Every single Friday after school, my kids alternate homes. Some Friday mornings, I wake up really happy and almost giddy, because they are coming back. However, the alternate Friday is known at the nest as
Rat Bastard Day.
Apparently, per my new husband, I have patterns of behavior. Well, we all do. He does too.
However, apparently, I am never so predictable as on the day that the kids go back to Stanley's.
It goes like this. Now that the boy is driving, I pick the girls up from their respective schools, bring them back to the house, love on them, then they pack and at about 5, get in his beater Range Rover, and drive off.
I wave. I blow kisses.
Y'all come back now, ya hear?
Then I pout as they back down the drive.
After the first couple of Friday exchanges, I noticed Al, who is always right beside me, standing a few feet away looking at me strangely.
I said, "What?"
He said, "Nothing, I'm just staying over here, it's Rat Bastard Day."
"Aren't we all rat bastards today? As in 'all people with a penis'? You are mad. You are mad every time those kids back down the driveway and so I am giving you a wide berth."
My new husband is a
Yes, I'm mad. I'm mad every other Friday night when they leave for a week.
It sucks harder than my Dyson.
I'm mad at Stanley and I'm a little mad at Al too. No, it isn't rational. It certainly isn't Al's fault. But these men don't seem to suffer as much as I do when the kids leave. Stanley hardly even communicates with the kids when he's off, and Al, although he is in constant communication, isn't crying about not seeing his every day either.
But, It's not just me. I see other divorced moms on FB, friends of mine, who also share custody of their kids, and they are miserable sometimes, too. We comfort each other with messages of support and tips of how to spend the time while the kids are gone.
Last week, a friend told me how lucky I was that I have 'kid free weeks'. She said she was jealous of me as she and her husband sat side by side sharing one piece of tiramisu.
Really? Jealous of me?
I understand how overwhelming kids can be. I've been overwhelmed with mine at times. I understand how it might look to tired moms. It looks like time to yourself, time alone with your partner, time for books and baths. It looks like SLEEP.
But, I didn't have children to only have them every other week. There are times that I have no idea what they are doing or if they've done their homework or have another clean school shirt left in their drawer.
I think thoughts like,
"When my kids are grown up, will I have only experienced 50% of their childhood?"
After a few hours of sulky brooding on Rat Bastard Fridays, usually Al and I go out to dinner somewhere. I start off fussy and cranky, and relax after a drink or two and by the time I get home I'm ready to crash and make up on all that sleep I missed during the week of 6 am carpool. We fall in to a routine of working and watching TV side by side on the sofa and spend time together that we need as a newly married couple. The alone time is good for us.
It doesn't seem to matter though; On Rat Bastard Day I still grieve my divorce and go through every phase of emotion when my kids back down that driveway.