Thursday, 31 December 2015

Road to Nowhere

It seems so many people are wondering when they're going to be in one, if they should end one, or if they're in the right one.

And the luckiest of us are grateful we're in a great one.

I'm pretty sure that's me. I've now been seeing my man for about 18 months, and on the whole he's great. Funny, smart, gorgeous and we have a great connection. We really enjoy being together, and my kids like him too. He's seen me at some pretty low points, and that didn't freak him out. We've had some pretty frank conversations and we're still together. He's got that really attractive thing going on where he can fix stuff and build stuff (well, I find that really appealing anyway!)

The first couple of months travelled well. We both wanted to take it slow as we didn't want to have another relationship fail on us, and there were also kids involved which we were very mindful of. But he saw the kids regularly, we saw each other when we could. Things for the first six months, were travelling pretty well - not too fast and not too slow. But for the last year it feels that things have come to a standstill. We've hit the part when things are starting to feel more real (i.e. some of that shiny gloss has faded away) but we still want to be together. However things feel like they aren't progressing. Because of work and schedules, he only sees the kids briefly and occasionally, and there are times when I would really appreciate his help, but he's just not available to step up.

I guess if I had to write a report card, I would write something like "Pays attention, but could try harder. Not much improvement has been made through the year." So I've written myself an email to remind myself, and am going to re-assess it in six months. I'm hoping I can give out one of those thumbs up stamps you used to get in primary school. Or a bumble bee with Excellent Effort!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

A Modern (or is that Post Modern?) Father's Day

Firstly, Happy Father's Day to the dads, mums, grandparents, whatever - to all the good role models out there who have taken on an important role on loving and being a good role model to children.

Today is my second Father's Day as a separated mum. Yesterday afternoon the kids were picked up by their dad, his partner and her children, with the usual items, along with their Father's day presents and cards that they had both made and purchased from Target.

This morning I had an early morning breakfast with my partner at his place, before I walked the dog, then met my dear friend and single mum for coffee with her two kids before we went to the gym. Then I came home and applied for our divorce online.

I quite like the irony of applying for divorce on Father's Day. It wasn't intentional, but I like it none the less!

Friday, 4 September 2015


Our house has finally sold.

We put it on the market just after Easter, and here we are in September with confirmation that contracts will exchange next week.

Anyone who tells you that selling and moving house is stressful is right. Juggling full time work, three kids and now a dog, with open houses and inspections was hard work.

Before an inspection or open house, I would work like a banshee, juggling the craziness of the morning and attempting to make the house look like it hadn't just been ransacked by federal agents. There would be raised voices and the frantic searching for undiscovered nooks to hide random objects, and the occasional cursing that there wasn't another adult I could generally get help from (but I was lucky in that my wonderful partner helped me with the yard once a month which was a godsend). I would pack away, wipe down, turn on the mood lighting and wait. And every time there would be people who were 'just looking', or the house 'wasn't for them', or they liked it but made an offer that was not feasible for us. And so it began to feel a little like bad dating...opening up your home only to be effectively told "it's not you, it's me".

This was the home where we had bought together. During that time we brought home two more babies, had easter egg hunts and visits from the tooth fairy. Countless meals, cuddles and games of football in the back yard. Glasses of wine watching the sunset, and coffee in the morning sun.

It was also the place that my ex and I at different times fell out of love with each other, and in love with someone else. 

Thanks to a lot of renovation shows, I think there is a belief that selling real estate is like hitting the jackpot. For us it's far from that. However it allows me now to move on and choose the next home for our children and I.

So while I won't miss the stress of wondering when will the house sell, or of getting the house reasonably presentable, I will miss those short opportunities when I would arrive home an inspection and it felt so peaceful...for 5 minutes before  everything imploded...but for those short beautiful moments, there are uncluttered counters, clear floors and a carpet I can walk on without injury or crushing biscuits.

Monday, 5 January 2015

The Somewhat Obligatory New Year Post

So today I finally have a moment to jot down some thoughts about New Years. This date, the 4th Jan,  also used to be my wedding anniversary and I have to say it is a relief to have gotten to a point where I feel better about this date.

What is it about the changing of one year to the next? In a lot of ways it's just an arbitrary change - just by the change of time from one minute to the next we are hurtled from one year to the next. But we've attached so much meaning to new years and fresh starts. I guess we all like the chance to start again - to change a pattern, improve ourselves, give ourselves a chance to renew. This can happen any time, but a new year has great symbolism and holds promise.

The day of New Years Eve was a dark day for me. I always feel a little out of sorts when returning back home from being away seeing family and friends, and this was compounded by my eldest displaying incredibly challenging behaviour all day. Frankly, if he was several years older I would be entitled to refer to him as a prick, without judgement. So of course, I will not be using that term. I felt alone, a failure and frustrated. I felt let down by my lovely partner because he was busy working and didn't reach out as he didn't know I needed help. Of course, this was because I didn't ask or explain because, you know, despite the best of intentions and how better you get at stuff, old habits die hard.

So by the time 6pm came around I did not feel like socialising. I drove in silence with a full car, close to tears behind my sunglasses and screaming at myself "Remember, you do not want to be in this dark place again! Either drive around or change it and don't ruin the rest of this night!"

Our New Years Eve was spent with two other couples and their children and it ended up being a lovely evening. They have a romantic rustic place in the bush complete with its own old wooden church that is no longer used and now sits on their property. After we ate and while the children were running around in the darkness being silly, we sat in the church and drank. Through one of the small windows, I could see the camp fire on which our dinner had been cooked, glowing in the dark.

We chatted about the kind of nothing you can with friends and we all conceded that none of us bother with making New Years resolutions.

As we drove back to my place, the kids asleep in the back and the smell of camp fire around us, I confessed how bad today had been. Without judgement, he told me that I can't have another day like that again. It ended up being the first night that he stayed over at the house.

So I have no New Years resolutions to break in a matter of days. But it was definitely a night where there was a shift in our relationship for the better, and a good reminder, that no matter how bad you feel, how crappy your day, your week, your year, it can and will turn around, with a little bit of effort.