Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stability Amongst the Chaos

Lots of shifts are afoot in the castle.
Custody changes. Moving to a new castle. Finding my independence. Financial juggling resulting from the aforementioned happenings.
All for the better, but difficult nontheless. My conviction is being tested constantly.
I'm just taking it day by day - and sometimes breath by breath.
But in the words of the infamous Charlie Sheen, I'm "WINNING!"
Prince Charming and I had our conversation with the kids about the custody changes. We decided he needed to come to my house, a place of comfort for them. We told them we both loved them, and that we decided together that it would be in their best interest to not have to switch between our two homes mid-week. We reassured them they would still see Dad on his weekends, and one day mid-week (if possible). Made sure they didn't think I was trying to take them away from their Dad, or that Dad was mad at anyone (this was an especially important point to make to Hansel, due to the dinner/food struggles he encounters at Dad's).
I did most of the talking. PC wasn't fully present. He tried, but even the kids noticed something wasn't right with him.
"Dad, you look tired," was Hansel's observation.
We used that as an opportunity to elude to the fact that PC hadn't been feeling well. Likening it to the kids' recent battles with cold/flu viruses.
"Daddy's not been feeling well, so he's been resting and taking care of himself for a change."
We (I) used this as an opportunity to explain that the mid-week visits with him had yet to be worked out to give Daddy a chance to rest and get better.
They seemed to take the news fine. Appreciative of the fact that they wouldn't have to remember to bring their backpacks/homework/library books/jackets back and forth between two homes. And that their would be consistent rules to follow (at least during the week).
Most importantly, they were happy to know that they would still see Daddy.
I've had many follow-up conversations with them to make sure they continue to be ok.
They've had one visitation weekend with Prince Charming since we told them. This weekend will be their second.
Last night Hansel told me he's happy with the new schedule.
I'll admit that I miss the downtime, but I'm lucky and thankful that I have my shit together and can afford to provide a stable and loving home for them in the midst of their father's own chaotic shifts.
I'm worried for Cinderella, who has to live with it full-time.
She and I have had minimal contact since they moved out last year. When I saw her last week, she seemed ... I don't know... not as joyous and bubbly.
I fear, she's taking on the responsibility of caring for her Dad, and for her brother and sister when they visited two weekends ago. I'm almost certain she has been given little by way of explanation as to what's been going on with him. 
I've been wanting to reach out and offer some of my time with her - to talk, hang out - I think that time has come. She might be in need of a little stability right about now too.


cassee01 said...

I think you should and I'm sure she's not getting any positive feelings about her dad from her mom - she's lucky to have a step mom like you - even if you don't have the official title anymore.

Amy said...

It's so good of you to think of this and offer right now. You've been a great mom to her and I hope she takes you up on this!

Anonymous said...

I think you should definitely reach out to Cinderella. The more trustworthy, stable people kids have in their lives, the better. I bet she really needs the stability.

Your Fairie Godmother said...

That would be a beautiful & kind thing to do, little Wicked one. You've nothing to lose & everything to gain ... and give. Of course, Cinderella may at first reject you or seem standoffish because of old issues from the beginning of the divorce, but given time, I'm sure she's want the comfort of your voice in her ear & a well remembered stepmom hug.

Raw Wife said...

I'm so glad I found your blog, though I wish I would have found it sooner. Our lives share some interesting parallels.

I am also a custodial stepmom and biomom. My husband (hopefully NOT soon to be ex, but we'll see . . .) seems to be suffering from some issue that may tear us apart in the end. One of the main things that keeps me with him is fear of the same thing you suspect might be happening to Cinderella.

It's good to see that you're working things out so well. You must be a very strong woman.

Anonymous said...

I'm very behind in reading this, so I'm hoping to send you blessings & prayers, and hope that things have gotten better with Cinderella & PC. Hansel, Gretel, and Cinderella are ALL so lucky to have you in their lives!

Anonymous said...

I have spent the majority of my afternoon reading your blog, from happy beginnings to where you are as of May 2011. I stumbled across your blog while researching step-parent/step-child related issues. I too am currently a second wife to a husband who’s first marriage to a lunatic produced an offspring; my 8YO step-son. I also am a bio-mother of two wonderful children: a 15YO daughter from a previous relationship and a 3YO son with my husband. Our son is “the salt in a wound” of the ex-wife, as she so shared in her own blog that I stumbled upon on accident. Although I have a child from a previous relationship, this stress of step-parenting is something I am not familiar with as my daughter’s father removed himself from our lives. Nothing could have prepared me for this journey. I worry that the shenanigans surrounding my husband from his first marriage i/r/t his son will impact our marriage as it seems there is still so much unresolved business. It almost prohibits or impairs our own relationship from blossoming as we often fund ourselves dealing with the issues that never seem to get resolved from that relationship, even though ex-wife left the marriage on her own accord. It is evident that her poor choices have taken a toll on my step-son. The hardest part is not having any legal rights to be able to say or do anything (but apparently ok to dump parenting responsibilities on me, if it accommodates the bio-parents), but rather to just sit and watch it all unfold. It’s like being witness to a terrible accident. This is not the life I imagined, for me and especially not for the children involved. I have entertained the thought of starting my own blog (as therapy) to tell my story as it is so crazy that it could be a Lifetime movie. Basically, ex-wife is on marriage #3. She is currently married to an approx. 20YO, who we believe was a student on her track team a few years ago. (Yes, she is a teacher.) She will let my husband know at least 3 times during a conversation that she has a master’s degree in education, therefore making her an expert when it comes to dealing with their child, or any child for that matter. Little does she know that ex-husband #2 has come forward to my husband, telling him that he needs to do whatever it takes to remove their son from the custody of the ex-wife. Ex-wife doesn’t know that we now know that ex-husband #2 has full custody of the 2 children they were in the process of adopting from foster care. Lying is second nature to her and she has maintained that they are still in the process of determining custody of said children. Ex-husband #2 has also indicated that ex-wife does not, in fact, her a master’s degree. Rather, she enrolled in on-line classes and he was doing the work for her. He has also made other accusations against her that I will not share. Not here, not now. But, he has evidence that my husband and I have been privy too and it is not good. There is a long battle ahead, should my husband decide to move forward. But, it is his choice and his decision. I pray he makes the right choice… for my step-son’s sake. All my best to you and your children, especially "Cindy" as she has already endured so much. Remember to take care of your own first. ;)

Him and Her said...

This is painfully familiar. Love your blog.

Dayngr | Dayngrous Discourse said...

Agreed, this is painfully familiar. Wishing you nothing but the best.