I feel kind of bad for my teen daughter this afternoon. She was with me Thurs-Monday this week and today being Wednesday she’s at her Mom’s place. Problem is, she wants to go to the gym for a workout — which is great! — but her gym bag is here at my place.
No worries, her Mom can bring her over and she can pick up the bag, right?
On the phone, she assured me that wasn’t a possibility because both Mom and her fiancee were busy. Could I drive into town and drop it off instead? Plleeeaasssee?
I couldn’t. I’m preparing for a trip next week and am trying to work ahead with some writing. Driving the gym bag to her Mom’s house then coming back to my place would take at least half an hour of my day. So no go.
A very disheartened daughter hung up the phone and, I presume, wasn’t able to go to the gym.
But I feel like it’s just an inevitable consequence of the two houses that the children bounce between. Certainly I’m used to having to pop by Mom’s house every day or two for something that one or another of the children have forgotten, and it does seem to go both ways, though since her place is their childhood home and mine is the new place, it seems they have more stuff at her place than mine.
We’re getting better at it, but still, over four years after we moved from a single house to two houses, it’s a drag that the kids keep hitting the sharp edge of their new world.
I wish my ex lived that close. He moved 3 hrs away and, when they forget something, he doesn’t ship it. (He only sees them every other weekend). Once it was a school book and my son was only 10. I’m trying to buy doubles of most stuff, but don’t want to enable him… How do you handle the pit in the stomach when you think of it?
Cindy, I definitely differentiate between the “must” and the “want”. If it’s something that my children must have, including medicines, school stuff, gear for a sports team they’re on, etc, then I’ll drive them to their Mom’s to get it and/or figure out how to get it to them. They are always welcome to be at my house too, regardless of whose “day” it is or whether I’m in town or not (of course!)
In terms of the feeling that they’ve just come up against the ugly wall of divorced parents and two households? I take a deep breath and remember that (in my worldview) my children chose to be incarnated into a life that includes their parents divorcing and making two households and all I can do is my best to minimize the hassles and discomfort while modeling a “middle way” of taking care of them within the context of my own life. When they grow up, I want them to take care of themselves, not be needy or forget that they’re important too, even when they have kids.