Day 15: Bagels, X-rays and Pettiness

Today, I am celebrating making the decision to let go of petty money issues with my ex. EinsteinsBagelandCoffeeEven in the most amicable divorces, if there is any inequity of finances, there are almost always contentious issues surrounding money.

Money has a definitely been a struggle of ours as he a lot of it, and I don’t (currently). With this arrangement, I have been primarily responsible for the kids anytime there is missed school, doctors appointments, holidays, and summer breaks, etc. You name it and they are with me. This year, they even ride the bus to my house on his technical days and stay until either he picks them up after work or they are carted off to sports practices.

Now, I don’t mind this, because it means I get to spend more time with my girls. However, what I do mind is the amount of food they consume at my house, the mess they make and the cost of the groceries and extra dinners I prepare.

This morning, on what should have been a kid-free day, I took my 10-year-old into the hospital to have her upper digestive track x-rayed and organs peeked at via ultrasound. She has been having digestive issues off and on for several years and we are trying to get to the bottom of it. Today I was scheduled to substitute teach, but her appointment took precedence. It was too late for my ex to cancel his dental patients, it had to be a morning appointment, because she needed to fast, and a Friday- my only morning without class.

There are two things I really appreciated about this morning:

  1. I have a flexible schedule and could be the one taking her in. And I’ll admit, although I need the money, I wasn’t crushed about canceling my sub job. This experience was a bit scary for her and she doesn’t appreciate her dad’s comforting style.
  2. My daughter and I had the pleasure of a little added one-on-one time, as we stopped to get a bagel and smoothie (and of course coffee for mom) on the way back to school.

The reason I bring this up is that this mini-meal and excursion was on my dime, on a day that he was supposed to be responsible for the kids. But more importantly, this day  triggered my thinking about both of my daughters’ diet and health. I recognized that although I am not the most fantastic cook, the meals I prepare are going to be more healthy and well balanced than my ex’s typical Lean Cuisine frozen dinner crap.

Both of my girls are dealing with body image/weight issues, plus the added digestive issues for my younger one. Isn’t it better to retain a little control over their health and help them in the best way I know how? I’m not judging my ex’s cooking choices, ok maybe a little, but he is doing the best he can with the skills and time he has. So, really, it’s not that big of a deal to let go of idea that I should somehow be compensated for this extra time. He is a great dad and shows up as such. It is time to release this need for financial retribution when all it really does is stress me out.

If my ultimate goal is financial freedom, then these are the thought processes that need to be released. He has been more than fair in terms of his child support and extra spousal support over the years, and he works his butt off. I think I can give him this and in the long run, what I am gaining is more financial independence and time with my girls- something that will quickly slip away as we get closer to high school.

So today, I release petty money issues and welcome extra time, food and mess with my daughters.

With love,

Anatheia

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Days 9 and 10: Soccer Moms, Fireball and Headgear

Today’s celebration and wins have been combined into a weekend post. Admittedly, I was a little too inebriated last night to write, but also, I needed the lights out in our hotel room for my girls to go to sleep.

This weekend marked one of the most dreaded soccer tournaments of the year. Partly because of the 2 and 1/2 hour drive, but mostly because it took place in Pueblo, CO. Pardon my language and offense to any Puebloians, but that place is a real s@#t-hole. The first weekend of March can be a miserable time of year for an outdoor soccer tournament, but we were at least lucky on the weather front..the scenery and atmosphere left little to be desired.

My first celebration has to do with the incredible fun and slightly too much drinking   with the other soccer moms. This group of warrior women often get a bad wrap, and perhaps, some represent the stereotype with ease. However, I feel so blessed to have ended up with the most amazing group of moms on my daughter’s soccer team. It may be more like 4 or 5 out of 17, but when we get together, let’s just say the liquor over-floweth, as do the belly laughs.

It was the first night in a very long time that I was not only social, but I felt like me again. I really hadn’t been out in many months and have barely had a drink in…well, I can’t remember how long. So when the wine and the fireball came out, we let loose. It felt amazing to finally resurface from behind my more recent gloomy disposition. I think it’s safe to say that my radiance is breaking through my hardened shield.

We all celebrated my recent graduate school admittance, and as the night wore on, I felt open and unfiltered. There was no need to put up walls or suppress my true self. It was an evening of true women, with all sorts of stretch marks, comfy, non-stylish clothes, and bags under our eyes. We all wore our battle scars with honor and pride, and celebrated with true joy and revelry for no other reason than the fact that we were all together in a crappy town for the weekend, and our beds were just an elevator ride away.

On our long drive home, we made a pit stop at the orthodontist (who happens to be my ex-father-in-law). The last part of the celebration is more in honor of my daughter, but it is also a huge relief for me. She was finally told that her headgear could find a new home in the trash. We have spent many bedtime battles over this annoying piece of torture and she has shed many tears about having to wear it. Thank the Gods that we can put those days behind us. It was a great relief and perfect ending to a fun, but long and exhausting weekend.

With Love,

Anatheia, proud soccer mom