I’m not sure any of this is interesting at all to anyone aside from those very close to me. But writing has always been a way for me to deal with shit. Or put things away. File it under ‘case closed’ in my brain. So here goes something, that most of all is written for me.
I have spent the last three months working hard on my boys. In August, there was a couple of incidents in my biggest son’s daycare. The first one was serious. He didn’t molest anyone, nor set anything on fire, not anything quite so drastic, but it was serious. My idiot exhusband called me the NEXT day and told me. And trust me when I say this, it was on the ‘Let the other parent know at ONCE’ kinda thing. It was my exhusbands days (here in Scandinavia it’s quite common for divorced kids to live both at mom and dad, 50% at each home), but I dropped what I had and told him I’d pick our son up and take him for a walk by the sea and talk to him what had happened, and that we’d come over to dad’s house after that.
His father didn’t get how serious it was. This daycare is one where they have groups divided by gender – they can mix throughout the day, but they belong to groups solely with boys or girls, and have activities where the boys get to be BOYS and play wild with ninjafights, do parkour, they saw and hammer and get dirty outside. Just as the girls have time to play with making necklaces for their moms, make drawings with sparkly stuff and such. This is not a daycare where they expect the boys to do quiet girly stuff. They’re -very- competent people, and allow boys to be boys. But they were alarmed. And I was so scared for my son (not OF my son, but concerned for what had caused him to do it and what was happening inside his head).
I was heartbroken. Livid. I was SO concerned and felt so, so alone. And for the first and ONLY time, I wondered if the divorce had been a mistake. That if my son’s problems was a price to be paid for the divorce, then the divorce hadn’t been worth it at ALL. Aside from the first week at my new job, this was the first time I felt lonely to the core of me.
His father just does NOT understand parenting, he doesn’t understand why it’s neccesary to give your kids limits, thus making them into little human beings who aren’t major brats. Little people who are KIDS, but that other people can stand to be around. And so I didn’t have any help in him. He didn’t understand it was serious and really serious. I spoke to the manager in the daycare who knows our family well, as we had meetings last year with her as an attempt to teach my spineless exhusband to set limits for his kids. Ex went willingly and happily, cause he loves his kids and he -wants- to learn, but he doesn’t turn the advice (and we’re talking hands-on, easily applied advice) to action. He’s just SO fucking spineless.
Anyway, I spoke with the manager there, and she said it was extremely obvious that it was a cry for help and that this was done by a boy who wasn’t happy and didn’t feel very good.
I was … I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life, ever- managed to do it after the kids slept. My son was a daily battle, in my home as well. He would question every line, every limit, he’d shout and throw things and throw tantrums.
The manager said to me, that my son needed to find a sense of ‘calm’ inside him self (this is poorly translated to English, but don’t know how to word it better). It was obvious that he didn’t have any tranquility inside himself and that we needed to try to figure out how to ‘ground’ him. That’s a better way to word it, I think.
Earlier this year, we had been to the State office handling custodies of children to talk about changing my biggest son’s address to me, and I suggested that instead of him being shared 3/4 – 4/3 (shared equally over the course of two weeks), that he was to be shared 8/6, 8 days with me, 6 days with dad. The law here is that if the mom has the address on both kids, she can move to the other end of the country with them if she wants, even if they have shared custody. The parent who has the address on the child also get the (quite large) check on ‘child money’ from the State every three months. Even though my ex made a LOT more than me at the time I agreed on him having address on one of the boys, cause I wouldn’t have him having the right to move, had it been the other way around. Him having address on the oldest, ended up causing a problem though … being that every time the weather would change and my son needed new winterboots or outdoor clothing to play in snow or a summer wardrobe or just new pants cause he grew a lot, and the pants were SO visibly too small … I’d have to punk my ex for a month before he actually bought the stuff. I’d have to nag and nag and I ended up feeling like a mom of not one, but two households. After a specific incident where he crossed the line, I filed for getting address on my oldest too, and one day more to me.
It was granted, without a problem. The State even said to my ex at the hearing (not a Court one, this is pre-court where it’s settled if it by any means can without an actual court), that they would advice him to take my offer, cause if they were to decide, they’d say 10/4 in my advance, cause that’s what most kids thrive best on.
This was just before the summer holiday, and we decided to do 8/6 after the holiday. Over the summer, my son became increasingly hard to handle, topping in August. I’d spend DAYS after he came home from his father, grounding him. No limits in one home … causes a powerstruggle in the other home. He’d throw tantrums, he was angry and moody and just a real struggle. At the time the thought of me having the kids more and ex having them less was challenging. I’d think; “How the f*ck will I be able to pull this off? How will it not break in the process of being alone with it all, and for longer time than now? But maybe, just maybe, this will end up being good for the boys, causing my oldest to change and become calmer.”
There was, of course, no way in a million years I wasn’t gonna do it. Even though I felt like I might be biting over more than I would be able to chew, I’d do it – and a million times over, cause these are my KIDS. I’d do anything for their wellbeing. So we started the change. The powerstruggles intensified, cause my son was with his father for 6 days, as opposed to 3 or 4 days before, depending on the week. After 6 days with father, he’d be 8 days with me, and I’d spend time on setting the lines again. Then the incident happened.
We had swapped some time up front, as I was to be in France for a few days in the beginning of September. It was during my time with the kids, so I had offered to take double the time off father’s time, as having both the kids is draining for their father. Total mayhem caused by … You guessed it, no limits. So luckily, after the incident, I had them both in my home for almost three weeks straight, apart from one weekend. And guess what?
My biggest son, my wonderfully stubborn hellraiser who’s also my unbelievably affectionate and caring little boy … he -completely- calmed down. The struggles almost vanished, he stopped shouting and the anger lifted. I was -amazed- at the difference. The daycare started commenting that he was changing, and changing a lot. Becoming more grounded and much less provoking. Every time he challenged me, I stood my ground, calm and serene. Firm, but affectionate. And he changed completely.
Him clearly calming down, the daycare’s remarks on how he was coming out of this vicious cycle he was in and becoming much happier, garnished with my boy one day coming up to me with a big smile, saying “Mom … This is where I live. I’d like to live here more.”, kissing me, then running off to play with LEGO again, caused me to ask for one more day from father’s time. We talked and talked, and I explained that this was not about me winning and him losing, this was also a challenge for me, being even more ‘in the parent spotlight’, having two boys alone, but he was clearly thriving being more in one home, and this was about our son and his wellbeing, not us. He was not completely convinced and I reminded him, that if I had wanted to be a bitch about it, I could have gone to the State, gotten 10/4, which would have granted him having to pay me child money for our biggest son, where he now only pays it to me on our smallest son. Hell, I could file for it now and have it granted, but I haven’t, cause I didn’t file for divorce to win as much money as I possibly could from my ex. He ended up giving me the extra day, so our biggest is now 9/5, which started a few weeks ago. And the angry, frustrated child I had 3 months ago, is gone. Gone.
He’s completely different. He’s found peace in having ONE home. One base. It’s so much easier having them both for 9 days straight, than having them both for 4 days, then my oldest switching to his father for 3 days, then here for 3 days, then there for 4 days.
All this went on, while having a new job with Dickwad being one of the group. Thankfully, I fucking ROCK at my job, and I’m the highest grossing employee there now. Today I held a seminar, showing Dickwad and two newcomers how to work the IT-system, as I had let Dickwad and our boss know that I refuse to do the legword of Dickwad, just because he doesn’t have the patience to learn the IT-system. I don’t even function as his secretary now, I function as his boss. He comes to me asking for advice on business strategies, how to handle big clients and I remind him to keep an eye on getting the paperwork back from clients. And he fucking sucks up to me, the idiot.
So this is what I have spent the last three months on. My sons, first and foremost. Giving them an environment at home, where there’s a nice atmosophere, so they thrive and develop in a positive direction. And rocking my job, litterally capping the flag, ending up with the control there.
And you know what?
I’m fucking proud. -I- turned my son around. I caught him when he was falling, kissed him and loved him better and steered him in the right direction. I did it alone, without his father. And I did it alongside settling in a new company and then kicking ass at my fulltime job.
I see my little boys, aged 3 and 5, and I swell with love and pride and feeling humble for having been blessed with two such precious gifts. I would fight their cause a thousand times over. There is nothing I can’t do, as long as I have them.
… Apart from maybe checking the car’s oil and being able to handle a powertool-screw driver thingy. But hey, who needs that, when men are so good at it? 😉