Relationship breakdown when a child is involved feels overwhelming. There are days when I think of the enormity of everything and I don’t think that I can cope. Going back to work full time, leaving my son in nursery when I have been with him 24/7 in recent months, selling the house, finding a new home for me and my son, the inevitable arguments that his Dad and I will have over parenting time and style, money trouble, the difficulty of seeing my son go with his Dad for the weekend, the fear that working full time and sharing the weekends I will not be able to build the relationship with my son that he deserves and that I want to give him. It’s all too much.
I have been trying to take each day as it comes and deal with the challenges that face me on a day-by-day basis. I have three days left with my son before I return to work. When he wakes up from his nap we are going to go to the park. The sun is out, we are going to look at the flowers, it is a good day to be alive, I am going to tickle him until he can’t laugh any more. This evening I am going to talk to my ex about the next couple of weeks and how we arrange care for our son. I am trying not to think about the enormity of the life changes on the horizon or the tsunami of emotions that await. Some days, like yesterday when my son and I had a great day, this works, other days, like today, it is more difficult and I struggle.
But, I know that I also need to focus on the future and what I want that future to look like. I need to have a vision of the future so that I can be confident that the daily challenges are taking me in the right direction.
I need to focus on the post-separation relationship with my ex and how we are going to make co-parenting work. In the future, I want to be able to talk to my ex about how we are going to parent our son, how we are going to divide up the homework, how we are going to be a united front when it comes to discipline, how we are going to ensure that he does not play one of us off against the other. I ultimately want my ex to meet someone else who has our son’s best interests at heart and will act as a mother figure when he is with his Dad.
I also want to have a really special relationship with my son. I want to be the one he cuddles when he has had a bad day at school, who tucks him into bed and reads him a story, who shares his hopes and dreams, who helps him with his homework, who he confides in when he is bullied, or worse is the bully.
I also want to see the smile on his face and the excitement when he goes to spend the day or the weekend with his Dad. I want him to have a great relationship with his Dad too, because my son his special, he is the most important thing in the world. The guilt that I feel that he is not going to grow up with parents who love each other is overwhelming. I want my son to have a great relationship with both of us and for us to have a healthy, constructive, amicable and supportive post-separation relationship. Our son deserves nothing less.