Monday, April 16, 2007
I was at a kid's birthday party at the weekend, observing how all the SAHM's manage their kids - for good or bad, these gals have had 100% input into how their kids are shaped, and as far as I could see it was mostly for the good. By 4 you start to be able to see the effects of discipline, routine and good nutrition and (sigh) a stable home environment. I noticed their kids listening to what their mothers said, minding their Ps and Qs and going into time out without a fight if things got bad. My son on the other hand, talked his way out of every problem with increasingly eloquent explanations, leant across the table to get what he wanted, and was very territorial. I had a wake up call. I have not had 100% hand in his upbringing, in a fortnight he spends roughly 35% of his waking hours with dad, 41% with me and 24% at preschool. So I have really passed over a lot of his upbringing to others.
When we separated, the situation was so dire, I somehow imagined I would get custody and would be tucking him in every night. My husband ejected himself from the marriage and spun off uncontrollably, he was unwell, and he focussed his efforts in the early weeks and months on finding someone else. This I assume was his (possibly subconscious) shortcut to getting himself back on his feet. His new girlfriend attended to his support (emotional, physical and financial) then he set his mind to getting joint custody - or as near as he could.
Meanwhile I found a shortcut of my own. I wanted a house and family (something like my family of origin) whilst I still could, I went for what I thought was a safe bet, the first man I fancied, who wanted these two things as well and was able to help me attain them. He was bright, he was funny, and he had helluva lot of baggage.