playing the hurt card.

I say I’m disappointed that the brother/GF didn’t say ‘let’s give you guys some space to work out things’ (whether that be getting back together or continuing with the separation) and move further away; that would’ve been the right thing to do.  He disagrees completely and starts telling me that is my issue and I have to deal with it.  His voice has already gone up so I ask him to calm down.  He continues with the attack so I say he needs to go.  He continues.  My voice goes up and I repeat he needs to leave.  He continues, so I say it louder “you need to leave NOW!”.  Unfortunately, all three kids hear and start to cry.  He says his goodbyes and leaves.

Sit down to dinner and discuss what just happened.  I’ve ummed and aahed about whether they should be told that the brother living so close is causing my upset.  I decide they need to know, as we had actually discussed it before we separated (that they shouldn’t live so close once they got to NZ and start their own lives, just like we had).  Master 10 gets it perfectly.  One of them [I think Miss 5] suggests they should move to Hamilton and they could Skype and I say that’s too far not what I want.  Made me laugh tho.  It didn’t take long for them to get over their upset.

AH calls to make sure they’re ok.  Master 10 refers to the earlier incident as “when Mama kicked you out” so, once the phone call is over, I make sure they understand, he was not kicked out; things were getting nastier and the best thing to do was to separate ourselves (and that it was like when I ask them to tidy their rooms and I ask the first time nicely, the second time not so nice, and the third/fourth time, they get the angry voice).  Also explain to them they must learn/practice the concept of “compromise” as neither Mama nor AH are any good at it – yet I can’t see any compromise with this.

Positives:

  1. Have booked 4 real estate agents to come do appraisals this week;
  2. Got a birthday cake from work … wanted to cry as AH has never done this for me over the past 12 years;
  3. My kids’ ability to bounce back from their upset.  This is going to make them grow up a lot quicker – it will also make me have to be better with my feelings and openness, which has got to be a good thing.

Well happy birthday to me!

AWFUL DAY!  Felt so emotional and just couldn’t keep tears at bay.

Didn’t sleep well thinking about how the brother/GF are being intertwined with the friendships that I’ve created (and, yes, as the mum in the playground, they have been created solely by me) – and how, with them living in the neighbourhood, whenever there is a get-together, they will be there.  AH will not know the feeling I’m going to have at every one of these things, as 3 versus 1.  It’s just not right or fair.

Kids give me a card and present when I get up – AH had bought the card, they wrote on it, which was nice.  The present however … OMG!  I seriously am only worth a candle that looks to have been bought at the $2 shop?!!!!  You honestly didn’t think to even give them $5 each to buy something for me??  I’m so offended.

I send Master 10 and Miss 5 down the road to where AH is as they’re heading to judo, while I take Master 8 to his soccer.  See a few of the parents I know and, when I’m asked how things are at home, I just want to break down so can’t even answer.  I manage to stand by myself for the second game so that I don’t have to.

Head to judo as Master 10 is in his first competition.  Really don’t want to have to deal with the other 3 so put it off as long as I can.  Speaking with one of the sensei, when I let him know we’ve separated and have to leave the room.  Unfortunately Miss 5 follows me out so she sees the upset, and refuses to go back in/leave me alone.  Get it together and go say hi.  GF asks how my night out was, and I ask how theirs was.  Had to bite me tongue when she commented how nice the sense of community is/the way everyone helped out with the move … given that AH said only six months ago that he doesn’t believe in ‘community’ (ie volunteering time for the general good).  Nice that he’s all for it, now he can do it with brother and GF.  I’m also dying to ask how many wines she had before driving my children, but don’t.

AH asks how I am and I say ‘not good’.  He wants to know what’s wrong but, what’s the fucking point?  He’ll only tell me that I need to get over it and he’s not going to keep his brother/GF separate from his life here.  Master 10’s fights are over so I leave with the kids (and, no, I don’t offer to drop them home even those it’s started to teem with rain).  Get DVDs and pjs on and have a nice afternoon chilling with them.

I have to talk to AH later to ensure he’s getting the kids for swimming.  He says “so I need to be home at 4.15” … actually, on the swimming days, you need to be at school to pick up the kids at 3 pm, but I say I’ll get them.  He asks again if I’m ok and again, no, no I’m not!  He asks if I can put it in an email but it’d be an utter waste of time.  The brother/GF have taken on a 6-month lease so it’s not like they’re going to develop a sense of personal space and decency to go anywhere else.  Feeling so hurt and disrespected.

Positives:

  1. the amazing empathy my kids have, especially Miss 5 who’d come as soon as she heard a sob (despite my trying not to let her see/hear);
  2. that I don’t need to put any effort into getting AH a present in 12 days’ time … given how low the bar has been set;
  3. the thunder and lightening this evening.  Perfect!

First ‘new’ weekend done

I had a night out with other mums so AH stayed in the house with the kids.  He let me take the car there which was nice.  Got back home as planned at 10 am and he left to the brother’s.  Lovely lazy morning with the kids; before going to pick up a bike I’d bought from TradeMe for Master 10 (AH said he didn’t need one despite Master 8 desperately needing to get his big brother’s one as he’s outgrown his, so I’m going to pay from my money for it).  He offered this afternoon to pay half of it so that it comes from both of us, rather than just me.

I’d had the kids for a few hours in the middle of the day yesterday as AH had offered to help friends move (I had to do some setting up for a judo comp but could at least have the kids with me there).  Being only 8 doors down is not ideal as the kids felt they could go between the houses.  Oh well, they move into their new place in two weeks.  The friends had drinks that evening for those who’d helped move, so AH went there with the kids … and of course the brother and GF.  I was told they left at 7.30 to get the kids to bed, but Master 8 fell asleep in the car to pick up the bike so I think it might have been later.  Not pleased that the kids are having late nights as, I’ll get them back on Sunday and they’ll be exhausted.  Will give it a few week to see if it was a one-off.  Am curious if the girlfriend had many wines before driving all 6 of them home, in their small car too.

Positives:

  1. nice not to have to head to the rental;
  2. playing Headbandz at a friend’s this evening with them and the kids – they all laughed their heads off;
  3. it’s my birthday tomorrow.  Not expecting anything from AH but looking forward to pj day, DVDs and general laziness with the offspring.

Corner turned?? Or setting up for a fall??

Another beaut day and, despite the early 06:52 call from Master 10 from the rental, I wake up feeling refreshed and in a really good place 🙂

I emailed AH at 23:07 last night with the points we’ve agreed (eg. me having exclusive occupation of the home, his ‘daddy’ hours, payments, surname, getting my lawyer to stand down, etc).  I also send through a screenshot of Master 8’s football for Monday .. but neglect to see that this blog features on the it until it’s sent.  SHIIIITTTT!  Hope he doesn’t notice – this blog is for my purpose; not for his!

Amazingly, I don’t get a response from him for over 12 hours!  That’s great, I think – he’s considering things and how to respond, not just perceiving it from him side and flying off the handle.

His concerns:

(a)  remove “exclusive” from my occupation of the family home.  This is a legal term to ensure my position in the home.  Can’t agree;

(b)  reimbursement of his financial contribution to the family home v. my non-financial contribution.  Again, I can’t agree with him; not to be difficult, but because I think there’s an economic disparity that the courts will take into account, even it he isn’t at this moment (ie. I’ve worked it out that he’s paying 1/3rd of his salary to the family; so am I.  Yes, I appreciate I have the family roof covering my head, but for the same outlay of our salary, I have a LOT more work to do surrounding the kids and the house!).

He adds, “if the wording is going to become like a legal document, then it removes the trust and fairness we are working towards” which I dislike.  I’ve worked for over 20 years as a legal secretary.  I have an understanding of legal jargon and I understand its purpose.  So, piss off, if I sound legal, it’s because I want it done right, without a chance for you to fuck things up in a couple of weeks time because you change your mind.

I don’t reply.

Invited to a bbq to at the place the bro/GF are housesitting; only 8 doors down for 4.30 pm.  Nice place but, gee, it’s pretty close to home.  The brothers are ‘braaing’ (ie wood, not gas), the GF having a wine.  The kids are great.  Getting pretty hungry and, being the end of April, pretty damn cold so I head inside and, as the place has no TV, play a couple of word games on the tablet with the boys.  Miss 5 has a meltdown and punches (!) Master 8 in the mouth [I put her outside after she’s NOT had a naughty spot as it’s not my shift, Daddy needs to deal with this]; Master 8 loses the plot over not having his turn once he leaves the room.  Perhaps .. just perhaps .. the kids .. given it’s 8 pm (they usually eat at 5-5.30 pm) .. and normally they’ve eaten, gotten in pjs and are in bed … THEY’RE HUNGRY AND TIRED!!!!).   We finally eat at 8.30 pm.  The food is delicious, I’ll give them that.  But, FFS, end of April in NZ is not the time to light a wood fire for the purpose of cooking meat when small children are involved.  Also not impressed to hear the brother telling Master 8 to put the bottle down and never let him see him drinking the leftovers.  But. But. But.  You olders boys are leaving them enticing them.  This will end badly!

Generally a convivial night but I was happy to get out – not least of all to warm up my freezing feet!  Bro came and grabbed a bear hug as a left which cements my thought that I don’t dislike him.  I don’t.

Positives:

  1. the walk to work this morning, along the Wharemauku path in the warm sunshine;
  2. having a wine with neighbours after an awkward dinner;
  3. getting to the neighbours in pj pants.  That’s the sign of being comfortable in your surroundings 🙂

At last! A calm conversation :)

It’s changeover day so AH gets the kids from school and I take the opportunity to catch up with a friend.  I get her take on things and she can’t believe his stance.

Kids are happy to see me (AH is driving along the road as I’m walking home so he lets them out to run up the road).  I seem to end up doing most of the bits required to get them ready for their sleepover.  Odd!  Not my night, remember.

Anyway, I sent AH an email this morning reiterating that I don’t want to go down the lawyer route.  Also let him know that I woke this morning to a lot of my shedded hair on my pillow (I have alopecia universalis and, despite having had great growth over the past few months, the stress of the past few days is starting to manifest itself).  On 30/03, AH said “my health is important” to him so I ask if we can ‘call of the dogs’, stop being so reactive and focus on the parenting plan.  His email back asks if he needs to keep the rental based on my lawyer’s letter.  He also asks what will happen with my wages as he can’t keep paying as he is or he won’t be able to afford his own place.  It also mentions that, because he forgot to go to his second Parenting Through Separation session, he actually has to do both again – and he can’t do this until mid-to-late May, so would like us to start drafting in the interim.  All civilized and reasonable.

We chat and I tell him my preference is to stay in the family home, not a rental, and him have the kids on his days.  He is clearly stressing about my lawyer’s letter and wants them to write to him saying it won’t go further.  I say no as I’m not going to incur more costs, and my place is now secure in the home.

We agree on some things re occupation, my salary, and eventual buy-out of the home (he’s not interested but the kids have asked me to buy it and, despite it being too small and not my dream place, it is what I’ve made home for the past 8 years).  I ask how my involvement/running of the house will be measured.  (He said he’ll pay the mortgage but will expect to be reimbursed from any settlement as I’m liable for half).  Given he’s paid the mortgage while I’ve been stay-at-home mum, am I meant to reimburse him for all of that??  I will be the only one washing, cleaning, etc, do I need to keep a timesheet so my contribution can be taken away from his financial input??  Again, civilized and reasonable.

I am amazed that, when we are agreeing his ‘official’ hours, when I say ’til 5 pm on Saturday, he wants it only until 3 pm “so he can feel he has a weekend”.  WTF?  You get ALL DAY Sunday! & 5 pm still gives enough time to go out on a Saturday night.  So sorry that having to look after YOUR kids is messing with your weekend.  But I bite my tongue and say nothing.

They leave and I have the home to myself.  Hurrah!

Today’s positives:

  1. Absolutely beautiful, sunny day!
  2. Actually got through it without an argument with AH;
  3. Gone under 53 kgs and fitted into a size 8 pair of jeans.  Very shallow, I know.  Sorry!