Sunday, March 18, 2012

Parenting lessons learned from my husband’s ex-wife

When I decided to marry my husband, I knew that I found a great man and partner. I also knew that he had some baggage… mainly his ex wife. The past few years has been a roller coaster of drama and emotion coming from the general direction of the EX. As I step back and look at these many tense situations I think about how to raise my own child, Baby C. Making lemonade out of lemons, I’ve decided to take these experiences with a grain of salt, as a reminder of the type of parent I would like to be. Here’s what I’ve taken away from my dealings with the EX:

1) My Baby is his own little person and as much I might like to, I can’t always bend him to my will. I can already see his own personality forming. As much as I would like for him to be the type of kid who sits and plays with blocks, I don’t see that happening. He wants to climb, jump, run, etc… he’s a do-er and he (unfortunately) gets that from me. I just need to take a good breath.

2) Do you use your kid… for anything, but most importantly as a pawn for your own personal gain. They will grow to understand what you have done.

3) Always be as truthful with your kids as you possibly can be (keep in mind this is age appropriate). I’ve seen certain situations (from both the EX and other EX’s I’ve seen) where the ex spouse has lied about their ex in order to make the other party look bad. Don’t do that. Again, your child will figure this out and will resent you for it in the long run.

4) The focus of my life is my family. When you’re single, your focus is yourself, YOUR clothes, YOUR job, YOUR car…. Etc… Now that I’m married with a child and stepson, my family is my focus, as is should be. I want my son and my husband to know that they are the most important things in my life. Period. As such, a act accordingly and do my best to make sure that they feel loved and special.

There are more things that I’ve taken away from this situation, but the kids are asleep and in bed and I’m dog tired. Good night!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cha-cha-cha changes

I haven't written in a while. I've been busy… seriously busy… the type of busy where you just want to go to bed at 9PM because you're exhausted. We're moving from the Fly Over States to the Pacific North West... In 2 weeks. AHHHHHH!

One thing I've noticed about a big move like this… Well, more than on one, but the thing that stands out to me is the fact that when people find out that we're moving they (a) tell everyone they have ever known and (b) always seem to ask "are you (small pause) excited about this move?"

I was talking with the owner of Baby C's daycare yesterday and the topic of moving came up. So, I gave her a heads up that we'd be moving. By this morning I had several people at the daycare (most of whom I only share a smile or "good morning" with) made comments about our move. My favorite comment was made by a woman who works in the toddler room and who's age is indeterminate. I can tell that she doesn't take care of her skin (she must clearly not be obsessed with moisture the way I am), never wears makeup and has a sort of shabby old lady bob haircut. I rarely talk with this woman and if I do it's in relation to how much Baby C has eaten or how many dirty diapers he's had that day. I walked into the toddler room this morning with C. As I tried to get his coat off and get him in his seat for breakfast she started a weird line of questioning.

We hear you're moving to Washington. "Are you (pause) happy about that?"

I just replied "Of course we are" while I took off Baby C's coat. I promptly kissed my child on his fuzzy little head and headed out the door while commenting "thank you" as I walked out. What did she expect? Did she expect me to say "Well, I really don't want to move (especially after just putting in a new kitchen) but we have a good opportunity to keep our jobs with our company… so yea, we're friggin' happy about having jobs".

Moving is stressful enough. Moving this far is overwhelming. We have no idea what areas are horrible, what areas are nice, overpriced, etc… We have to find a new daycare (ugg), a new house, a new favorite grocery store, a new …. EVERYTHING. It's an adventure. And it's an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, to see another part of the county, to experience fresh salmon on a weekly basis (oh yea). It's so strange to me that some people are curious about my life when they really haven't had much involvement in it up until now. Oh well... like everything in life, you need to just roll with it.