Co-Parenting…

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….

 

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Day 4: Sunday Breakfast Conversation

download (1)Paul cooked breakfast. Sunday is becoming our family convo over breakfast day. The kids shared their concerns about having two parents. I asked them “well didn’t you always want a dad in the house?” Their response was “umm NO!” I was a lil shocked. I guess Disney and other media had me tricked into thinking every kid wanted a mom and dad in the house. Lol! Josiah said he did at one point but after getting to know his dad’s personality vs. mine he said he was OK with me being the majority caregiver. Imani said she doesn’t really care either way. Josiah was most concerned about getting different instructions from each parent. We explored that and assured them that Paul and I are on the same page. They don’t have to worry about that. The one thing they were in full agreement on is they don’t want us to argue. They’ve never seen me arguing with anyone and they don’t want to. Growing up I never saw my parents argue, therefore I never argue in front of my kids. Paul and I are in full agreement on that so we assured them that they won’t have to worry about that. The conversation was deep, fun, and productive. I give thanks for the type of people I have groomed them to be and the environment that Paul and I are creating as parents. ‪#‎countdowntobirth‬‪#‎ShellysBelly‬ ‪#‎BabySkylar‬

Day 5: Nats game or Nah?

day-5 Attend a Washington Nationals game or Nah? NAAAHHH! Upon attempting walking the steps at my house then standing in an awesome warm shower I concluded that walking the Nats stadium was not a good idea. This is my third baby and my uterus ain’t what it used to be. One of the midwives at the practice I go to says that the third baby is usually the troublemaker. I have to agree. I’m having shooting pains in my pelvic area and she feels like she weighs a ton! I spent day 5 in bed. I don’t actually want to go into labor. I’ve never been in labor before. I hear it’s ten times worse than the contractions I’m feeling now. I’m trying to take it easy for the next 4 days. 4 days! I can’t believe it! So super hype! ‪#‎countdowntobirth‬‪#‎ShellysBelly‬‪#‎BabySkylar‬

Day 6: Special books arrive!

255_Day_6_Blue_LogoEasy peezy doctor’s appt. Now we wait for Skylar to nudge or Oct. 2nd, whichever comes first. I received some awesome mail! One item is a book I’m published in (edited by Sheena C. Howard) and the other is the baby book (gifted from ElectricLady Deniece P). Then the Kells Kakery team shipped me a nursing pillow. On top of all of that my daughter (Imani Bell ) cooked the bomb manwich and fries for dinner! Yesterday felt like it was my birthday! Lol! I am the happiest pregnant lady ever right now! Words cannot express the thanks I feel right now. Next up….Nats game, preparing the house, getting my mama (Stephanie Bell) to get my Moby wrap popping, more eating, more sleeping, and patiently awaiting baby Skylar! Let Day 5 begin!‪#‎countdowntobirth‬‪#‎ShellysBelly‬‪#‎BabySkylar‬

Day 7: TGIT

day7Thank God for friends who’ll help you look cute in the hospital. TonightKaNikki Jakarta retwisted my locs for me so i don’t have to be in the hospital looking like my hair needs medical attention! We ate Chinese and watched Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. I’m hooked on ABC Thursday nights! My last doctor’s appt. before the c-section is tomorrow. I’m making a list of things to ask the doctor. I want to know how how my insides look! Lol! You’re only supposed to have 3 C-sections but we may want one more child after the wedding. I want to know about the shots the baby will get a after birth, how long I have to stay in the hospital, and the closing procedure she’ll use for the surgery. A FB friend said she dreamed that I was posting pics of the baby on Facebook. It’s crazy bc earlier I was thinking what if I go into my appt. and the doctor says “we’re taking you in now!” I think I’m just anxious. Skylar will come when she’s ready! Who knows? Maybe she’ll be ready before Oct. 2nd. #countdowntobirth #ShellysBelly #BabySkylar

Day 7: The realities of having a sister

download I am more hungry now than I’ve been the past 8 months. I’m not craving anything I’m just hungry every 3-4 hours. I talked to Imani and Josiah today about the realities of having a new lil sister. I asked Imani about not being the only girl. Her only concern is having the darkest skin of her siblings. I had no clue she would say that. We explored that a bit. I asked Josiah how he’d feel now that he isn’t the youngest. He is not concerned about that. His only concern is that Paul never leaves us bc he does not approve of raising kids without fathers around. We explored that a bit. The convo was a loving balance of comedy and concerns. We concluded with the thought that we’re about to have a whole family. We now have a mom, a dad, siblings and a dog. This is new, different, and happy. I want all my children to know how much I love them as individuals. They all mean so much to me. I look forward to being the best mommy I can no matter how old they get. They each deserve to feel their own type of special love. ‪#‎countdowntobirth‬ ‪#‎ShellysBelly‬ ‪#‎BabySkylar‬

Day 9: Can’t touch my toes

IMG_4581 Who needs to touch their toes anyway? NOT ME! Spent the morning cuddling with Paul. Made a list of things we still need. Two of the things I really want are a boppy pillow and a baby book. Yea, we didn’t get a baby book. We have to have that! We don’t have many baby bottles but I don’t plan on bottle feeding for at least a month. I had cool convos with Paul’s mom and my mom today. I’m so sleepy and wishing my nephew would just stay sleep with me. He’s a year old and energetic. Sleeping all day is not happening! I have no clue how people manage having small children while pregnant. I’m slowing down and he’s speeding up. Skylar is snuggled head down at the bottom of my midsection. I can’t walk or stand long without pain. I’m thinking she will be between 7 and 8 pounds. I’m getting anxious! ‪#‎countdowntobirth‬ ‪#‎BabySkylar‬‪#‎ShellysBelly‬

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