My 4-year-old is having a hard time adjusting to all of this change. And if that isn't enough, there are little things here and there that continue to rock her little world: a sudden change in gymnastics, meaning a new teacher, and a substitute teacher at school.
Small things, but when you're already experiencing so much change, those things are huge. Especially to a small child.
Then she does things like tell me she misses her old toy box from her old room. She says she wants things the same as before.
How do I handle that? She's crying out for her old life. Maybe I make too much out of these little comments, bringing my worries about divorce into the picture and assuming what she says means more than it does.
But then again, they say divorce is really hard on children. So I need to take what she says and how she acts seriously. I'm just so scared. I don't know what's right or wrong to say to her.
"Yes, honey, I understand that some things are changing and that's scary and confusing to you. It's OK to be sad. Just remember that you're brave, and that it's good to try new things (I feel like I'm feeding her a line of B.S. here). And most importantly, remember that we love you."
So, do I just say that over and over and over again each time she shows her inner hurt? Is it working? When will it work?
They need me. It's as simple as that. Less time with Dad (I'm sorry...I know he loves them...but they need me).
My counselor told me constantly that they'll be fine. They'll adjust. Keep things at each home consistent. Provide plenty of love and nurturing. Don't fight with the other parent in front of them. Keep structure and discipline. If you do all of those things, your kids - especially given their young age - will be fine.
I'm trying really hard on all fronts. Is it working? When will it work?
I get so wrapped up in the fragile emotions of my young girls. I try to look at the big picture: My goal is to create a good, supportive, enriching childhood for them so they can turn into happy, healthy adults. Facing adversity is part of that, of course. But this kind of adversity? The kind where your mom is suddenly not there half the time?
If I try to picture them as adults, I can see how they'll probably end up just fine. If everyone whose parents were divorced didn't end up OK, we'd all be screwed up. Right? Or am I fantasizing?
I get too wrapped up in the here and now. And as a mom, it hurts my heart so badly to see them (mostly my 4-year-old) struggling. I seem to think that one sadness or misstep on my part is going to be permanent. Like that's the sum total of their experience. But that's crazy, right?
Sigh. OK, I've cried enough for one night, so I will move on.
Have I mentioned how much this sucks?