That’s how the exciting announcement began.
I am having job problems to say the least. My financial worries weigh heavily on me as I try to figure out how to pay bills this holiday season, let alone buy gifts for my kids.
Ted, on the other hand, is making hotel reservations and booking flights for Grant, Kristy, replacement mommy and himself for his part of Christmas vacation. This is the same father who makes substantially more than I do, receives child support, yet will not buy Grant and Kristy things they need because there just ISN’T enough money!!
I am very happy Grant and Kristy get to experience a fabulous vacation. Their childhood should be filled with awesome memories no matter which parent they are with.
I SO wish it could just end there. Buuuuuut it won’t. The pending vacation will be shoved down our throats up until they board the plane. They will be reminded and asked many questions on the phone during my limited parenting time with them. They will be fed, while on this vacation, to view this as the BEST vacation they have ever been on.
This type of manipulation has happened in the past. Two summers ago my boyfriend completely financed a vacation for the 5 of us, including spending money for his son and Grant and Kristy. The kids got to see and experience things they never had before.
Nightly Grant and Kristy would talk on the phone to their dad. He told them most nights “but when you come back, you can go on vacation with me to the best place!” Grant regurgitated Ted’s words with enthusiasm several times, referring to the same camping vacation Ted’s entire family takes together to the same campground every year. Grant’s attitude on our vacation was pissy at best. He didn’t want to join in on hardly anything, and complained constantly. Every time I hear a professional proclaim how children’s feelings cannot be manipulated, this vacation is one of the many things that pop into my mind, along with the letters B.S.
The main reason Ted will drill into their brains that THIS vacation with him is the BEST EVER is because they will be an hour away from where my parents live, experiencing the same vacation with replacement mommy we experienced as a family several times. Creating new memories where I am taken out of the picture and replacement mommy is inserted happens frequently.
Soooooooo, what’s the best way to react to the news of this vacation???? “That’s great honey!!” “I’m sure you will have an awesome time!” I will not be reduced to Ted’s level whether Grant and Kristy ever realize it or not. Everyone says they will. I say it’s a 50/50 shot and IF it is ever realized, their childhood will be long over anyway. I cannot dwell, or go green with jealousy or actually DO any of the things I would like to do because then Ted wins in getting the attention and reaction he wants. I will no longer be manipulated like that.
Hhhhhhmmmmmmm……..I wonder if voodoo dolls really work??????
Linda Antle Jacobs says
You are so on target about how to handle it from your end. Keep holding your head up and high and don’t try and compete. I know it’s hard. Raised my two kids alone too. They are adults now and they remember the funny things that happened at our house. Keep building that relationship with them and keep the ex out of your picture just like you re doing.
Thanks for a great article. I hope many people will read it.
Linda Ranson Jacobs
DC4K Creator and Blogger
Single Parent consultant