I canít remember the last time I had any one-on-one time with any of my kids. Iíve either got all 3 or none. When ex and I were together, we were really good about making sure that each of us got individual time with the kids.
I may be crazy but I really feel scared that they might start preferring to be with ex and OW because there are two adults there to give them attention and do things with them. I know she will never replace me as mom but I feel since they have a more "traditional" family environment there that ex and OW have some advantage over me as a single parent. Just one more thing the D has changed for meÖmy ability to be the mom I used to be when I had a partner to help out. In many ways, I am finding that I am much happier without him but this is one area where I feel like my kids are getting the short end of the stick when they are with me. I know there are lots of others with multiple young kids on this boardÖhow do you guys do it??
"I used to be married but I'm better now"
I rely heavily on my sisters. They live just 10 houses down on the same street. They help.
That doesn't mean that I can have one on one time with the kids very often but, like last night, I left one with them while I took the other to the dentist. We had a nice one on one talk in the car.
You have 3 kids!!! Much harder. And 1 is young enough to still nurse. I know it hurts to hear them say that about your ex and OW.
What can I say? They will adjust to the new normal and all you can do is be open and honest about what you can and cannot do as a single mom.
I hear you. It's hard. It sucks. I hope it will get better. Hugs.
I do not make the meals I used to make when I was married. Meals these days are very simple and quick. Often, Teslet is in the kitchen helping me stir something.
Um...I'm loathe to admit this...but, ya know, I don't have him take a bath every day either. Some nights I just give him the quick washcloth scrub down and we get to spend more time on stories.
I know it's so much more complicated with 3 and the youngest being so little. Don't worry about measuring up to what ex and ow can do with them...find your own niche. Bubbles in the back yard? Maybe a slip-n-slide? Painting old cardboard boxes together? Dancing to funky music in the livingroom?
And how about a babysitter to mind two of them while you do a special thing with the other one for an hour or so?
I had to have a conversation with DS to let him know that even though Ex had more money to spend it didn't mean I loved him any less, it just meant I had to spend more of my money on the day to day stuff so he would have power, water, a roof, sports..etc.
He just rolled his eyes and said "I know that mom." Sometimes they are more perceptive than you give them credit for, and it never hurts to talk to them about it as well. yOu might be surprised about how much they understand about the situation.
I had an infant when I was newly separated and so she was nursing all the time. We tried to do things in the same room, but sometimes, as you said, the older two have to somewhat fend for themselves.
Find some new traditions or something that define your new family. I would hate my kids mentioning things they could do with WXH and OW, too, but if your kids have something special that they do just with you, that would be cool. For us, it's "Family movie night" every Friday, Waffle Wednesdays (waffles every Wed. for supper), or you could do anything that works, and it doesn't have to be pricey; library trips, bike rides (get a trailer for the little one), museum visits, etc.
This happened every weekend. For almost a year. I miss it and I know she does too. I am at this stage unwilling to give up any time with either of them to spend 1:1 time with either of them. I only have them 50% of the time as it is.
Can you join a local playgroup? I've made friends with lots of the school mums so often have park dates and the like where we can all keep an eye over the little monkeys.
Are there other mums in your area in the same boat - you could join forces?
Practice makes perfect - rather than stress out about what can go wrong I think you should just head out and roll with the punches. There are lots of mums in 'intact' marriages that do all of this stuff on their own 99% of the time anyway. They weren't great at it at first but they got better the more they did it.
You have a new normal now - embrace it.
I'm not a good cook at all - I make fast, healthy meals and do a lot of defrosted meals during the work week that I can just heat up.
What time I don't have in quantity I make up in quality. The sad clown has a spare set of hands but there is nothing like the way I cherish and love my girls. No amount of extra hands will ever make up for that.
Single parenthood is so hard and nothing prepares us for it.
i think this is very important
Find some new traditions or something that define your new family.
As an example, you could not go to the easter egg hunt that you used to go to. So instead, create your own easter egg hunt at/in your house. When DD was little I used to start hiding the plastic eggs about a week before easter and then she would "hunt" most every night.
Accept that things will never be the same as "before" and then embrace the new things that you can do. You could make it a habit to always read stories together before bedtime (this will especially work once your baby is not nursing before bed every night). Get the older ones involved in the the reading and story telling. That will create a special time all together as a family. Also make dinner prep a family affair. Get all the kids into the kitchen and give them jobs, even if their "job" that evening is to entertain the little one. And try to simplify dinner. The kids do not care if dinner is an home cooked meal or just soup and sandwiches. As long as it is healthy and filling, then you are going great! And fast food occasionally will not harm them, trust me.
You may not be able to have as much on-on-one as you would like but you can have a lot to family time which is just as important. Maybe try to have an hour of one-on-one once a month with each kid. That is doable and your kids with treasure it.
Ignore OW and X and any tolk about them. If the kids say anything about them respond with a polite "That's nice" and then redirect the conversation.
OW will never ever be "Mommy" to them. Sure, she may be fun and be able to buy them stuff. But only YOU really know your kids and understand how they think and act and what makes them "tick". She is superficial, you are real. The kids will get that. She can never be you no matter how much she tries.
Maybe it wasn't the life I envisioned but doesn't mean it can't be even better, right ?