You’ve managed to emerge out of the watery abyss, dab some concealer under each shadowy carrier bag and wave the magical mascara wand somewhere near each eye. You’ve set up an emergency ‘I ain’t going out like that’ social life to fill every other weekend and now it’s time to step it up. From the moment the kids are picked up to the second before they are due to return you make sure you are out, busy, occupied. It’s tight but… necessary. And it’s all going well except for the whiney texts, the ‘I’ve got to bring them back early’, the late pick ups and cancellations. But you don’t get involved. There will be no shouting or name calling. No loss of dignity after navigating your bad ass around the break up from hell.
You see, they just want to control you. Your body. Your mind. Where you go. They want to control your ability to go on living. Well fuck them. Stick to the routine. They want to bring your babies home early? You are not at home. They arrive late to collect them? Just open the door and kiss the kids goodbye. The children are complaining because they don’t like going to their papa? Hear them out and send them on their way. Daddio gives them a bag each of chuppa chupes just before bedtme? You confiscate with a smile. They come home looking like extras out of Oliver Twist? Strip the child, bin the clothes and bathe them good and proper.
Surrender to being a solid granite parent. A parent of love and consistency. But do not sacrifice your sanity and precious time because the other parent is still trying to use you to pick up their pieces. Your child’s safety and welfare are the only things that should spur you into becoming the human embodiment of Krakatoa because of course nothing can stop you protecting the life that you carried and created. But don’t sweat the small stuff. Sure it’s going to be hard on your little ones but they’ll grow stronger. We’re all going to get a few scrapes and bruises along the way but most superficial scars WILL fade. A new life has to be forged in the flames so don’t let your ex extinguish your fire. Be organised. Be firm. Be brave. You are hot right now.