Friday, July 29, 2011

Vacation With Dad...Maybe

I've been stressed and cranky lately.  I think I have finally pinned down why.  It's because I think my kids may get hurt again soon, and I don't know how to prepare them for it.

Last year at this time, my ex announced that he would be taking the kids for a week.  Then he notified me that a week might be too much, so he'd just be taking them for a few days.  Then he said just one day, but the day before that day, he called and said he had an important meeting at work and couldn't come see them. 

In May of this year, he announced that he is taking them for a few days, but if it goes well, he may keep them an entire week.  So far, he hasn't changed that plan, but we are all expecting him to.  And I am not sure how to deal with this.

Should I let the kids get their hopes up, let them think that he can be trusted to keep his word to them?  Or should I be realistic and prepare them for the letdown if he backs out again as he did last year?  On the one hand, I don't want to make them think their dad is untrustworthy, but on the other hand, he has proven himself to be so more than once, and if I prepare them, they might not be hurt as badly.  Although maybe I don't need to prepare them.  All four have expressed doubts that he will really pick up the three who plan to go with him on the specified date.

I am angry that my poor kids are at the mercy (or lack thereof) of a self-centered man who doesn't deserve to be called "Dad."  I am annoyed that my kids have to suffer the consequences for his selfish choices.  And I am frustrated that I don't know how to help them.

1 comment:

Samm Lewis said...

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

You cannot change your ex and you admit that you are the one who is "stressed and cranky." As long as you allow him to control your moods and reactions, and to live rent-free in your head, your kids will pick up on your negative emotions. Yes, they will be hurt, but I don't think I can shield those I love from the consequences of others' behavior. You need to stay as calm and unaffected as you can, so they can learn how to do that. Fake it if you must until it gets easier. The only thing you can change in this situation is yourself and your reactions. Allow him to be as irresponsible as he needs to be. Give him and your kids to God, and give God all your anger and annoyance and hurts and disappointments too. Only then will you be free to become the beautiful woman who is waiting to break out of the prison of expectations and dashed hopes. I pray for all of you as you continue to Let Go and Let God. Love, Samm