A lot has happened since my last blog update. My excuse for not writing is both true and logical – when I do have free time online I am looking for or applying to jobs and doing schoolwork. But, the real reason why I haven’t made time to write is because I always wonder if this blog is a mistake. So many people have pulled away from me. Should I pretend everything is normal and not risk losing more friends? The truth is I can’t do that, I don’t want to do that. As much as it hurts, I no longer want people in my life that can’t accept me for me.
At our fourth, and last, mediation meeting we were able to come to a parenting agreement. I am not sure what changed his mind, but we were able to work together to come up with something that seemed somewhat fair to both of us and the boys. I will have the boys during the week and he will have them on weekends and school vacations. I will get one weekend a month and one day of school vacations. He will be able to come and pick them up Tuesdays and Thursdays after work as long as he has them home before bedtime. So, compared to what he had been asking for in the past this is a wonderful plan. We get to avoid a custody study. And at first I was relieved and thankful and thought maybe it won’t be so bad.
This week we returned to court. We stood in front of the judge and accepted and agreed to our parenting plan. And it is now a court order. And I guess that is good news. Really, it is a miracle. I should be happy. But, reality is setting in. Soon, I won’t see my boys from Friday night to Sunday night. Soon I will be working, rushing home to see my kids, and if I am lucky three times a week I will have a few hours to see them before dinner and bed. And then during the time when we could do fun things I will have to say goodbye. And then I will get them back on Sunday night just in time to get them ready for bed. And this will be our time together. And I guess i have been spoiled. I have been a stay at home mother for seven years. I have incredible memories with my children. It never went unappreciated, but still I guess I didn’t realize how good I had it. If you know me, you know I have always cherished time with my children. Caleb starting school was a huge deal to me. Some days I am still counting down the hours until I see his little feet jump off of the school bus and scurry across the street. I just don’t know how to put it into words. I guess there just are no words. It is absolutely heartbreaking. My world is being ripped apart, all because I wasn’t enough. All because someone decided not to love me anymore. All because there are girls out there who are skinnier and prettier and lots more fun than me. I remember as I was growing up I would be told “life’s not fair”, and how that used to make me so mad! And now I realize what they were trying to tell me, and for the first time I realize it wasn’t a mean statement to try and justify unfairness, it was an attempt at a very important lesson.
At court this week my attorney bluntly told me “get a job and an apartment”, as if it was easy enough to do that it should be on my to do list with laundry and phone calls. He told me not to bother with a school job, because everyone would be trying for those. And panic set in. I know he is right, but I NEED a school job. If I don’t have the same hours as the boys, WHEN AM I GOING TO SEE THEM??? Who is going to take care of them? And I am sobbing just writing this. Somehow I have to pull it together and be stronger than I have ever been in the worst time of my life. I have to write cover letters and make phone calls and make myself sound wonderful, when really what I am thinking is that, there is always someone better than me.
And yet, we have yet to discuss any of the financial aspects of the divorce with our attorneys. Our attorneys are pushing to schedule a special masters pretrial before we even try to discuss it outside of court. It really makes no sense. I told my attorney that it is hard to look for an apartment when I have no idea what I will be getting for child support, that I have done the math and I just don’t seen how I can support them on my own. Still, he says “get an apartment.” To him, it seems like no big deal. But, I guess he has never tried to support a family by himself on close to minimum wage. I have learned this year how important it is to stick up for yourself. I have learned the hard way that the people who are paid to protect you (police, attorneys, state agencies, etc) don’t usually have your well being in mind. And that is still shocking to me. And lots of people don’t want to believe that. But, sadly, it’s true.
Well, I am still trying for a school job. Maybe I am foolish but I am a determined fool. My kids and I need time together. I am not going to rush out and find any job or apartment so that I can have no time with my kids and be evicted in a month. In our marriage, it was mutual, we both wanted me to stay home with the kids. He always encouraged it. And just because he changed his mind, doesn’t mean I can rush out and build a new life in a few months. But it seems like they think I should be able to.
Yesterday Noah and I went together to drop off a Paraprofessional application at a nearby city. As the man looked over my paperwork, Noah sat nearby pretending to fill out his own application. The man looked over and smiled at him, and I realized most people probably don’t have kids with them when they are applying for jobs. And I wondered if I should feel embarrassed, but I felt happy to share the experience with him. The very short time we were there, three people came in to get applications for the same job. And when we left I saw a bright orange parking ticket waiting for me on my windshield. And sometimes it feels like the world is stacked against me. But I felt Noah’s little hand in mine, trusting me to guide him safely across the busy street. And I knew everything would somehow work out. I may not be good at standing up for myself, but I will do absolutely everything possible to make sure my boys have what they need and deserve.