Saturday, April 19, 2014

Parenting after Divorce

If anyone said that divorce is the easy way out, never had to co-parent with another person who's views in no way resembled yours.  Co-parenting my 3 kids with my ex is anything but an "easy way out".

He suffers from major depressive disorder, anxiety and severe OCD. It's very difficult to just stay civil with him let alone raise kids together. Every step forward becomes twenty steps back. He loves his kids, of that much I'm sure, but parenting with him is a whole other ball of wax. 

Let's take today for an example. I won a family pack of 4 tickets to Centreville for their Easter egg hunt and games for this weekend.  I figured since he has the kids every weekend, I would offer the tickets to him so he could take the kids.  That way the only expense is the ferry across to Toronto Island. Well a few days ago he was a little worried about the ferry because his brain always thinks of everything bad that could possibly happen at all times. So worst case scenario is the ferry tips or sinks and he can't swim so he can't save the kids. So I tell him that ferry accidents are rare and I'm sure that I've never heard of one happening in Toronto. He agrees that he will take the kids and we move on.  Well now a ferry has sunk in Korea and now he doesn't want to take them because it could happen here. 

It's so hard for me to judge what he will do on any given day. When things like this come up, I always tell him not to say anything to the kids so that they don't get disappointed and upset if he breaks a promise to them as he does tend to do. Not on purpose but he can't help the OCD. So after nearly 35 minutes on the phone he is taking them, he's nervous and anxious, but he's taking them because that's what he said he would do.

Then comes our conversation with respect to the easter bunny.  A very simple conversation one would think when you are raising young children but this was in no way a simple conversation.  The three kids are 10, 7 and 5 and up until Christmas 2012 all three still believed in all of it, santa, the tooth fairy and even the easter bunny, fast forward and now only 2 still believe.  Why? Well my daughter asked and he can't tell a lie, even a little one like santa because she will grow up not to trust him as a parent because he told her santa was real and then told her he wasn't.  Seriously?? You are an idiot.  I never distrusted my parents after they told me the truth.  I understand it even more now that I'm a parent.  So he has them over this easter weekend but I know that he isn't going to hide eggs so I tell him to tell them a story about how the easter bunny knows they will be home here and this is where he will hide eggs and I get told he can't possibly tell them that as it would be a lie. GRRRRRRR! They are kids and on the big scope of things, these little lies won't hurt them, they are meant for fun and a little happiness.  I know for a fact he had all of these things when he was a kid but now because he believes in God, he can't let them believe in something that isn't real because they may feel the same way about Jesus. WTF??? Anyway, I told him not to bother that I wasn't going to tell them anything because I am sure they have even forgotten for now anyway  and then that way he doesn't have to be put in a position to tell them the truth and ruin easter and I can still let my kids be little for a little while longer.

After this conversation, I am convinced that I was high or in a drunken stupor to have kids with him (although no matter what I would never change who my kids are as I love them more than life) but now I'm stuck trying to somehow make them well-rounded adults with this man and co-parent them so they can grow and prosper.  At this rate, I am sure I am somehow going to mess it up, but I will keep trying even if he can't.

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