De-Mommied

After an extremely satisfying weekend full of grown-up, Scorpio-related activities, I went to pick up daughter from Grandma Roofie’s house.  Three little girls ran squealing around the house, while pregnant Blondie lounged at the dining room table. Rooferman avoided eye contact as I tried to corral a hyped-up LB.

For the first time, my child told me she wanted to stay at Daddy’s house, and commenced sobbing when I told her we had to go. Blondie quickly piped in that “Everything would be fine once we start every other week.”

They must be telling LB that she is going to start spending more time with them. They’ve also been telling Grandma Roofie that their financial woes will all be solved once joint-custody is established. In other words, if they no longer have to pay child support. Blondie isn’t working due to the fact that she will lose Medicaid coverage for her pregnancy. Rooferman has been working 7 days a week to keep them afloat.

Once again, not my fault he can’t afford the life he chose. Once again, you shouldn’t pursue joint custody for financial reasons. You should pursue it for the good of your child. For some reason he thinks all his problems will be solved once we have 50/50.

It always takes LB a few days to get back into the groove. She’s more aggressive, emotional, irritated and generally whiny when she comes home from her daddy’s house. I try to keep a laid back attitude around it, but last night it was getting to me.

See following conversation which took place during bath time. “Blondie” of course was replaced with her actual name:

“I want to be at daddy’s house.”

“Don’t worry, you get to see him in a week.”

“I don’t want to be here.”

“You get to be with Mommy now.”

“Blondie is my mommy.”

“Blondie is Blondie Jr’s mommy.”

“NO! Blondie is MY MOMMY.”

“No I AM your mommy.”

“No Blondie IS!”

“You were NOT in Blondie’s tummy. You were in MY tummy. So that means I’m YOUR MOMMY!”

I had to excuse myself before I started crying in front of my daughter.  I stood outside the bathroom door and hyperventilated for a second. Obviously I was overreacting. Obviously, my daughter is getting older and wants to be included in her dad’s new family, which means she calls Blondie “mommy” when she’s over there. Obviously this was going to happen and I shouldn’t let it bother me.

But it did. Also LB wouldn’t stop calling me by my first name.

At bedtime, she immediately fell into a deep sleep. The next morning I could barely wake her up. At preschool she took a 4 hour nap.  Such is the coming-home routine.

That night she refused to go to bed. The usual parenting tactics weren’t working. Still miffed about being “de-mommied” the night before, I marched her back into her room for the 5th time and yelled, “Do I have to start spanking you like your daddy and Blondie? Are you going to stop listening to me because you know I won’t hit you like your daddy? I don’t like hitting kids. I don’t like scaring you. But if you won’t listen to me like you used to, then we’re going to have do something about that!”

LB looked at me with big, shocked eyes. I felt bad. I hugged her and she cried. I left the room and stared at the TV. I couldn’t tell you what show was on. All I could think about was the war my daughter was going to grow up in. The anger and the tension and fear and confusion she was going to deal with on a weekly basis. I was part of it. I was making it worse.

And I didn’t have a clue how to fix it.

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10 thoughts on “De-Mommied

  1. That sounds so incredibly painful. The demommying is so harsh. My 4 year old often does the “I want daddy!” thing when he doesn’t like the way I am acting. His new thing is “You are MEAN!” Both hurt.

    I’ve had my fair share of outburst reactions too, and always the worst part of it is knowing that my outbursts just make it worse. We are only human. I guess, all you can do is take stock, take deep breaths, say sorry, and remind your girl that sometimes mommy gets frustrated, but that above all you want a nice peaceful home for you both, and together you can work toward that always.

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  2. Oh, crap, PH, that just sucks. I’m SO sorry.

    I truly don’t believe it’ll be a war for the rest of her life, though. You’re all still adjusting, and there’s a lot to deal with right now. I do believe that it will get better.

    Still, I’m so sorry it sucks so bad right now.

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  3. Oh Hannah. This post makes me sad because I know how hard it is. I know how sad it is to realize that this going between houses is so draining on your child and on you. Sending you huge hugs and love.

    P.S- You are her Mommy and no matter WHAT she says, she knows it. She’s just confused and having a hard time adjusting. And you are a good Mommy, don’t forget it!

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  4. 😦 good grief…the whole process of sharing our babies (co-parenting is sometimes too generous of a term) is foreign and painful.

    I am proud of the way you handled yourself. Lil Missy has a fantastic chance of succeeding at life simply because her mommy is smart and invested in her emotional development.

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  5. Oh, gosh, honey. I’m so sorry.

    It’s great that you’re not simply pointing fingers. But I feel like Roofie are definitely not handling this situation well. At all. And that simply sucks.

    Things are bound to change and change and change over the years, and it won’t always be this hard.

    You’re doing an amazing job.

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  6. OMG, this makes me SO sad.

    That would be so difficult Hanna!!

    Ok, you sound like logically you know what is going on with her. I know its difficult but perhaps you can talk to her logically too? Tell her that you understand her feelings and that she wants to be involved with the new family (and perhaps she’s jealous of the pregnancy?). But I also think that you have a right to tell her that when she says those things to you, it makes you feel very sad. I think she is old enough to realize that her words can be hurtful.

    You are the grown up. Believe me, my oldest daughter affects me this way too. I find myself throwing a tantrum right there with her. She is JUST like me. But arguing with her, only makes it worse. Be the wiser one. You ARE THE WISER ONE.

    Remember that.

    ((GIANT hugs))

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  7. Oh, wow…this brings back memories… Try to hold on to what you know inside of you to be true, what you’ve learned in classes, what friends have told you–You are her mommy. Period. She may have Blondie in her life to love and support her (hopefully), but there will never be another you. She will have many people come and go in her life who will influence her in one way or another, but you will be the constant–forever. So, while you’re going through this tough time with LB, call friends to support you, think positive thoughts, do good things for yourself. In other words, take care of yourself. Being a parent is always hard. Sharing that parenting with people you don’t even like is even harder.

    You have such a big group of people who are here for you–even in the middle of the night or whenever you need us. Call me. I’m here.

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  8. I feel your pain and I’ve also seen first hand the long-term damage that can be done to kids by an undermining parent.

    Try not to take it personally when your daughter says things like that. I know it’s hard but it’s not about you at all – or even her – it’s just what she’s being taught. Maybe not in a direct word-for-word way but unfortunately the attitude your ex and Blonie have about you infects your own relationship with your child in negative ways. There’s no way around it and all you can do is hang in there while doing your best to deal with it and hope that makes just as big of, if not more of, an impact on her.

    BIG hugs!

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  9. Oh I am not looking forward to this at all. I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with this. I know I will be so competitive when this happens. I took care of you when you couldn’t walk-not him!!

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