Warning: I haven’t blogged in a while and this post is just a ramble.
Week to week visitation has begun. Skylar (22 month old) stays with Paul (dad) one week and with me (mom) the next week. This is my third child and I have never had visitation split this way. Leading up to this week we have been to mediation and court to work out visitation and support. Through this process I realized that black men are traumatized by the idea of court, police, and a possibly other government entities that represent control (like the IRS). I was completely comfortable going through court to settle our differences, but Paul believed wholeheartedly that we could have made the decisions ourselves. This is coming from a dude who is a selfish only child and at the time was still throwing “i’m not happy” temper tantrums over really small things.
I am 7 years older than him so it is only natural that I be patient with his maturity, but I was really clear that we would not be able to communicate in a way that could resolve visitation and support easily. His qualm with court has never really been explained. He just always says “I just don’t want to go through the court.” Then he kinda emphasizes the words like “BECAUSE IT’S COURT!” I usually reply with a blank stare “OK. I don’t get it. It has actually helped.” He disagrees. I feel that court has kept him on his “A” game when it comes to paying child support and finding a place of his own quickly so that we can begin week-to-week visitation.
I had so many concerns about this new visitation schedule. Will Skylar adapt well? Will she be choosing who’s house is more fun? Will she want to stay with him over me or me over him? Out of all the things that were so hard to communicate about, this is one area where we both shared a bit of fear. It has been easy to identify all the places we disagree. Disagreement is louder than agreement. Sometimes I think we were so busy disagreeing that we could not stay together. Staying together meant acceptance. Him accepting that I am NOT a traditional woman and me accepting that he IS a traditional man. Even though acceptance may not have been the key to giving Skylar the chance to grow up with a mom and dad in the same home it surely would have been nice to try.
The week has been going fine! Paul drops her at school in the morning. I pick her up from school. He picks her up from me and she spends the night with him. It gives me more time to work. I feel guilty because I actually like having the free time at night. I miss her like crazy though! Next week is my week. I am not sure if she will understand that Daddy is not coming to pick her up. It just dawned on me while typing that maybe he should come over a few times throughout the week. Here’s the kicker! In order to make this work I have to see him more which is something that I don’t necessarily want to do. He is cool and all but he represents a bit of trauma for me. Of course, I just bite the bullet for Skylar because that’s what “good moms” do right? sigh.
The saga continues….
Thank you for reading!