Good morning from Texas y’all.
I love this blog, our small group, and having a good old-fashioned support system. This edition of #BlendedFamilyHellonEarth is almost too comical to draft. BUT, that’s the heart behind this website to begin with. Illustrating and sharing real life issues that can arise in a blended family. Not always – but sometimes – things that are just a routine, normal part of child raising can become full on war topics post divorce. Seriously. It’s sad but true.
This edition of Real Housewives is about headaches. For the past 2-3 months we have noticed that the youngest child either returns from his Mom’s with a headache or gets a really bad one at school the day after he returns from his Moms. On the Mondays following his Mom’s weekends he often takes a nap right after school before doing homework. Over Thanksgiving break they were there 9 nights and the kiddo came home saying he had a “migraine for 3 days” but when he stayed with his friends overnight it went away. He thinks maybe he’s allergic to something over there.
We had been tracking the timing of the headaches for the past few visits but with the ongoing nature over Thanksgiving, Hubs decided it was time to see if the ex knew what was going on possibly. The oldest boy gets headaches pretty easily due to allergies, too much time on electronics (and his school is paperless so he’s on an iPad A LOT), and definitely after being in a car. He gets motion sickness very easily so if he’s dropped off with a headache we usually assume it’s from being in the car. A glass of water and good night’s sleep typically works for him like a charm.
With the youngest, we simply can’t figure it out and inquiring minds want to know and need to know in case he needs to go see a doctor. He most definitely is sensitive to strong smells and chemicals. Ex. My daughter LOVES Downy unstoppables added to her bedding when it’s washed but the youngest kiddo hates it. He says it smells too strong and gives him a headache. When we deep clean the house using bleach, vinegar or pine sol, he says the same thing. He’s also allergic to hand sanitizer and it burns his hands and turns them very red. Maybe rubbing alcohol is the culprit? We aren’t really sure but my EMT medical tech wanna be spouse is going to figure it out LOL.
While brainstorming the headache issue, Hubs asked the kids what, if anything, the kiddos are around at their moms that is different from what they’re around at our house. Things like the woods, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, insect repellant, etc. They brain stormed various things it could be along with motion sickness, electronic usage, and possible dehydration (because they’ve come back several times dehydrated or heat sick even to the point of vomiting so that should be considered). In reply both kids said two things. (1) There are tons of trees and woods there so maybe it’s seasonal allergies (could be but he has no other symptoms of seasonal allergies here even when he goes camping) and (2) the kitchen trash can is loaded with mold and smells so bad that they stand as far away from the trash as possible and throw items into it like it’s a basketball game.
So, before the kids’ visit to their moms this past weekend, Hubs emailed her to see if she could tell what the child could be allergic to over there. Hubs always makes it a point to be very cordial, respectful and polite to his ex when he emails her (he’s been instructed by his lawyer to always communicate via email so that his attempts to co-parent are documented and so that’s what he does).
But in reply to Hubs’ email about this topic, the kids got in trouble. They were lectured, scolded, and informed that they are not allowed to discuss her house with us ever at any time. She proceeded to tell the youngest child that she doesn’t need her ex in her business and he’s not in charge of her house or her rules. (We are super clueless about all of these statements because Hubs never said anything negative about her house nor did he set up any rules whatsoever. So … insert shoulder shrug emoji here LOL).
Hubs emails the ex that the kids should NOT be in trouble for any of these discussions and she needs to stop pressuring them when they are there because it makes them uncomfortable and harms her relationship with them. They definitely feel like they have to walk on eggshells and can’t say even the slightest thing without getting in trouble with her.
In reply – I kid you not – in writing, she said many things including this: “Why didn’t you call regarding your concern?? Instead you send threatening and accusing email… The boys should not be questioned about my home… all this for headaches and a trash can that is now obsolete…”. I mean, she flipped her lid with him.
Y’all, I am sooooo imperfect. I’m an imperfect person with an imperfect past with imperfect parenting techniques who continues to attempt to walk through life with both good days and bad days. But one thing I can honestly say is that I really did not have co-parenting issues with my ex (until the TRO… but that’s another blog). We didn’t hire lawyers to handle our divorce, we reached all of our custody and property issues by agreement, and we maintained an “open door” policy post divorce. Ex. Several years after my divorce I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and heard an odd noise in my garage only to find my ex out there working on my son’s bicycle. My son had called him to see if he could fix his wheel so he popped in to work on it. Another time we woke up to my ex knocking on my front door bringing my son some drive through food. Even after I remarried we carpooled with each other to my son’s band concert that was out of town. When my ex bought his house, I went over with the kids and we had a painting party and I helped him paint and decorate the kids bedrooms there. Granted, that kind of arrangement could be considered odd or might make people feel uncomfortable, but it was important to me for my kids to maintain as normal a relationship with both of us as possible post divorce. Maybe that’s why I’m over here scratching my head so utterly confused that Hubs is getting scolded for asking about headaches and the kids are getting scolded for telling us about the trash can. Like seriously …. I can’t even.
Enjoy your week guys. Stay strong. Meditate. Exercise. Sleep well. Take your vitamins. We’ve got this. We will survive this season. Bumps and bruises no doubt, but we will survive.
7 years down. 5 years to go. And counting 🙂