Birdnesting is going GREAT.
Since Stanley got an apartment it has been smooth sailing.
Ethereal Nest Photo
Oh, I still get mad because he is such a pig but he seems to be trying slightly harder.
Key word there is slightly, but Stanley is limited.
*curly pig tail still intact*
The kids are doing great with this arrangement;
Why not? They have what they need every day.
Me, however, I live out of a bag.
THE ACTUAL BAG
I rotate my dirty clothes in and out of it every 2 days. I have my book and readers, which are often left at the house that I am leaving ( therefore I can’t read most nights because I don’t have the book or I don’t have my readers and can’t see the page); my laptop so that I can blog, do clinical notes and play Bubble Witch Saga on Facebook (shame); my sneakers so I can get my fat ass on the elliptical at the nest or the treadmill at my mom’s; my work notes, that are often not the correct date, i.e this morning I discovered that I have 2 out of 3 sheets with me (GRRRR); assorted chargers (most often left behind which puts me in Bubble Witch Withdrawal and you don’t want to see that shit); vitamins and sleep aids (because I am a nervous wreck living out of a bag) and did I mention my dirty clothes?
Crap, do you think anyone will notice?
I’ve now stooped to where I wear my clothes several times and just change out a shirt and undies. Easier to pack that way. I’ve never done this before and it is a shameful habit to begin at 48 years old. Since I see patients in different locations on different days, usually, I am not observed wearing the same clothes 2 days in a row, but I always have to do a mental calculation on the odds of seeing the same carpool moms 2 days in a row or heaven forbid, if I will have to go in to the school.
On Monday morning, I ran home from mom’s before heading out to work because I needed to change out of my funeral clothes. I had on a silk shirt and I couldn’t see that standing up to the day I had planned. I pull in the driveway and Stanley’s car is in the garage.
OH SHIT. What is he doing here? Is someone sick?
He was brewing.
Yes, a grown man took off work to brew beer in the backyard.
Whatever, he was on nest duty, it is his right. So, I say a quick hello and mumble about needing to change, and head in quick so he can’t see the look on my face that says, “don’t most people grow out of this kind of shit?”
When I was walking past him heading back to the car, I said, “it is hard living out of a bag”.
Oh my holy God, shock…
His response was, “It is. But I just keep thinking that if it is hard for me it would be so much harder for them. At least they don’t have to do it.”
When I was researching birdnesting custody, I saw several articles where judges were making divorcing parents live out of a bag and rotate just to show them how hard it is and what they were expecting of their kids. At that point, I just wanted the kids to have to make as few adjustments as possible because I felt such extreme guilt about the divorce.
The bag is hard. Possibly the hardest part of this arrangement. I am grown and forget things everyday. I can’t imagine my ADHD kid managing to have what she needs for school everyday. I know that this arrangement won’t last until they are out of high school. Stanley has already said he doesn’t want to be financially responsible (well, 1/2 responsible) for the house for much longer.
But at this point, everyday I can bear the burden of the bag for my kids is a good day for them.
If you know me in real life and see me wearing the same clothes 2 days in a row,
be a lamb and don’t mention it.
I absolutely adore you, and admire you, for living out of that bag. It is a testimony of your love for your children, and I hope that you feel immense pride (as well as the frustration that inevitably comes with it) every time you see it.
I’ve read so many articles that discuss how difficult it is for kids to have things in two places – every kid forgets things, but then children of divorce also have to navigate the treacherous waters of making parents communicate about how to get the missing item from the other parent in time for (sports, school, whatever). That you have assumed this burden is actually a beautiful thing, in my eyes.
I’m not birdnesting – though when I read your blog, I often wish I could, I don’t think we could do it, and I don’t have a back-up nest and couldn’t afford to support two households the way Stanley does – but I’m trying to be just as sensitive to Katherine’s needs. I buy her duplicate items so that she has what she needs at mom’s and dad’s and doesn’t need to carry a bag at all, and when there is something important I make it my job to say “No problem! Let me call and see if we can go pick that up right now.” She has keys to both homes, and our deal is that if something is forgotten then she can go, with her parent, to the other parent’s home to pick it up, and therefore not have to wait until it’s convenient for the other parent. Also, he lives two blocks away (walking distance) for the purpose of quick exchanges and spontaneous visits – we don’t have to get in a car to see him, nor he us.
Your premise of “the kids come first always!” is inspiring to me, and gives me important reminders about how to support my own daughter, even though I’m not birdnesting. Thanks for your continuing to share your story.
uckoo Momma says
Oh thanks friend. I love the ‘living 2 blocks away’ scenario! Today I actually changed my shirt in a parking lot. Oh well. I wish I was finding your ‘peace’.