I mentioned in a blog a couple of weeks ago about my resistance to telling my ex-husband that he could have our daughter every other week in the summer time. The cliff notes version is that while I knew I would say yes, I wasn’t ready to say it just yet. I know that the extra time with her dad will be good for her, that it will make her happier. I also know that living without her every other week is going to make me miserable. I wanted to hold on to my denial as long as possible.
The end of school is a month away, and I can’t hold onto to that denial forever. So tonight, I said, “yes.”
I’m trying to focus on all of the work I can get done during the weeks she’s with him. I’m trying to remind myself that I do get to make my own schedule, so I can kick it into high gear when she’s gone and take some extra time off when she’s here. Of course, that all depends on clients. I’m trying to remind myself that having “me time” is not a bad thing.
But still, it sucks.
These are the moments when I wish things could have been different. I don’t regret my marriage – without it, I wouldn’t have my daughter. I don’t regret my divorce – without it, I’d still be miserable 24/7. I don’t miss my ex-husband. I don’t miss our relationship. But I miss not having to discuss visitations. I miss knowing that my daughter would spend every holiday with me. I miss not having to plan my summertime with her around when she will and won’t be home with me.
I had a conversation with my former sister-in-law the other day about how much it sucks to have to share that which is most important in our lives, our children. The conversation started a whole wave of thoughts. My daughter is of course my first priority and no matter how much it hurts, I will always put what is best for her ahead of what I want. But in the confines of my own mind, I am selfish and I am bitter.
I grew up for the most part without my father around, but I was blessed with an amazing mom. My father would show up every so often for holidays and birthdays and sometimes we would actually have stretches of time where I saw him every other weekend. But without fail, there would come a day when I sat by that window waiting for him to pick me up, only to not have him show. My mom would hold me and wipe my tears away and we would have special bonding time of our own. I know it broke her heart to see me in pain, but in a way, I almost feel as if it was easier for her than it is for me. My mom never really had to share.
My ex-husband genuinely seems to want to spend time with our daughter and for that, I really am grateful. I would never want my daughter to feel the pain I felt growing up. That is why every time he calls and asks to take her for an extra day, I say yes. I don’t want to. I don’t want to give up another day with the love of my life, but I know time with her dad makes her happy.
I get angry easily when things happen that I don’t feel are appropriate, like constant texting at her Pre-K Graduation or Kindergarten Back to School Night and a Happy Birthday text message instead of a phone call. I need to learn to let it go. I can’t make him do the things that I would do. I can’t make him find importance in the things that I believe are important. All I can do is make sure that my daughter is as happy as she possibly can be.
I may have to miss out on a few firsts here and there. I’m going to have to give up holidays. And there are going to be plenty of I miss my daddy‘s. I’m going to get jealous when she wants to be there instead of here. I’m going to get angry when a holiday passes and he doesn’t call her. I’m going to feel selfish. And my boyfriend will have to listen to a rant or two or 50. But she will see me smile. She will feel my hugs and hear I love yous. And I will continue to do what is best for her, no matter how much it hurts sometimes.