Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Going Against Your Gut

My ex husband came into town recently for business and asked to see the children for the evening.  Five years ago, he told me he was switching jobs to a company that would require him to travel to and from our area frequently in the hopes that he would be able to see the children more often, but this recent visit marked only the second time in those five years that he has done so.

He surprised them by coming to school to get them..for the first time ever... and then took them to their activities for the evening. He had a business dinner, so I met him at The Boy's practice so he could leave to get to it.

When he went to leave, The Boy was still in the middle of practice. I had emailed the coach earlier in the day to let him know about our special occasion, so I offered to go get him off the field to say goodbye, because I knew it would be okay.  My ex didn't want to interrupt him.  I imagine he was thinking of himself as an eleven-year-old boy and how much he would have hated to be singled out like that.... he indicated that The Boy had been hesitant to hug him before he went on the field.

I found myself in the uncomfortable situation of knowing in my gut that my son, with whom I spend every day, would want to say goodbye, but not wanting to interfere with what little chance my ex has to make parenting decisions for our children.  The children were thrilled and he and I had had positive communication and interaction surrounding the visit. I didn't want to ruin that and have him perceive me as trying to control the situation ... "like I always do."

I went against my gut and let my ex make the call.

My son cried himself to sleep that night.

I wanted to knock myself upside the head.

I hate upsetting my children like this, especially The Boy, who is quiet and sweet and reserved with his affection.

Fortunately, when I texted my ex to tell him The Boy had been "bummed," he didn't take it as a criticism and we made arrangements for The Boy to call the next morning on the way to school which seemed to heal his heart.

But there are few things worse than having your child cry himself to sleep over something you could have prevented.

*SIGH*

14 comments:

Renegades said...

It's hard enough being a parent let alone sharing parent duties with an ex. Don't kick yourself to hard.

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm so sorry The Boy was upset. :( That sucks.

The whole "split parenting" thing sucks, doesn't it? All you can do is your best, right? I totally understand how maddening it must be to know you should have gone with your gut, for your son's sake. Yet, I really respect your decision to let your ex make a "parenting decision" on his own. You're a better woman than I am, that's for sure.

The Dose of Reality said...

Man. That was rough. I feel like you tried your best in that situation to be flexible, and it backfired. Your poor sweet boy.-Ashley

Heather said...

I always find that my husband treats my 11 year old boy like he is older and not as sensitive as he is. He tells me I don't know because I was never an 11 year old boy which I agree with, but I think he is confusing his 16/17 year old self with my 11 year old boy! Your poor little guy I am so happy you were able to find a compromise that made him happy.

And your news!!!! How amazing! I am so happy for you! And I love the story of you sitting post work-out eating ice cream. It seems like he was so excited he couldn't wait!

Ilene Evans said...

I think when we put ourselves in someone else's position, we don't always put "them" in that position. It's well meaning but it does backfire. I am so sorry it backfired on your poor sweet boy!

Sara Swati said...

How sad for The Boy! At least you guys remedied it?

Andrea B. said...

Oh, hugs. Huge ones. I'm sorry. I wish that there were ways to fix it, but you know he's going to go with his mindset and move ahead as he does. It's not your fault, mama. xo

Anna Hettick said...

OH gosh that's got to be hard. So sorry.

visiting from Pour Your Heart Out

Leah said...

It's always so tough as we realize that we have to let the other parent parent the way they want to - even though it can mean some heartache for our kids. So tough. You did what you thought was best at the time...

Laurie Matherne said...

This was a well-written and bravely written post that spoke from your heart. I can't imagine how you felt as your son cried into the night. Well done.

Cyndy @ Back in the Bush said...

You did what you thought was best....sorry the boy ended up hurt =( It may have been deeper than just that one thing though. Seeing his dad whom he doesn't see often may have been emotional all on its own.

Leigh Powell Hines said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. That is tough.

RETA said...

Very sad situation. You are doing your best - don't be discouraged.

RETA@ http://evenhaazer.blogspot.com

Mimi B said...

Sometimes we just can't win. In a moment's decision, we have to access everything and try to make the right call. I just groaned reading this knowing how you must've felt and that's so tough. I hope the call the next morning was good for The Boy's heart.