Friday, July 11, 2008

Fun, fun, fun

I try not to be petty when it comes to my ex-husband and his relationship with our children.  It's hard, sometimes nearly impossible, but I honestly do try.  But, then there are those moments, those that make me want to dance and sing for my kids, begging them to like me more than they like him, begging them to want to be with me more than they want to be with him.  

Hell, haven't I been the one who's stayed up countless nights, holding them while they were sick and threw up everywhere but into the toilet or bucket, wiping their tears away when they were in pain, physically or emotionally.  

I never wanted to be that mom who needs her children to tell her how much they love her or appreciate her, but somehow inside of me there is this tiny voice that wants, no, needs, the recognition, especially when I feel like I am in constant competition with their dad.  The fun guy, the man who has always remained on the perimeter of their lives, present almost exclusively for only the weekends or holidays.  

He's not ever really had to think about much, responsibility wise, when it comes to the kids.    Mostly, all he has to worry about, is what time he needs to pick them up, when their extra school holidays are, and what time he has to drop them off, dirty laundry and undone homework in tow.  I know I sound bitter, and I really don't mean to.  He loves his kids and he's a good dad to them, at least in his mind.  No, his parenting is not what I would call ideal, but he might say the same when it comes to my parenting.  I'm sure he does what he feels is best, and all I can ask is that he loves our children.

My issue is more with myself, and what I struggle with internally.  I know it's irrational to try to compete with the other parent, but that doesn't stop me feeling the way I do.  I don't ever actually do anything that indicates any kind of direct attempt at trying to win the kids over.  I just wish I didn't have to feel this way.  Like, the way less fun parent, the rule maker, the bad cop the one who always has to do the hard work of parenting.  

I want to be the one who can run off at a moments notice and make my child feel like they are the centre of attention.  That I don't have to worry about laundry, cooking, the hum-drum of daily life.  But I can't.  What's more, is I don't think I would want to be the parent who doesn't care for them everyday, hum-drum and all.  

I guess I just get a little jealous here and there.  I want to know that the kids want to be with me as much as they want to be with their dad.  Even though I may not be as exciting.  I may not be able to take them skiing every weekend during the winter, or do many of their favorite things whenever I get the chance to spend one-on-one time with them.  Instead, mostly I just sit with them on the foot of their beds, curl up on the couch to watch a movie with them, or talk with them about their day.  It's not all that glamorous, but it's pretty damn good. 

Apparently life can't always be a carnival, that is, unless you have an ex-spouse who takes most of the heat when it comes to raising the kids.

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