As my divorce slowly moves from “almost final” to “finalized” (which will be a gloriously happy day), the more I’m slowly understanding just how single a parent I really am.
After an argument a week ago in which I found out my former husband plastered photos of our daughters on his blog beside X-rated content and posts about BDSM, I often wonder whether or not people practice common sense.
***I’m sure you’ve noticed that my daughters are rarely mentioned nor are their photos posted on this blog (outside of twice). There is a reason for this and it’s simple; my children are minors and their privacy should be respected. While my Facebook account is their showcase and I prominently display them there, that account has privacy settings that control who see my children. This blog is public, so I try to limit how much is put out there about them***
While trying to determine the legalities of this, I frantically called my lawyer, who said simply;
“You’ve got to accept that you’re doing this on your own, he’s not going to help you outside of what he HAS to do.”
I don’t think that’s an entirely accurate statement. Sometimes, he will go above and beyond to pick up the girls in an emergency, or help when there’s extreme financial hardship, but for the most part, it’s pretty accurate.
I guess this is the part of parenting that I haven’t mastered; knowing you’re the only one actively taking care of the kids on a regular basis. You’re the one paying the bills and raising them while waiting for the courts to garnishee your co-parent’s wages because he straight up refuses to pay. Meanwhile, your every parenting move is questioned by someone who sees their kids for eight hours a week.
I always thought that we would be “normal” co-parents, like my boyfriend and his daughter’s mom. The type who go to parent-teacher interviews together, host joint birthday parties and attend recitals together, but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Instead, I’m going to be the mom who makes excuses for their absence, make the rules, enforce them, encourage them and act as mother and father for 616 hours a month and hope they don’t end up on the internet next to the porn.
I guess it’s unfortunate that the girls can’t have that normalcy, but I guess when you think about it, if their parents couldn’t sit in the same room together when they were married, how are they supposed to do it for the kiddos when they aren’t? I guess I set an unrealistic expectation for myself by thinking that we would get on the same parenting page and work together with the kids best interest at heart. I should have understood that some people simply can’t let go of their anger about a situation. Some people will always hide behind excuses and refuse to recify those excuses to become more of a part of their children’s lives. They will be perfectly content doing next to nothing, only by force and as their mother, I need to accept that and do what I need to do to make sure that their lives are not negatively impacted in any way.
So, much like some of my single mama friends, it’s time for me to accept that I’m doing this on my own, with minimal help from my co-parent; and much like those mamas, with the help of awesome grandparents, aunties, uncles, and friends, we’ll get through everything okay.