Okay… so I was being a complete bitch… but OMFG! I’ve sent him the address a dozen times. He NEVER sends the kids back with all their things. This parcel had the Wizard’s shoes and favourite shirt. It’s been circling for weeks trying to find the right address – because he also didn’t bother to write his own address in the return to sender section – ‘Oh well, he should remember his own things!’  

I’m usually far more passive these days. I try not to bite. I certainly don’t attack. It’s just not worth the fall out the kids then suffer. But my god… it’s so damned hard… and today… well… it’s been a crappy few weeks. 

He’s been quiet this week, but the two weeks before he was in fine form! Constant attacks on the older two. The Princess just looks at her phone these days and mutters – what have I done this time?!? The Knight still struggles… the attacks range from full frontal assault to subtle manipulation… two days ago, he saw his bed for sale on a buy swap sell page… those little things… the attacks on his sense of belonging…

A friend has promised to drink champagne and dance on his grave when the time finally comes! ☺️but in the mean time… it’s sucking it all down deep and doing my best to ignore the attacks and minimise the damage. Taking the higher road… 

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The kids spent a week with their father…

Yesterday, the 7 year olds pipes up with: daddy said if you let me go and live with him, he’ll buy me an iPad!

Me: you already have an iPad…

Child4: but I’m not allowed to take that to dads. So if you let me live with him, I can have one there too…

Me: no… No… No….

If I LET him?! 

Late last night, Miss 9 comes in crying – I miss great granny (who died right before Xmas)… And daddy…

Me: no… No… No…

I’m not saying those no’s out loud… But they’re hammering at my head and at my heart…

No!

I don’t know how to fight this battle. I’m listening to all the ‘experts’ telling me to hold firm and not to spin rubbish about the father. To not tell the truths about him. That every time I say a negative about him, they hear one about themself… 

But omg… No! 

He’s not manipulating another. He’s not having another. No!

This is part of the – if mummy moved you here, I could see you all the time – strategy…. Me: he left here! HE moved away. TWICE!! No! 

But he is so good at it… Because he believes it… He’s never at fault. It’s only ever because you…

It must be so hard…

Yet another person said yesterday – it must be hard being a single mum, despite your tough front…

And I find myself tongue tied trying to find the words to explain…

It’s not what you think… It’s not the ‘stuff’….

The daily routine doesn’t bother me. I’ve always done that. If anything, it’s easier now that I don’t have to watch their every move, now that I’m not working two jobs… The ‘stuff’ is easy. 

Don’t get me wrong! It would be wonderful for someone else to cook dinner or read a bedtime story, to fight them to have a shower and clean their teeth. Someone else to help me to split in three and give each what they need. And yes, to somehow split into that fourth and give the other child what he needs… But that’s a whole other story and need…

But it’s not the stuff. Not really. 

It’s someone to talk to after an exhausting day. Those days when they fight constantly. When I can’t seem to ever say the right words. When I have my own dramas. When I’m just so damned exhausted. 

It’s someone to give a hug and offer calming words when Miss 9 is melting down day after day because she is over tired and everybody hates her…

It’s someone to calm Master 7 when he’s hyped and desperately needing the soothing bass of a male voice in the house…

It’s someone to sympathies with Miss 16 when mum is being a cow and we just can’t see eye to eye…

It’s a shoulder to sob into that Master 14 hates me and won’t speak to me…

It’s someone who gets it… Because they also have a vested interest in these children. 

Co-parenting rather than counter parenting…

It’s also knowing that Miss 16 doesn’t think all males suck because her father and brother do… That they’re not all aggressive and self absorbed…

It’s knowing that Master 14 isn’t trapped within his head trying to be the ‘man’ his father wants and demands…

It’s not seeing Miss 9 burst into tears daily because she ‘misses her daddy’…

It’s not listening to Master 7 spout sexist and racist comments, and lash out in anger and frustration, as he emulates the only real role models he’s ever known…

It’s not the ‘stuff’….

A very, very long day ending with very difficult parents…

Just caught the tail end of a kids’ program. The mum was saying “I take full responsibility” – apparently the son had been cheating on a test because he thought it would make her love him more…

With the vehemence only a grumpy old person can muster, I muttered “This is everything that is wrong with society!”.

My teenager thinks I am cynical. My younger children think I am odd. All I can see is yet another parent taking responsibility when the child screws up. At what point do you turn to the kid and say – you messed up. Your motives may have been justified and potentially honorable, but you still messed up.