Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Getting Divorced...

... and I have three kids. What do I do? How do I make this easier? Will it get easier?

I can do this. I know I can. The question is, can I do it right? I figure it's one day at a time from here. Divorce is new and shaky ground, and a path I never thought I'd end up taking. Here I am, though, so it's time to put one foot in front of the other.

I moved this past weekend, into a little house I picked out myself. I signed the lease myself. I paid the deposit myself. I got the utilities turned on, myself. Granted, I had financial support from some very good friends, but the point is I didn't just ask for a divorce and then sit there like a lump. I did something about it.

I moved out.

And took the kids with me.

We are managing to keep it civil, X and I. I'm pretty proud of that. It's not a hateful divorce, where we are using the kids against each other; we decided from the start that they have to be the #1 priority. That means not fighting and making them any more upset than they already are.

So far, so good.

If we can keep it up, I think we'll be OK. It all depends on if we can hold our shit together independently - we may have been all of 24 when we married eleven years ago, but neither of us had ever really had to stand on our own two feet. Now it's sink or swim time.

The kids are taking it better than I thought - V (who I expected to be a drama queen) cried hard for a minute or two; but she had seen it coming and rallied fast, asking natural questions like could she keep her cat and where were we going to live.

C was a different story. I had been terrified he would widen his eyes so no tears would fall out, hug his arms around himself and run away to his room, holding it all in so as not to be any trouble. Instead he broke down completely, sobbing for nearly two hours untill he fell asleep; as hard as it was to see him like that, I was relieved as I sat and rocked him.

D is too little to understand - he's used to 'Da-ee' working funny hours and being around intermittently, so it's not having as hard an impact on him.

The morning after we told the kids they seemed almost normal, and since then there has been some minor acting out but nothing too bad. They've had a few stomachaches. I'm trying to be lenient in some cases but still draw a line at very bad behavior, and if their tummy hurts I sit with them and rub their back.

Now that we are fairly moved into our little 3 bed 1-1/2 bath, we have the Thanksgiving holiday to get settled in. I let each of the kids have a bedroom and turned the living area into a studio for myself with a bed, desk, chair and TV.

V has the 1/2 bath, which is why I am not altogether certain why she just spilled half a bottle of bright lavender nail polish on the carpet (good-bye, deposit). No, wait - she just came in and glory be - she got it up. Baby-wipes are wonderful things. Nail polish now relegated to vinyl-floored bathroom.

C has the room with the high up windows, which led to hilarity when he inadvertently locked the door and exited the room, pulling the door shut behind him. I had to boost him up and let him crawl in and leap to the floor inside, which he did with amazing alacrity. Adventure!

V and C made a pact to take turns sleeping at 'Dad's house' so he won't be lonely. So far it seems to be working out well. D is sleeping remarkably well here - of course, still being in his crib, having the same stuffed animals and hearing the same music station playing on his TV softly makes it feel natural and homey to him.

All my stuff is still in horrific disarray, but I have a massive project to finish and then there's Thanksgiving - so I figure I'll get to sorting it all out in December. I've very nearly made all the money I need for December already, so I will be able to focus on paying back my debts and socking back a cushion before I face my CPA with evidence of my procrastination.

Divorce sucks... but not as bad as staying together and ending up full of hate, bitterness and anger would have. I think I pulled the plug just in time. I just hope X hangs in there and does OK so the kids have him to look up to.

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