Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A divorce update

OK, so most of what I'm about to say is more for my record than anything else. I just need to "talk it out" to get my thoughts straight:

I've been slow about updating with what happened last week in informal mediation.

Basically, we agreed on the financial aspects. It's amazing what ex will agree to when two lawyers basically tell him he needs to.

Anyway, we did not agree on custody. He wants Sunday overnights. I don't want him to have them. So we're going to limited case management where if we don't agree in front of the mediator, she will make her own recommendation to a judge, who will likely agree with her and make it so.

Of course, now ex is emailing me, pleading to "work together" so we can have a harmonious relationship for the sake of the girls. (As I told him - we can be harmonious at any point, no matter who "gets their way.")

But he has stipulations that, if I don't agree to, will derail all attempts at "working together." It is so tempting to go along with his ideas, because he claims that he would agree then to pretty much any ideas I have. Who wouldn't want to be able to actually talk things out regarding the kids???

But he wants me to agree to: Him having equal shared custody as soon as school starts this fall. (Seriously? Is the moment your 5-year-old goes back to school after a long summer and enters all-day kindergarten for the first time in her life REALLY the same time she should have to adjust to a completely different custody schedule?! Are you thinking this through at all, or just demanding what you want?)

Granted, last week he just wanted overnights on Sundays (he already has them two other nights and all day Sunday). Last week he also wanted shared custody in two years. Now he wants it this fall. And don't forget a couple months ago when he wanted custody exactly the same and told me he was happy with how it is, but he just wanted Sunday overnights and for me to accept less child support and no help with daycare. Before that, he was OK with not even bothering with Sundays yet. His "offers" change with the winds!

He also wants me to agree to: His mom watching Sunshine two days a week from after school till we get off work, and possibly watching Little Bit all day one of those days.

How does that work? So she watches one kid for a measly 1.5 hours twice a week (while her little sister gets left out of the grandma time) and also watches the younger kid one out of the FIVE days that she needs child care.

And who, oh wise one, will watch the kids ALL THE OTHER HOURS OF THE WEEK? We I pay my mom to watch the girls full-time. If she has her schedule cut, she'll have no choice but to find other employment. She can not watch them for free.

So again - what do we do with the kids the rest of the time? If we're lucky, there may be one facility in our town that will watch children on a part-time basis. But somehow I really doubt that I get to have a 3-year-old in there four days a week without paying full price. If his mom doesn't watch Little Bit at all, and my mom gets another job, MAYBE Little Bit will get into the daycare by my work that I've had her on the waiting list for nearly two years. But then he can't just opt out of paying his part of daycare. And again, who would watch Sunshine the other three days a week when she gets off school? Who would watch her during Monday holidays, inservices, spring breaks and all summer?

If his mom doesn't watch Little Bit at all and ONLY picks Sunshine up from school twice a week and takes care of her until 1.5 hours later when we get off work, I ask: What on Earth is the point?

Ex is trying to save money, but that would save like $30 a month. It's useless and actually helps nobody. What it does is leave Little Bit out and confuses Sunshine, who would prefer to be home with her Nana and sister.

I see what his point is, and I don't in theory disagree with it: Utilize his mom/parents, who loves the girls and are free. But unless they're going to take over full-time duties (that is 50 hours a week and only increases in work when both kids are off school in the summer), it only serves to confuse our schedule and make us lose our current daycare provider (my mom). And the girls have know no other childcare provider besides their Nana. Why would we change that for a measly $30?

Not to mention, his parents are healthy at the moment, but have big-time past/ongoing health issues that at any moment could land either of them in the hospital. We need consistent childcare. Period.

Please, any of you who read this, let me know if there's something I'm not seeing clearly about this. Because it seems obvious to me that his plan to use his parents for childcare doesn't work.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Finally a hint toward progress

Continuing my saga of the World's Longest Divorce...

Thursday my lawyer and I will sit down for an informal mediation with ex and his lawyer.

Nervous? Oh yah.

I have a lot of thing to prepare, mainly: My different options for custody that I can handle; and my different options for finances that I can handle.

Yet I sit paralyzed, not knowing where to start.

But I will, cause I want this hell to be over so we can move on and know more what our future will look like.

Thankful to have my lawyer on my side (besides the fact that he's paid to be, I think he genuinely realizes how hard it is to deal with ex). Thankful for the ability to try this out of court, even if we still end up in that direction.

And mostly - thankful for my children who make fighting for what I believe in so important.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Goin' on a hot date

That's right.

My BFF and I are dressing up and hitting the town! A wine bar, to be exact.

This is what I imagine we'll look like, all elegant and sophisticated as we gingerly sip our wine:

This is what I know we'll actually look like, all giggly, obnoxious, dirty and drunk tipsy:

Thankful for my friends and family who keep me sane on the nights I'm not with my girls.

* The women depicted here are paid actors.

** No they're not. I stole these images off of google.

*** Don't worry. We'll drink safely. We may love wine, but we're also old moms. I'm sure we'll be in bed by 9 p.m.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How you live your days

Happiness is an attitude. How you will live your days is a choice that is completely within your control.

Man, I am just a wealth of random quotes meant to gag inspire all ones of my blog followers. I don't take my position lightly. ;)

Seriously, I do love the feeling that I have some control over my happiness. And better yet - I love that I can teach this to my kids.

Anyway, enough seriousness. Funny memes?

OK, without further ado (did I spell that right? looks weird):


And in case you thought your day was bad, just be happy you're not the editor of this fine work:

Good day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Being loved

Ahh, I just came across this quote and love it:

No matter how strong and independent we are, we need to be loved in order to live well.

So true.

Which leads me to an epiphany of sorts I've had this week: I'm in a unique position (well, maybe not so unique given the divorce rate in our country) of getting to start over and get it right this time. In other words, it finally clicked that I no longer have to be that woman who looks at other couples and is jealous that these women have a man in their life who loves them and proves their love often with little affirmations.

Notes...thoughtful comments and actions...tiny gifts...

I really want that in a relationship. It helps me feel loved to have tiny reminders. But it's also about showing your partner that you love and appreciate them, and not being afraid to let others know that. It's about being an advocate for your partner. It's about thinking about them in addition to yourself and wanting them to be happy.

My ex pretty much never did that. Maybe I didn't for him, either. Fact is - we weren't right for each other. Case closed. Moving on.

And part of moving on for me will be setting boundaries. I've lived my life wishing I could be with a man who loved me and never let me wonder for a moment if that loved had slipped away.

Divorce sucks. But one thing that is nice about being 30-something, single and a bit wiser is that I have the chance to say what I want in a relationship and make it count.

No more settling. No more doormat. No more wishing for something but not communicating my desires.

When I'm ready - I hope I can finally have that relationship I've always dreamed of. Not a fairytale. That doesn't exist. But I think a relationship of serious love does exist. And this time I won't settle for anything less.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Divorce is better

It's been a while since I posted. Things are at a stalemate, and I'm dying to get this divorce finalized. I'm scared of the results, but just ready for them to happen.

I read this today, and I think I love it. Hopefully it rings true for any of you out there who got divorced and are living a happier life now:

No matter how contentious or acrimonious or downright explosively miserable the end of your marriage was, being divorced is better. It always is. It was sad. It sucked. Now it's better.

Have a happy Friday!