Had a great week up with friends and family – two nights at one of my ‘oldest’ friend’s places, two nights in a hotel for my Mum’s 75th and three nights at my brother’s bach at Mt Maunganui – just me and the kids.
My kids fell straight back in love with my mate. She’s M9’s godmother yet we only see each other when I travel up my parents; so maybe once a year. Was great to see my sister, who’d flown over from Perth, and all the other siblings on the Saturday. Was great to hear my sister-in-law laugh (the one who lost her daughter 7 months ago). I can’t possibly fathom how you let yourself laugh again after a child takes their own life. They are really struggling but I’m so glad she and my brother came, as it was touch-and-go for a while.
Chilling at the Mt was great too. Didn’t do too much as the kids have had a pretty hectic summer holiday (lots of travelling, and they should be developing webbed feet soon after all the time spent in pools the past week).
I’m disturbed by something that came to light on the drive up. M11 and M9 were having a tiff before I got into the car. M11 texted AH and let him know that he’d been called certain names by M9. When he told me, I said he didn’t need to let Daddy know these little things that happen while on my time … I’d deal with it (and I’d expect the same on Daddy’s time).
So when we stopped on the drive, M11 tells me about texts from AH, [in particular, 13/01/16 13:33]:
I think you should delete them [referring to his messages]
This puts my hackles up. Why would he be telling a [fairly immature] 11-year old to delete his messages? I call him, with M11 present to ask why (and get back “why are you so defensive?” … to which I question “why are you so guilty?”). This gives the kids carte blanche to delete their phone and computer histories – which I don’t believe the experts recommend at all. He thanks me “for my lecture” and I ask if he’ll let M11 know that it wasn’t great advice, which he says he’ll do. M11 is now in tears as he’s worried he’s got AH into trouble. OMG! He’s concerned for his 40-year old father.
Once they hang up, M11 tells me AH didn’t rescind what he said. M11 should not be feeling that guilt. AH should not be putting him there. I still can’t fathom what would have made sense to suggest deleting stuff. There are too many freaks out there and, as I said, M11 isn’t particularly street smart, so I just don’t get it.
Had a strange thing on the Wed I drove back. Usually I get into our next town and feel like I’m H*O*M*E*. Not this time. It’s not my home anymore. Where I’ve been this past week is my home. This is now AH’s … and his brother’s. I want out.
Let him collect the kids once the car was unpacked. On the Monday, he’d asked if he could have all 3 for Saturday, as he’d be visiting friends. Considering I’d just had them for a week, that was fine. Said he’d need to get a proper tethering hook for Ms6’s carseat before they went though, as it’s a horrible road. He suggested using ‘my’ car (ie the old family car that he hasn’t paid for for months as he’s bought this other cheap one) but say ‘no’ as I need it to get to work and around. Glad to see their faces come into work on Thurs, as he’s at the mechanics next door getting the hook fitted (although not so glad when Ms6 comes back saying AH wants to leave them at my work while he goes to the supermarket. Afraid not, honey. This is my place of work and I’ve had lots of time off lately – and still need more time off next week to look after you – so Daddy can’t dump you on me to make his life easier).
Had a few things on the to-do list (ie him to arrange haircuts as I’ve paid for the last 3, the kids’ school stationery that he said he’d do while I was away, a Chromebook for M11 and getting a special dress I’d bought for Ms6 back here) and figured easiest to text them to him, which I did on Thurs evening. Tried to make it light and not a directive. He fires back within 7 minutes:
Lovely to hear from u too
This is one of the ways he knows will bait me. It’s a defensive reaction that he knows isn’t funny. It’s meant to be entirely provocative. Point out that is simply a list of things that we have to deal with and what am I meant to do exactly (I mean, I’m damned if I do; damned if I don’t!).
I’m told “it’s a long list … all of a sudden I am expected to report back”. This is wrong. I put the list there not for an immediate response .. but a discussion ‘agenda’, if you will. It’s out there more so I don’t forget than anything. But that’s not good enough for him. He questions what’s going on with the UK flat … clearly forgetting that he had absolutely no input on this when I brought up the fact we were heading into default a week or so ago (despite his lack of interest, I engaged a lawyer and a valuer to get the lease extended as I want him out of my life). He eventually says he’ll do the haircuts, stationery and Chromebook – in return I’ll need to sort the sale of the UK flat. Yeah … coz that sounds like an even distribution of workloads!!
He wants to meet up to discuss moving forward. I refuse to have these conversations in the presence of the kids. The atmosphere (even if the words aren’t) is toxic and they shouldn’t be subjected to that. He doesn’t agree and keeps pushing for meeting. Unfortunately, I’ve planned things so can’t make any of his suggested times … even if I was ok with putting the kids into that environment. It’s banging my head against a brick wall.
On the Friday morning, he turns up with the kids to get their bikes and camping bunks. He sends the kids on their way and says ‘he wants a word with Mama’. I’m not interested so head back into the house and lock the door. So he puts his head through the lounge window and starts throwing crap in my direction: “you want things to be like last year, that’s fine. I’m happy to go back to that”. Refuses to take any responsibility for letting things get acrimonious by sending his nasty little response, rather than maybe taking a breath and only replying with an adult response the following day .. ?! It’s all on me. End up yelling at him to “grow up” as I’m pushed to my limit. I should’ve just walked away!
He doesn’t help things by texting me at 2 pm to say M9 wants to have his 1-on-1 with me on Saturday, ie. when they’re all meant to be staying with his friends. NOT that he doesn’t want to go with AH … but that he wants his 1-on-1 with me. Clearly, they’re having a not so fun time and, in the heat of the moment, M9 is playing the ‘I want to go to [other parent’s] house’ card. What the hell is wrong with AH to even include me in this? It’s now up to me to say ‘no’, as I don’t often get a free Saturday, I’ve made plans. So I’m the baddie. Not AH!
I had such good intentions of not going down the same route as last year. But I can’t figure out how! My head spins with thoughts but I can’t quite reach the answer as to how to stop that feeling of being sooooo let down and hurt. I don’t want him back – that much is clear. But why does it still sting that he’s potentially seeing this other mum? Why am I still hung up on the fact that his brother and Sputnik settled in my back yard? Why can’t I simply be happy that he’s a lazy, unmotivated father to our kids – it’s not on my time.
I think some good counselling is in order. I want to move past this. I want my kids to not feel stuck in the middle. I want an amicable ‘alliance’ (as ‘relationship’ isn’t the word I want to use here). I want to be happy!