Tag Archives: shared parenting

Shared parenting turns me into a complete cow….

It really does.

Honestly I try to be a good human. I try to do the right thing. 

I try my upmost to be kind and compassionate.

However…

It would seem if you want to bring out the worst in me , co-parent with me.

I just can’t bite my tongue.

I can’t always be reasonable

I can’t turn the other cheek.

I’m a jealous,insecure nutcase.

I’m a spoilt petulant toddler.

I’ll say here as I always do ,small girl’s daddy is a fab daddy. This isn’t about him as such but just the situation.

Here I am not married to the guy , not dating the guy , not even particularly friends with the guy and yet I still have to factor his feelings into any decisions I make regarding small girl. That’s the right thing to do,that’s what’s best for her. I know that.

Small girl has split her time between the two of us since she was tiny. Having two homes is her normal and she’s the most happy and content little girl .Me however…..

It’s such bloody hard work,emotionally draining (I know that’s a bit of a knob phrase but I can’t think of a better way to describe it) It’s the never ending compromise and discussion and always having to take other people’s views into account and basically being a reasonable adult always that takes it out of me!!!

Every summer holidays small girl and daddy head off on their annual roadtrip on their hols.She absolutely loves it and they have great fun and she’s always full of talk of her adventures when she  gets back. She’s done that for years so that’s her normal during the summer.

It’s not my normal though. I miss her. I want to be the one experiencing new things with her, I want to be the one to take her to boring castles ( see excerpt from last year’s holiday diary)

I wanted to take her camping the first time , I wanted to do everything first actually…and second…and forever…

You see I know I’m being ridiculous and unreasonable so that’s a relief. I know the bitchy passive aggressive texts I sometimes don’t stop myself sending in time are juvenile. I know muttering F off under my breath when something has been said that I don’t like is unnecessary but just sometimes plastering on a smile and reverting to my default as the people pleaser you can read about here just isn’t possible!!

I don’t want to take her camping,I bloody hate camping .I share her thoughts on castles for that matter!!! We’re lucky to have daddy to step into the breach for all those outdoorsy pursuits.

I’m the craft parent who doesn’t mind paint making a mess , I’m cooking mummy and ‘making stuff’ person. I’m Disney karaoke mummy.

She has the best of both worlds and is so happy with it.

It’s just for me sometimes I feel as though I only get to be part of half her world and that sucks a bit.


My Facebook page is here

Me, Being Mummy
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Shared parenting at Christmas (sucks!) 

Once upon a time small girl’s daddy and I rocked shared parenting, and my we were smug about it. Check us out not having to split Christmases or argue over who’s turn it was to have birthdays. We spent most our free time together with all four kids, holidaying and sharing days out and birthdays.

Wow aren’t we mature we’d think.

We’d spend Christmases together all 6 of us,small girl’s daddy coming over first thing Christmas morning, having dinner then staying the night so he could have a festive glass or two.  Our unconventional, yet workable family unit served us well for a good few years.

Pride, as they say though, comes before a fall.

We fell.

Mr and Ms Smuggington are no more.

The point came where it just didn’t work anymore, there was way too much bickering and sniping and it all just stopped feeling nice. It’s a shame but it happened and the last few years have been very different.
Christmas is somewhat of a battleground now.

Who gets Christmas eve?

How do we share small girl’s time on Christmas day?

Can we agree not to make gift giving a competition?

Who gets to do panto?

What about New Year?

It’s an exhausting exercise in compromise and putting small girl first but oh it’s hard and stressful and fraught with resentment in all honesty.

Turns out I’m not great at sharing. As I always say, I dislike the term Shared Parenting (Co-parenting doesn’t feel right either!) We don’t ‘share’ small girl like she’s an object, we do though share her time. At Christmas time more than any other I have to rein in wanting to have it all.

All her time.

I want to do Christmas markets and ice skating and panto.

I want to do Christmas eve baking and crafting and I want to do our Christmas eve hamper.

I want to watch Christmas movies in brand new pj’s with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve with ALL my children.

I want to read small girl’s Christmas bedtime story.

I desperately want her to wake here Christmas day, to open presents before breakfast.

I want her at OUR table for Christmas dinner then to play with her new toys before all of us snuggling to watch Doctor Who before bed. ..

I’m sure daddy would like the same, he’s a brilliant daddy and that little girl of ours is very lucky. The elder 3 are stuck with just me!

However I know I can’t have it all. I know I have to give a little, I know small girl loves her time with her daddy as much as with us. It’s not easy though, doesn’t get any easier with time.

Grown up, mature ‘small girl’s needs come first’ me will make an appearance once Christmas negotiations kick in.

Responsible parent me will make compromises and sacrifices and tell herself it’s just one day.

Rational, semi sane me will bite her tongue and take deep breaths.

Then, when negotiations are done and plans are made I’ll pour myself a large glass of wine, swear a bit, maybe throw something and likely have a little cry.

It’s OK though because Christmas will be great. Small girl and indeed my elder 3 will all have a fun time. They always do.

Small girl is comfy, cosy and happy and settled at either house because (say through gritted teeth if necessary but. ..) shared parenting works for her.

She has different, fun traditions at each house. She does declare daddy’s Christmas dinner the best though which makes me want to serve roast daddy for Christmas dinner,  but she always enjoys her Christmas. She’s always happy and declares every year to be ‘the best Christmas ever!’ and really, grumpy mummy aside, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it??

 


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Today, small girl, I miss you 

Dear Small Girl,

Today is a daddy day for you. Nothing unusual in that. You’ve split your time between the pair of us since you were teeny tiny, you don’t know any other way. So you’ve been  at your lovely daddy’s past couple days.

Usually when you’re there, the elder 3 and I take advantage and do all the things that we can’t do when you’re here.

We binge watch How I Met Your Mother instead of The Next Step.

We have curry for tea as you don’t like spicy foods.

We’ll play the Pointless board game instead of Frustration.

It’s not that we’re glad to see the back of you or anything like that. It’s just that you’ve been spending some of your time at daddy’s house forever so it’s become a routine we all slip into.

Today is a bit different though.

Today I miss you.

How silly is that? ? (very I know!) You’re at school as I write this so I’d not have the pleasure of your company regardless.

Today though, I miss that I don’t get to be the one that picks up your smiley little face up from school.

That I don’t get to tut and say how you must think I’m an octopus as you load me up with PE bags and book bags and the fleece you end up taking off everyday.

I miss that we don’t get to hold hands on our walk down to the train station chatting about our days.

I read earlier that to celebrate Winnie the Pooh’s 90th birthday he’s getting a new friend. Guess who it is going to be? A PENGUIN!! Your most favourite animal, the one you wrote me a book about such is your encyclopaedic knowledge on them! ! As soon as I read that  I just wanted to tell you all about it! I miss that I can’t.

I miss that I’m not bedtime story person tonight, that I’ll not get the call 5 minutes after I’ve turned out your light to ask “fancy a cuddle?”

I just miss you today.

I know I’ve probably not even entered your head today (and that’s ok I don’t want you missing me) You’ve been busy at school then going back to daddy’s house for a yummy dinner. You always tell me his cooking is superior! (“he uses nutmeg in the mash mummy, it gives it taste”) You’ll snuggle on the sofa with him and watch some cooking show then he’ll read you Paddington before bed.

Dividing your time between us works for you. You’re a happy, content, confident little girl. It’s only me that gets daft from time to time. I’m sure daddy feels the same when you’re here.

So here’s to tomorrow.
I can’t wait to open the car door and have you bound out full of tales of your time away.

I look forward to starting on the tortoise costume you so desperately want to make for dressing up day at school.

I can’t wait for us to have our secret special tea we have when the elder ones are at their grandparents.

I can’t wait to carry on reading Harry Potter together.

I’ll tell you the penguin news tomorrow small girl. I’ll read your bedtime story tomorrow.

Just now, for today though,  I miss you

Love Mummy xxx

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The trouble with shared parenting..

Firstly and most importantly before I start my little self pitying whingefest I have to say my little girls daddy is a fantastic daddy, he’s always been hands on and adores little girl as much as she does him. I think he’d agree with most of what I’m about to say though. If we could clone small girl and have one each it would be simple!

Shared parenting can be really tough.

The thing is this. I’m a single mum of 4.My elder 3’s dad pops in and out when he feels like it. That’s OK. I know where I stand there. Elder 3 I’m parenting solo. Just me and them. I make all the decisions, I make all the rules, I do all the work.

With littlest girl it’s different though, we co-parent or whatever the fashionable term that Gywneth and Chris Martin are using currently. Her time is split between both our houses. This suits her perfectly, it’s all she’s ever known and she’s a happy, content, secure little thing.

My problem is it turns out I’m not very good at sharing. I don’t mean sharing ‘her’ like she’s some kind of toy I mean sharing her time.

I won’t fib sometimes when the planets align and my house is a child free zone of a weekend it’s fantastic. I am giddy at the peace and no one needing anything from me…. for a couple of hours. Then you get that weird feeling don’t you? Your house doesn’t ‘feel’ right, you don’t ‘feel’ right. You’re wondering what they’re up to and missing them (which is crazy as yesterday when they were all fighting and bickering you’d have sold your soul for an hours peace)

The worst bit for me is this. Today little girl skipped into school and that’s the last I’ll see of her aged 7. Next time I see her will be teatime her birthday. It’s daddy’s turn for birthday day this year. That sucks . A lot.

As grateful as I am safe in the knowledge he’ll make her birthday super special and she’ll not give me a second thought. As nice as it is that I can spend some quality time with the boys (Hull city – pub boys?Silver linings, silver linings ) I still hate it.

As I said, I’m not a good sharer.

I want to do putting her to bed every birthday eve and waking with her every birthday morning. I want to do our family Christmas on my terms my way every year. I want to do every holiday and day out. I want to be the one hearing about her day every single day, not just most of them.

I know I’m being selfish, she’s happy. This works for her, that’s the important thing (my mantra) She has two parents who adore her and she seems to be thriving on it. I’m grateful she’s a brilliant relationship with her daddy, honestly I am.

However, that doesn’t stop me fancying a bit of a footstamping toddler tantrum at this time of year.