They Are Mine...And You Can't Have Them

Brought to you exclusively by Dual Mom on
I often get asked by people in real life how I make the whole shared parenting thing work.  It is not easy, make no mistake about it. My life would be so much simpler if Ex picked up the kids on the weekend and dropped them back off to me on Sunday evening. The shitload of child support he'd be required to give me would totally support my shoe addiction. However, this would not be "in the best interest of the children".

We're both fit parents, as much as I totally sucked hard at being a wife and he was a complete assdink husband, suprisingly enough we have our shit together when it comes to this whole parenting thing. We always have. It helps that we share the same views when it comes to parenting: at 8 years old you don't get to determine what time you go to bed...you have a bedtime, sometimes "time out" just doesn't cut it and if you're being a complete asshole and throwing a fit over nothing at all you will get a slap in the butt, you bet your sweet ass you're grounded for life if you get in shit at school or backtalk to an adult. If you want an allowance you're going to contribute something to the running of the house, money does not grow on fucking trees. We are so not new age parents. New age parents are fine, we've just never gone for that parenting style.

Another thing I often hear is that it is not fair to expect a child to live in two different home. Yes, it is an adjustment. Let's look at the alternatives: stay together for the sake of the children, or expect the child to forfeit part of his or her relationship with their father (or mother, but it's usually the father). Neither of those seems like a win/win situation to me. I can guarenfuckingtee that had Ex and I stayed together for the kids, one of us would be serving a life sentence in a cozy 8x8 cell right now. Being patted down before visiting mommy or daddy at the local penetentiary makes for really well-rounded kids, doesn't it?

My friends think I'm off my rocker because I do not make Ex pay child support. I may well be off my rocker, but my response is "Why would I?"(shoe addiction aside). He has them for an equal amount of time. School related expenses, eye glasses, and all other miscellaneous things are shared equally between us. He buys them clothes to wear when they are with him, I buy them clothes to wear here. It's simple math (even for a math tard like me).
I get that break ups are hard. I get that there is often anger, feelings of betrayal and yes, even hatred. I think it's a parent's responsibility when seperating/divorcing  to look at your kids and ask yourself, "Am I doing this(fighting for custody) because it is going to make my child happy, or am I doing this because I hate the motherfucking sperm/egg donor and my sole purpose in life at this moment is to make that son of a bitch suffer to the very core of his/her being?" If it's the latter, yeah you might want to talk to someone about your anger issues.

Shared parenting is totally inconvenient and a pain in the arse......at first. Then again, kids in general are a pain in the arse most times. As with all things in life, there is a silver lining. I couldn't drink tequila from a shoe on my birthday, in a really fancy restaurant, with all of my BFF's if my kids were with me full-time. If I were a single mother, in the true sense of the word, I'm pretty sure I'd be addicted to prozac and a raging alcholic. Kuddos to you guys and gals out there doing it solo. I know for a fact I couldn't. I have time to be me, which is something that alot of moms/dads don't have. The kids always have a parent with them. Always. Appointments, meetings, work stuff, life stuff is scheduled, by both Ex and I, during the time when the kids are with the other parent.

So I encourage all of you to leave your spouses and do the whole shared parenting thing.



*silence*


Ha...you thought I was serious, didn't you?

Seriously, it is not all bad. It is what you make of it or some deep shit like that.

Of course, throw a girlfriend who should be cursed with the pox and a raging case of chlamydia into the mix, and all bets are off. Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I'm going back to see how many times, since I've started blogging, I've wished an STD on Ex's girlfriend. I'll burn in hell I tell ya.

26 comments:

The Blue Zoo said...
January 6, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Hhhhmmm......Ive never heard it explained quite like that. Kinda doesn't sound so bad. I could use some time to myself! Im still married, so I dont get time to myself. Ever.

GunDiva said...
January 6, 2010 at 12:43 AM

My ex and I tried shared custody. Didn't work, but I'm glad to hear that it's working out for someone. We technically have joint custody but he lives in AZ and I live in CO, so the kids live with me full time. He's kicked my sons out of his house so often they don't even speak and my daughter has a hard time visiting him for more than two weeks because she's so far away from "home."

I wish the shared custody had worked out, it seems like a dream...

Nathanael Rey said...
January 6, 2010 at 5:09 AM

I definitely agree with your parenting style. Kids these days just have no respect.

I know, however, that I probably will NOT make a good parent, so I will stick to not having kids... should be pretty easy for me.

Oh yeah, shoe addiction? your telling me..... I think I am the only man in New York State, possibly even the States, who had a pair of Loboutin Loafers.

yes, I said had. No, I don't want to talk about it. It's a painful memory.

WolfePartyOf5 said...
January 6, 2010 at 5:16 AM

I love how you are doing this for your kids. I teach Divorce Care 4 Kids and you would be surprised by the things I hear from parents and all the shit they put there innocent kids through. it's so awful. My heart breaks for these kids. It took a the psychologist that we took my daughter too 5 years ago to point out that she was acting a certain way because me and her father were being assholes to each other. Right then and there we both agreed to change, for her, for my baby Emma. And now I am in the business of educating children and parents about divorce. (well, not actually, that's just a night class I teach. I actually work with Domestic violence victims at a shelter)

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...
January 6, 2010 at 8:20 AM

We don't share custody. He has the standard visitation and does pay the child support, and he is a butthead dad. But, it is important that the kids are there and see him. Know him. Make their own minds up about him. And, as the other parent it's about letting go of the control. It's not easy, but I am with you, if I didn't have that free time, I'd kill myself. Is it Thursday yet???

Vinomom said...
January 6, 2010 at 9:41 AM

I am in the same boat as Lee. The ex is a POS but Lady H sees him fairly regularly (we have no set routine) and he does pay child support. I don't put my .02 in about him. I let her figure it out for herself. I hold out hope that he might change one day.

I do know what you mean about the time to yourself though. It has often occurred to me that I probably get more time away being a single parent than most married mothers do. However, I have pretty much zero help in the day to day stuff. I know a lot of married moms are in the same boat, though.

ninekindsofcrazy said...
January 6, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Big kudos to you for putting the kids first and working together with your Ex (STD's aside). I think it's great that you honor his parenting time and use it to pamper yourself. I know I diss bio-moms a lot on my step-blog, but you're definitely one of the all-time best Mommas ever.

adrienzgirl said...
January 6, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I think there are cycles. For the sake of the children most times you keep it together and act like grown ups. But, then those reasons you got divorced creep back in and you have melt downs and things get heated for awhile.

Eventually we all get back to being grown ups though. For the sake of the kiddos

Danielle said...
January 6, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I like your out look on this. Very positive.
I am one of the lucky women that don't have to worry about co-parenting. The sperm donor opted himself out of the picture before my daughter was born. I am gratefull most of the time.

Laura said...
January 6, 2010 at 11:20 AM

My ex and I also do shared parenting and I too receive no child support from him. Not only do we both see the kids equal time, but I honestly didn't want his money. That's how done I was by the time I divorced him.

I miss the kids like crazy when they are with him, but I believe that it is what is best for the kids. Plus he really is a decent Dad. He may lack in the cooking area, but his Mother usually will send stuff over so they don't eat fish sticks or chicken nuggets all the time.

Kudos to you and I'm so glad to have a fellow shared parent in the blog world.

Anonymous said...
January 6, 2010 at 11:23 AM

I asked my divorce attorney about requesting equal custody. He said, "You can ask for it, but you won't get it." I decided to give the money that would cost to my ex, where it could be spent on the kids, rather than give it to the attorneys, whose kids were already in private school. Many times since, when I've had to pull over around the corner after dropping off my kids because I could no longer see to drive, I have wondered if it was the right move.

qandlequeen said...
January 6, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Sort of the same boat - I have the kids more often than him, but he's free to have them whenever. I wish he would utilize his custody more, not just for the sake of a few hours to myself either. The kids adore their father and regardless of what type of assmunch he is to me, that relationship is very important.

It's good that you're fostering a strong relationship between your kids and their father. It will pay off in the end. My adult children are fairly well balanced (as much is possible with two off-balanced parents) and seem to have stable relationships.

Dual Mom said...
January 6, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Anonymous - stories like your's made me so sad. I think your attorney was wrong. It's becoming more and more accepted (and encouraged) to share parenting among divorced couples, especially if both parents are good parents. Australia actually has legislation in place around shared parenting. Unless a parent can be proven unfit, joint custody is automatic.

It makes me shake my head that we as a society support an entire industry (divorce attorneys) because we sometimes can't see beyond our anger. I have friends who have spent over $25,000 fighting their ex's over simple, petty shit...all because they are angry. I can't imagine how much of a person's life that much anger must consume.

kys said...
January 6, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Sometimes I think my life would be easier if I was divorced. At least I would get some time alone.

Aunt Juicebox said...
January 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

I feel for you too Anonymous. My brother had to fight his ass off to get custody of his kids, despite their mother being worthless and not wanting them, she didn't want to pay child support so she fought over them, and the judge refused to even consider giving my brother full custody even though the mom had already signed over the oldest when he was born. That shit KILLS me.

However, in my own situation, I have full custody, my daughter goes on weekends or any other time I deem acceptable, and I get no child support by choice. I would love to let her go over more often but the fact is, despite being a good person and WANTING to be a good father, he kind of sucks at it. He wants ME to do all the work. If I left her over there on a school night, she'd be lucky to get to school the next day. He never comes to her school events, he rarely remembers to buy her a birthday gift or even CALL her. I've invited him ad nauseum to be more in her life and he does not wish to, or he would. Because of that, even though he wants more time, I won't give it to him because he isn't responsible enough. That, and her stepmother is a bitch and she can't stand being over there more than the two days a week. I gave up trying to make it work because I was the only one trying. So he gets what he gets, and he's lucky at that.

Noelle said...
January 6, 2010 at 4:30 PM

if it's a joint custody situation and he's helping with medical expenses, braces, clothing, then i'm totally with you. no child support is necessary. the determining factor for me is this: is he/she contributing to 50% of the child's care and costs? if not, then absolutely child support should be ordered. on the other hand...my husband's ex lives in a different state so the step daughter has to stay there during the school year. we get her for 2 1/2 months each summer and WE STILL HAVE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT. i don't think that's right because when she's with us we have expenses...food, utilities, clothing (yes, we buy her clothing), summer activities, and transportation to all those activities. we got the shaft on that one.

gaylin said...
January 6, 2010 at 6:18 PM

I don't have kids but my best friend is divorced with one boy. His dad would pick him up on Fridays, take him to Grandma's and pick him up again on Sunday. how is that for parenting . . .
When the boy was about 12 he asked his mom one day 'is dad an asshole'. So regardless of how she never ran down the wife-beating SOB - kids know what the truth is. Now he is a wonderful young adult who has to make the effort with his dad and he still does.
I have another friend with a one year old, her husband recently asked when they were going to have a second baby - she told him when he starts acting like a parent. He does nothing - except when he wants to suck up. Dude, pitch in or get out.
I am glad I have known some men who are great husbands and fathers, helps balance out for the truly crappy ones.

Mae Rae said...
January 6, 2010 at 9:05 PM

okay, despite all the rest of the money and whatnot aside, I have to say what you said about the 8 year old and the behavior warranting a slap on the bum bum. KUDOOS! love the fact that you are both behind the discipline. Too many kids are not these days and the parents are divorced is too often the excuse for shitty mouth smart assed kids!

gayle said...
January 7, 2010 at 12:00 AM

My husbands parents divorced when he was very young and his mother never said one bad thing about his dad ( even though he was BAD) to him that is..I have always admired that.


Sounds like you are doing a great job!!!

theothermommy said...
January 7, 2010 at 1:42 AM

I'm with you on the way you guys are raising the kids and I think that consistency in behaviors is what is most important. I'd like to think things are like that in out situation, but sadly I know they aren't. Bedtimes are not enforced at her house, the teachers last year complained about how on certain weeks the girls were going to school tired and with dark circles under thier eyes (that wasn't on our weeks), I know over there they eat out constantly (McD's, Chinese noodles at the mall, etc) cause all I hear is mom takes us out to eat, and there's the whole eating disorder thing going on. But she's the mom and they agreed on 50/50.
Which in the long run is best for the kids, they get to know their parents equally and can make their own decisions in a few years.
Anon - I am so sorry you are feeling that you made the wrong choice with not going to a lawyer. I know a few couples who went that route and regret it now. I do think that divorce lawyer can take advantage of the situation and make tons of money in the process, but sometimes I think it's just a necessity.

theothermommy said...
January 7, 2010 at 1:42 AM

I'm with you on the way you guys are raising the kids and I think that consistency in behaviors is what is most important. I'd like to think things are like that in out situation, but sadly I know they aren't. Bedtimes are not enforced at her house, the teachers last year complained about how on certain weeks the girls were going to school tired and with dark circles under thier eyes (that wasn't on our weeks), I know over there they eat out constantly (McD's, Chinese noodles at the mall, etc) cause all I hear is mom takes us out to eat, and there's the whole eating disorder thing going on. But she's the mom and they agreed on 50/50.
Which in the long run is best for the kids, they get to know their parents equally and can make their own decisions in a few years.
Anon - I am so sorry you are feeling that you made the wrong choice with not going to a lawyer. I know a few couples who went that route and regret it now. I do think that divorce lawyer can take advantage of the situation and make tons of money in the process, but sometimes I think it's just a necessity.

Secretia said...
January 7, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Thanks for taking good care of your children! Kids get divorced same as the parents. They need their mom and dad. You two are the best example for all the separated or divorced parents , and there are many!

Secretia

BigSis said...
January 7, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I'm in the same boat as Danielle. While I would like some money (i.e. child support) and some time to myself, I'm so glad not to have any of the fighting and I'm glad I don't have to share.

Anonymous said...
January 7, 2010 at 2:17 PM

The attorney was wrong not to encourage me to fight for equal custody. Society was wrong to support lopsided custody awards. I was wrong not to spend another $20,000 or more fighting for equal custody. Then there's the person who initiated the process and pushed it through over my objections, who receives the checks, who has the kids 85 percent of the time, who subsists on two and a third incomes while I get by on two-thirds.

Quixotic said...
January 8, 2010 at 5:59 PM

I am DEEPLY impressed by anyone who can rise above anger and pettiness and be great parents living in different houses. I've known some utter FAILS, so snaps to you (and hubby I guess) for rocking it!

Queen of Feisty said...
January 9, 2010 at 6:54 PM

My parents are married, and my BFF's are not. She still holds anger twards them for divorcing and making her move to yellowhammer town away from all her friends. And that they should have stayed together till ALL the kids were 18. (this happened when she was 5. She was the oldest, with a brother and sister too)

She says I don't get it because I never went through it. True. BUT I bet your ass I wouldn't be sticking around for another 20 years till all the little tots grew up. Oh heeelll no.

I love your idea of coparenting. Its seems to be a pain in the ass idea, but in the same sense it works well for everyone. (minus your shoe collection)

Good call. Seems like good parenting to me. And me time? You bet your ass even though my DH works 3 jobs at times, I have ME time. I don't care if it's a day a month in my friends basement eating twizzlers and scrapbooking. It's me time.

Feisty