God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I have come a long way in the last two years. I've learned that there are many things I can not change and coming to accept those things. I've also learned what acceptance truly means for me at this point in my life and much of this learning has come in the last few months. I think it's all been preparing me for what will be the hardest week of my life (at this point in my early struggles of parenthood). For 7 full days and nights, starting tonight, I will not physically see my children.
Since the kids were born, I can not think of one time that I was away from them for longer than 3 days. Hell - I even flew between Philadelphia and Hawaii - and was in the air longer than I was on the ground so that I wouldn't be away from the kids for too long (it was 2 months after the separation, so they were already dealing with plenty of adjustments)..
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about having self-care time, and I do think its important for me to have some trips to myself so the kids can see that my entire life doesn't revolve around their wants and needs. But, they are just 3 years old, and for the majority of their young lives, they have not had their mommy and daddy under the same roof. So I also think its important to be there for my kids as they struggle through these major changes in their lives and keep my trips short and limited.
So, 1 full week starts tonight (2.5 hours ago to be precise) and I know it will be great for me. I can (theoretically) be more accomplishing personally and professionally. I can sleep more, cook more, exercise more, relax more and devote more time to Charger. I can work a little later and not have to worry about whether I'll get to the nursery school/camp in enough time. I can make plans with friends on weeknights. There is so much I can do! (I just truly hope tonight is not an indication of the rest of the week, because I had grand plans of getting lots done, and instead I have been the definition of lazy and unhealthy).
I know that 1 full week with their dad will be great for them and their dad. For the last 10 months, they have only seen him every other weekend. And for the year before that, they saw him even less. They have become real little people in that span of time, and he deserves to be able to spend some quality time with them. They love their daddy very much - and I honestly wouldn't want it any other way. I know he loves them very much and he tried his hardest.
Trust me, I know all this, and I believe every word I wrote with every ounce inside of me . But there is that little person in my head that still gets their thoughts in. That little person is the same one that has caused set backs in my personal goals and will make this week even tougher than it would already be.
That little person right now is reminding me that I chose my words above very carefully.
I spoke about how their dad deserves to spend time with his children. But the little person in my head reminds me that they aren't going anywhere for the week and their dad is still working, so they won't do anything special with their dad and really its their (other) grandparents that they get to spend time with.
That little person is reminding me that the other grandparents are the same people that have ruined relationships left and right (for them and others). The same people who never liked me and tried to cause trouble between us in the past. The same people that raised a child to be completely dependent on them (or someone) for everything. The same people that 2 different therapists told my ex that they were a cancer and he needed to cut them out of his life.
That little person is reminding me that sometimes trying your hardest/best isn't always good enough and that my safety and hygeine concerns that are based on history are probably valid concerns.
That little person is praying that the poop parties-, temper tantrum- and attitude-filled three year old show their true selves the entire week.
95% of me is trying to beat out that little person. And for the most part the 95% is winning. I know this week will be good and important for me, my kids and their dad on many different levels. But, the part my ex-in-laws play in this whole thing is making that 5% have more space than it deserves.
So please keep me and my kids in your thoughts and prayers this week. Pray that 5% of my head is completely wrong and out of line and that my kids will come home clean and safely next Sunday evening. Pray that I will have the strength to survive this length of time without having my babies nearby. Pray that I will get extra sleep and use this time to finally get into the routine I've been craving for months.