It’s only been 2 months since I have moved out and into my own apartment, and I’m already exhausted with the custody shuffle of 2-2-5. 2 days with me, 2 days with my ex, and then we alternate every weekend. The girls seem to be doing well, but I can tell it’s mentally exhausting. The packing of things alone is extremely tiresome. The soccer bag, the gymnastics bag, the school backpacks/books, lunchboxes, homework, stuffed animals…and the list goes on and on. Obviously, we have a lot of duplicate items for the girls at each of our homes, but some things we have to shuffle back and forth.
I would say the girls are slowly getting used to it, but it’s not easy. My 8 year old called me crying at 8:00 PM saying she left her math book at my apartment and needed it early in the morning before her bus came. Then, I woke up in the middle of the night last night and realized that my 4 year old needed her apples she picked out with me for a project at preschool. So, I woke up and drove the apples over to her. It’s those little moments that cause me heartache, because I cannot relate to my children. I was not a product of divorce, so I truly do not understand what they are going through. My 4 year old will tell me every time she sees me, “it goes, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy.” Breaks my heart, but I know it’s for the best. The other night I was laying in bed with her and for the first time she looked me in the eyes and said with tears, “Mommy, I don’t want to leave you tomorrow.” That hurt so much, but we had a grown-up conversation. Divorce was for sure the right decision for myself and for my girls. It’s not easy, but I am confident that it is worth it.
My therapist said it is best to continue to keep the girls talking about the divorce and their feelings. My oldest keeps her feelings bottled up, whereas my middle would really prefer to talk about everything. However, I have found that I have to be creative to really speak to her about what’s going on in her head and her heart. She has a group of stuffed animals that are her absolute everything, so in order to find out how she is feeling, I have to filter all conversation through the stuffies. She will tell me about each stuffie’s feelings on divorce and what they are thinking about. It’s been a very smart tactic to get her to dig deep.
Communication remains key, especially in this situation, and I plan on continuing these tough conversations with my daughters and will try to be as open as possible.