My house is quiet. And empty. And quiet. Of course, it’s 11pm, so even if my boys were here, it would be relatively quiet. Except Tornado S snores. And someone is always turning over. And someone gets out of bed once, twice, three times a night. Even though it’s night and quiet, if they were here, the house would feel . . . full.
I’ve had the boys five nights in a row, and I hate when I have to turn them over. My house, my life seems so empty and quiet and dull. When I signed up for this parenting gig, I knew for next ten years or more my life would be wrapped around their lives. Not in a complete, my-kids-are-my-life way, but in a dinner-has-to-have-one-child-friendly-part way or weekdays-are-for-homework-and-child-activities way or a-sitter-needs-to-be-hired-a-week-in-advanced-for-a-few-hours-a-couple-of-times-a-month way, a vacations-will-mainly-be-about-the-kids way, a money-goes-to-kids’-needs-and-most-wants-before-my-wants way. Let’s just face it. I will never be one of those moms who is excited the ex is taking the kids for the weekend.
Every time I think about the ex having 50% custody or that the judge added her opinion of calling me “restrictive and unreasonable” over custody for those nearly 3 years of separation in the ruling, I get angry. It’s not my fault that the ex decided he preferred to visit the kids on his time when he wanted to at my house, but that’s how his lawyer made it look. Like I was keeping the kids away from their father. The ex lied and said that I knew he was living with his girlfriend (instead of the alcoholic roommate that he told me he was living with, which I didn’t want exposed to my kids) and that I refused to let my kids over to their place.
So it sucks. Because I don’t always get to talk to them every night, even when I call every night. Because I can tell they’re not getting enough sleep. Because we don’t get to do all the crafts, activities, and science experiments I want to do with them. Because they are adjusting. Because this is hard on them. Because I don’t get to cook and bake for them every day. Because they are pushing at the boundaries and exhibiting unhealthy coping strategies. Because I don’t have the money to take them to counseling anymore. Because part of my heart resides somewhere else and I feel helpless to protect them when they aren’t here.
With any luck, I’ll have them tomorrow because the ex works and it’s summer and I’m a teacher. We’ll fight over doing workbooks, and I’ll send someone to time out for hitting his brother. We’ll go grocery shopping and maybe to the craft store for supplies for Papi’s birthday present. We’ll argue over video game playing and candy. I’ll listen to Tornado S read, and I’ll continue to teach Tornado A to swim, and I’ll have interesting conversations with Tornado E about superheroes or Skylanders or dragons or animals. Tomorrow is going to be a great day.