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AussieMum posted 7/11/2013 04:00 AM

Just met STBXH to drop the kids off for the night. It's school holidays here and school is usually the 'buffer' so I had to meet him. DD (7) was excited to see her dad pull up in his car and said 'yay! freedom!' which basically translates as 'dad lets us do whatever we want and stay up as late as we want'

DS (11) looked really awkward and said 'don't worry mum, we get freedom at your place too'

I know it's silly but I felt really sad driving home. His place represents freedom and fun. My place represents rules and routine

Threnody posted 7/11/2013 07:51 AM


My kids are 12, almost-9, and newly-7. The last few days of June, we met my parents halfway to drop the kids off with them for a month at Camp Grandma (my parents live in the country, about 17 hours away). In the week or so before that, I couldn't get my son's attention long enough to get him to complete a task. I was getting frustrated. Then I heard the 9-year old say to her little brother, "You can't ignore mom yet. We're have a few more days before Camp Grandma, and then you can ignore her."

When I heard that, my first thought was that nobody was going to Camp anything, I wanted their rooms cleaned before supper, and holy crap, nobody better ask me for ice cream money. All of that happened in a second or two, and because of my extremely hurt feelings.

And then I realized, from a kid's point of view, things are pretty much that black and white. But not permanently.

They've been there awhile now. I get texts from the middle one, the one who hurt my feelings. "I miss you! We had fun today but then we had to help with the lawn." I got one from the 12-year old, too. "We have a lot of chores. I'm having fun, but I want to sleep in the morning." In their world, they have fun or work. Not both.

In their world, they have to listen to the person in front of them or not, and only FOR NOW. In a week, they have to listen to someone else. The person in front of them is invisible, out of sight. They are still learning about impermanence, for one thing, the very thing that delighted them about peek-a-boo when they were babies. "I see her. I don't see her. OMG, I SEE HER!!!"

Your daughter has freedom at your house -- there's a lot of freedom in being in a safe place with people you know love you unconditionally. She doesn't have the words for that yet. And when she's at her dad's, she may not remember this.

But I can guarantee you, when it's time to come home to Mum, her little brain is going to be excited. "Yay! Love!"

Because Dad's love means someday it goes away, so that isn't love. Love is Mum.

Yay! Love!

[This message edited by Threnody at 7:53 AM, July 11th (Thursday)]

cmego posted 7/11/2013 08:10 AM

I know exactly what you mean, but try to look at it this way...

You represent "real" life. You are being their MOTHER, not their friend. You are teaching them rules, responsibility, real grounded love.

My IC has told me that as the kids get older they will see their Dad as who he really is...a play thing. Their connection to their Dad won't be a deep connection like they have with me. My children do not have a deep emotional connection to their Dad already. They like visiting him, but they TALK to me. He doesn't KNOW them, he has a superficial relationship with them and always will. As they get older, they will see it for what it is.

On the surface, it sucks, I totally agree. But, this just means you are doing your job really well.

newlysingle posted 7/11/2013 09:00 AM

Ditto what everyone else said. I just remember what a friend told me. Her kids also loved going to Disney dad's until they got sick. Every time her kids get sick the call her and say they want to go home to her.

He might be fun with no rules, but they know that you are the real parent that they can depend on when they really need a parent.

Newlease posted 7/11/2013 09:33 AM

I heard this little piece of wisdom (on a TV show, no less) when a Mom was complaining about a Disney Dad,

"Your place is a fun vacation and my place is homework and chores."

The Dad replied, "Yes my house is like a vacation, but your house is HOME. I can't compete with that. Everyone loves vacation, but they are also always ready to come home."

Try to think of it like that. You are the heart of your children's home.

Sending strength and peace.


NewMom0220 posted 7/11/2013 09:56 AM


When your kids are older they are going to realize how hard you worked for them and how easy their dad had it. They will also realize how easily he walked out on the family and what a shitty thing that is.

You are the one they can count on for the good AND the bad times. Don't ever forget it. I grew up in a house with both my mom and dad, and to this day I still applaud my mom for everything she did for us. My dad was there the whole time, but my mom did all the heavy lifting. You will have a bond with them that he will never have.

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