I was perusing my blog favorites this morning and ran across a very interesting and insightful post, written by one of my favorite ex-wives on Adventures in Divorce. She exudes what I’ve been talking about all along on this blog; that it’s okay to have certain feelings of jealousy and ego, as an ex-wife, when your ex moves on, but you can’t act on those feelings by using your children as pawns. It’s just plain wrong! At any rate, read her post below, entitled, ‘Please be a Little Selfish. I’m sure you’ll find it insightful as well.
If you’re going to be selfish and self centered, do it the way I do it….. I love my kids, but I love my “me time” as well. Ok, I’m being facetious and extreme here with the “selfish and self centered” characterization, but really….. I feel like it’s a win-win when my kids are off spending time with their dad and with each other (remember, Daughter primarily lives with me and Son lives with him, so they’re not together all the time anymore). They get to spend good, NECESSARY quality time with their father and each other, and I get a regularly scheduled (and sometimes bonus) break and I know that they are with someone who loves them and cares for them just as much as I do. I can do the things that I want and need to do for myself (I keep a standing nail appointment every other Saturday), I can travel, I don’t have to worry about cooking square meals, I can sleep as long as I want, I don’t have to chauffeur anyone around all day, and I don’t have to entertain anyone or find someone else to entertain them.
Right now my kids are spending the first half of their spring break with their dad, and I thoroughly enjoyed only having to get myself ready this morning and I’m looking forward to a nap after work and not hearing anyone whine about eating veggie burgers (again!) and a cup of yogurt for dinner. This weekend I’m going to Washington DC with my kids, my beau, and we’re picking up his son (who lives 3 hours away) on the way and he’s going, too. I was a little worried (we both were, actually) that his mother wouldn’t let him go because it’s not his dad’s weekend and because he would be going with me (she’d expressed some attitude about me before, but nothing major), but surprisingly she said yes. But please…. let someone offer me an extra free weekend of babysitting, I’d be all over it.
(I suspect the decision hinged on the fact that she’s been busy finishing up her Master’s program and needs him out of her hair anyway…. or maybe because now she’s boo’d up too, which seems to have upped her cooperation level considerably…. but whatever, I’m looking forward to our Brady Bunch Dating trip.)
Sometimes I worry that I’m a little too un-mom-like for not taking pleasure in being such a martyr to my children by being at their beck and call 25/8, and actually enjoying some time to myself every once in awhile……..or perhaps I’m just finding the positive aspect of an unavoidable situation (i.e. the kids can no longer be with both of us at the same time). I tell my Ex that he can take the kids whenever he’d like. I may miss them, but I know they’ll be back and I know they’re well taken care of. And I know how crucial it is for fathers to be involved in their children’s lives. There are enough deadbeat and lackluster dads out there that we as women don’t need to discourage the ones who are good, responsible and loving fathers.
So ladies, next time you have that itchy creepy jealousy feeling that makes you want to “show him a thing or two” and not let him see his child…. please, for your child’s sake, be a little “selfish”.