One of the reasons that The Ex gave for wanting to end things was that he felt that I didn’t bond enough with his girls. He said that all I did was direct them and not really talk to them. Well, he’s kind of right.
I remember reading over at Momma Sunshine’s blog that she doesn’t feel the same about CBG’s kids as she does about her own. That was nice to hear because it made me feel better about how I was feeling about the whole situation. I was torn between making my own kid happy and being a good parent to her and making his kids happy and being a good surrogate parent to them. You see, I was the only one who disciplined in that house. I am the parent, not their friend and I’m ok with that. I know that it’s a parents job to teach children how to behave and you can’t do that while being their friend. I may be a bit more strict than necessary but I tried to to find a middle ground with him. Didn’t matter how much I tried, he was unwilling to compromise. Willow knows what’s expected of her and she knows what the consequences are if she doesn’t behave. Now, how could I possibly uphold Willow to a certain standard while his girls were pretty much doing whatever they wanted and getting away with it because their father was too busy trying to be their friend because he felt bad about how hard things had been for them with the divorce. What he didn’t seem to realize was that Willow had left EVERYTHING behind to move because I picked us up and moved us. She left her friends, her school, her dance studio, and her grandparents all behind while his girls still had everyone and everything in their lives, just split between two house. It wasn’t a good excuse for not parenting. It was, actually, the reason to be even more of a parent.
So, while I’m trying to be a parent and teach my daughter how to behave and be respectful, she’s seeing that the other two don’t have to behave and be respectful. A 12 year old girl already thinks that eveything that she has to do is not fair and is constantly testing to see how far she can push, can you imagine adding all this on top of it. They didn’t have to abide by a bed time because their father was too busy playing on Facebook to get up and put them to bed. They don’t have to do chores because their father wouldn’t tell them to (the funny part about that was that when I ended up just doing the chores because I was tired of being the bad guy, he acted as if I should have been directing them to do it. Seemed that he had no problem with me being the parent when it meant he didn’t have to be the bad guy). They didn’t have to act in a respectable manner and not interrupt the whole house because their father wouldn’t give them consequences for their behavior other than a stern talking to (any other parent out there knows, that shit don’t work). When one child disrupts the whole household, that’s a problem!
So what was I to do? Allow my daughter to feel like she’s being treated harsher while they are just running amuck and deal with her resenting me for it? Or do I start making his girls be respectful and responsible too? Well, I chose the latter. It was my house too and I was not ok with disrespectful children running around doing whatever they pleased. Had he stepped in and started discplining, then I could have let up on the reins a little bit and maybe I would have felt like I could have more of a relationship with them. But every time I sat back to see if he would step up and do the right thing, he wouldn’t. And that left me between a rock and a hard place.
And the funny part is that he acted very different towards Willow when his girls where there. He didn’t have to worry his girls being jealous of his time with Willow when they weren’t around half the time. When they were there, he was passive aggressive and sarcastic towards Willow. He would roll his eyes and make smartass comments. There were several times that she ended up in her room crying because of the way she was treated when the other girls were there. I tried to talk to him about it but he just insisted that he was doing nothing wrong and that she was overreacting.
And there were so many other times that this same scenario played out over and over……
After many, many, many, many attempts to have a conversation with The Ex about it, he would agree to do something and then just not bother to do it. He would say that he agreed with me on a certain point and then turn around and tell me that he didn’t agree with me. Guess what that caused….me to not trust him to be telling me what he really felt. Then it escalated to him stone walling me and he would just sit there and not acknowledge me or would insist that he knew what I was going to say anyway but every time HE told ME what I was thinking, he was dead wrong.
Divorce is a huge problem in our society. Not divorce in and of itself, but the parents that think divorce is going to have this huge profound affect on their kids. These parents are the ones who have stopped parenting. Instead of giving their children a stable, consistent home, they allow their children to do whatever they want and spoil them because they feel guilty about what they think their divorce has done to their kids. When in reality, it’s better for the kids if the parents divorce instead of staying together and fighting and role modeling a bad relationship for their children. That’s the problem in today’s society and one that I have seen so many times. But will it stop any time soon? Probably not, but at least I will no longer have to deal with it in my life.