Friday, November 13, 2009

Ahhhhh !!!!!

What a morning. I dropped Miss M off at school and then headed to the Child Therapist (CT) the Ex and I have been seeing for the last month. I had some concerns and wanted to get a neutral part involved to help us solve our issues. The Ex and I don't communicate well, especially when it comes to issuse concerning her (lack of) parenting. One of the primary reasons we got divorced but that doesn't mean the issues go away. Most things I can let go of, but there are two that I really needed help on.
1) The Ex's lack of time with Miss M when she is scheduled to have her. Ex leaves the house every morning at 5 am to go to the gym, goes to work and doesn't come home until 6 PM. Miss M either spends the day at school (2 1/2 hours) or with the nanny. Ex has also been checking Miss M into "Friday Night Pajama Parties" at her gym from 5 PM until 9 PM on the Fridays she has her after not seeing Miss M since Tuesday night. Miss M has lately begun telling me things like "Mommy go gym I cry" which break my heart. I tried speaking to Ex about this but to no avail and as usual, it only ended in a fight.
2) Ex has been dating a married man who still lives with his wife and has 9 month old twin girls. She says since it started last fall after we separated. One of her former friends told me that Ex was cheating on me with married guy, so admittedly that more than upsets me and gives me fuel, but I have to look forward not back. That's just another confirmation that I did the right thing by leaving her. She still denies it to this day. What upsets me is that Ex has introduced married guy to my daughter as her "boyfriend." I've addressed this with my lawyer and there's not much I can do legally. I've contemplated approaching married guy and simply stating that whatever he does with Ex is his business, but if I hear of him going near my daughter, I'm going straight to his wife and business partners (Ex was a patient of his while we were married. Complete breach of ethics for a doctor). After talking to virtually everyone sensible I can think of, I've decided to take the high road and have CT address this issue.
Nothing stresses me out more than being around that woman and having to discuss things that are potentially contentious. I've never met a person in my life who can get me more turned around in an argument than her. Keep in mind that I've worked in finance on Wall Street for 10 years and have negotiated deals with schmutzy lawyers worth more than the GDP of some small countries with no problem whatsoever. No emotion tied to those though, so I guess it makes sense that I have a hard time here. We start out talking about the issue at hand and end up six tangents to the left, I'm completely confused and frustrated, and all I can do is bite my lip to keep from screaming and running out the door. Having a referee in the room helps HUGE but it is still a very painful experience.
Bottom line, CT has made great progress on both issues and at least for now, has told Ex that she must spend time with Miss M in the mornings and on Friday nights and if she doesn't, Miss M should be with me. Ex was visibly upset by this but agreed to this and some time during the days as make up if she can't. Second, married "partners" are inappropriate to introduce to your child at any point and this should stop immediately. CT worded it much more eloquently but Ex agreed (and hopefully isn't lying which is always an issue). We'll see how that goes.
With that, my two biggest battles have been won. Ex had some complaints of her own a)that she thinks I put Miss M to be too late (8:00 pm instead of 7:30) and b) that Miss M has told her on occasion that "Daddy mean." The first one, whatever. If I get a bit of peace with Ex by putting Miss M to bed 30 minutes earlier so be it. Small price to pay. For the second, I explained that yes, sometimes Miss M does call Daddy mean:
"Daddy, want popcicles for breakfast!"
"No baby, popsicles are dessert for after lunch or dinner. Not for breakfast"
After throwing herself on the floor: "Daddy mean!!!"
And numerous other like scenarios. Those of you with kids older than 2 can relate I'm sure. CT explained that this unanimous among kids that age once they learn the word "mean" and also asked me if Miss M has said before that "Mommy mean" which she has. Regardless, it becomes tit for tat there but at least the issues that are really important for my daughter's well being have been addressed by a highly reputable child psychologist. Ex has yet to agree to leave Miss M with me on occasions when she will not be with Miss M but we're working toward it. Somehow she fails to see how that's in Miss M's best interest. Keep in mind that we live in Manhattan and are only 20 blocks apart (1 mile). It's a 3 minute cab ride.
When we were married I felt like I had two toddlers (although the true toddler was much more pleasant). Now I have two part time toddlers...
Going to need a lot of meditation tonight. Another round starting Tuesday morning.
Looking forward, Miss M and I have a fun weekend planned! Playdate with our friend Jason Saturday, our friend Ava Sunday, and then, THE CIRCUS!!!! Yes, Manhattan is one of those weird places where you have "playdates" prearranged by the parents. Where I grew up, I walked out of the house barefoot, knocked on the neighbor kid's door and asked, "Can Charlie come out and play?" New York is unnatural on lots of levels but for now it is home.
Crappy weather in NYC this weekend but we'll make the best of it. The apartment will be covered with paint and crayon by the time we're done.


Anonymous said...

Hope you have a great weekend. :)

One thing for you to keep in mind, especially as your daughter gets older - it's not your job to ensure that her mom has a good relationship with her.I know it kills you when your daughter is upset at her lack of "mommy time", but that's something that your ex will have to answer to when your daughter gets older.

Just stay focused on being a good day. I guarantee that your daughter will appreciate it. :)

Big City Dad said...

Thanks Sunshine. Wise words. I'm the Daddy who wants to fix it whenever his little girl feels bad. I'm going to have to learn to let go a bit.

baseballmom said...

I've seen you comment on a few blogs so I popped in and have been reading your posts.

You certainly have your challenges ahead of you, but you are focused on your daughter and her well-being and from my perspective it's wonderful to see a father care so much about his daughter.

You are doing a great job BCD! I hope you have a wonderful weekend with Miss M.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. What a tale. The good news is - you're doing right by your little one. That's what matters. And helping her grow and be happy will fill you up. The other crap won't disappear. But it's easier to live with.


Travis said...

Welcome, my brother in pain. Welcome.

The day I left, the guy my ex was cheating on me with showed up and changed the locks on the house.

Pretty crazy, right. The more I learned about that timeframe, the more upset I got.

I've made a conscious decision to not say a single word about anything negative towards her in front of the kids. I've been roses and sunshine about her, and just talked about things that they get upset about. The more they learned and figured her out, the more they wanted to come be with me.

Breaks my heart every time something new happens. But we can't do much about their choices, but we can do everything in our power about our choices. It's all we got when showing love to our kids.

It all sucks. We just have to do our best.

Travis said...

Almost forgot, He is married to some other women who showed up at the house and threw a fit, and is destroying him through their divorce process after he cheated on her.

(This fit had me in a fit.)

Happened about 3 weeks after I left. Unfortunately he was around after I left, and was introduced as a "friend" who effectively lives there now...

Good times... good times. :D

I feel your pain.

Patty said...

BCD, I have the opposite situation. My ex-husband is the one that is the slacker in the kids department. It is hard, but I have to agree with the comment above that it's not our responsibility to make the exes good parents. For a while, I would call him to remind him to at least pick up the phone to call the kids. After a while, I figured that I would get tired of doing this long term. I allowed him to look good and shine as the best husband and father in the eyes of everyone, including my own family, for almost 15 years. It was exhausting living that lie. I chose to be done with it, and there I was still prodding him to be someone he's never going to be. I love when you said in another post that you couldn't change her when you were married, so there's no way you're going to change her now. We can only be responsible for ourselves and our actions. I've even thought that it's better that the kids get used to that parent disappointing them in small ways, so that the pain won't be as bad when it's a bigger deal. They will know who their parents really are in time, anyway. It's sad that people can have their own flesh and blood walking this earth, and still think of themselves selfishly as first and all-important, but at least the kids have us. Sometimes, being a good mom or dad is being both mom AND dad. Hope you're having a great weekend with the little one.

Anonymous said...

I echo the sentiments of all who've already posted. The most important thing right now is that you take care of you and you take care of your daughter. The close, understanding relationship you develop with her now will reap rewards further down the road. Believe me and it will give her (Miss M) a much more solid foundation in life.

Big City Dad said...

Words of the wise and more experienced. I appreciate that. It's tough sometimes to distinguish between things I need to get involved in and things that are best left alone. The "boyfriend" thing, probably best left alone as long as he's good to my daughter, which to her credit I know the Ex would not allow otherwise. The lack of time thing is tough. Why is my child with a babysitter when her mother isn't with her instead of me? Her mother is always my first call (although it's only happened twice, both things I HAD to go to and couldn't change). If she can't be with her, just call me. That's what's in the best interest of my daughter. Like you all said though, just something I have to put out there and then accept regardless of Ex's decision.

Jas said...

tough situation, i feel your pain.
my ex is a good mom, but we have a difficult relationship too and some similar issues.

it is bizarre world to raise your kids half the time and have difficult relationship with the other parent, that you barely see.
i can totally relate

i live in a big city on the west coast (sf) and looking forward to nyc stories. my sister just moved there and some point hope to make it out with my little girl who is almost the same age (4 and 1/2)

Travis said...

During the mediation, did you list that you were to be the first call, if she needed to leave her with a baby sitter? If so, you can remind her of that.

Hmm, actually, I'm learning that mediation isn't in all states.

Big City Dad said...

No mediation. We went the lawyer route. The docs have that the other should be the 1st call for overnights or over 5 hours. Honestly it was such a blur I didn't focus on it. I would have made it two hours, but I would do it for 20 minutes.

Jas said...

it doesnt even sounds like she even wants to be a mother

Big City Dad said...

Jas, I've heard that one a ton. To her credit, when she's with Miss M, she's great with her. Problem is, like most everything else in Ex's life, she wants to be able to do it on her terms how she wants. As we all here now, parenting isn't something you can do just when you feel like it.

Jas said...

i didnt even mean it in a disparaging way, of course i dont know what her story is, but it just seems like odd behavior. She should have enough time to do the things that she wants in the 50% of the time she is not 'on'

to be fair, i know from my own experience, that it is hard to maintain the energy to be a single parent, even within that 50%, sometimes i want a break, but like you said, i cant just do it when i want, little kids dont work that way. i think teenagers do though

Big City Dad said...

You said it Jas.

Single Mama NYC said...

After way too long of wishing that my ex was the kind of father I would most want for my son, I came to a gradual understanding that my son's relationship with his father is none of my business. As long as there is an absence of phyisical danger, who his father decides to be as a father is not for me to manage. My only job in this world is to love my baby boy as much as I do, to be the best role model of a quality human being as possible, and to be a source of stability, security and support. Sounds like you're doing that for Miss M already; your karma is a-ok.

Post a Comment