Well, as some of you know, I work Tuesday through Friday, and have the weekend off, plus Mondays.
So the normal doldrums of Monday really don't seem to affect me as much as others who have to go back to work on Mondays.
However, Tuesdays for me really kind of suck.
As with most things that I plan, nothing really seems to go according to schedule with my weekends.
I had planned on working on the house. It never got done.
I had planned on cleaning up some of my mess outside with brush that I've been trimming. That didn't get done either, because I'm not one for getting soaked outside when it's nice and dry inside.
I'd thought about taking the wife away to the beach for the weekend. That didn't happen because she'd already made plans, and the weather SUCKED this weekend.
So what did I do?
Not ONE thing.
I sat around the house like a lump, and wondered what I was going to do.
I hate weekends like that.
Usually, I solve that problem by going and playing video games (as I've said before, I'm a gamer!) And because of this, games are an end-all solution to problems.
However, I've also noticed that my excessive game playing has caused problems with the family, so I'm trying to "detox" with the excessive gaming, and work on other constructive ways of dealing with things.
So I was able to do this by just sitting around and watching paint dry.
Yeah. I don't think my idea is working too well yet.
Weekends when my kids are gone to my ex's house are really kind of tough on me. When my kids are at the house, it's kind of easy to forget about the games because I can fill my time with things other than the computer or game system. There are young bodies to tickle, wrestle with, and have fun with.
But when they're gone, the house just seems so empty. There's always a mess or two that didn't get taken care of before they left, and so I'm reminded that they're gone (temporarily) and that I'm alone.
Since getting custody of my kids, there's been one major problem that I've had to face. The toughest part about being a divorced father is trying to stabilize my kids with rules and regulations for my home, but those rules can directly clash with the things my ex will enforce.
My wife and I have tried numerous times to talk with my ex, and get us all on the same page. Yet for all of our efforts, things don't change. Sure, she'll (my ex) give us all of the yes-man attitude, and claim that she'll do her part, but when it comes down to basics, she's always done her own thing, regardless of the problems it may cause not only me, but the kids as well.
I had to face this problem when they got back home this weekend.
My oldest is 13. He's feeling his age, and is trying to learn how to mentally grow. I've encouraged his thinking, and I've tried to instill in him a need to provide stability when he can. Yet for all of my effort, there's a side of his personality that I admire, yet find difficult to deal with when he gets back from his mom's house.
That part is what I tend to call his "lawyer" side.
I encourage his questions. I love seeing his mind work through things, and figure out the next step. I don't love it when he argues an issue to death, and even when proven incorrect, will still argue some points that he feels are valid and warrant special attention.
Take this example:
I, as a gamer, have been persuading (read nagging) my wife for an XBox 360. I have friends who play, and I'd love to get some serious multiplayer Halo or Call of Duty going without having to go over to his house each and every time we'd want to play. My son knows this. He's in favor of the idea mainly because he'd love to be able to play along at some point. After all, playing games with the "big boys" means that he's growing up, right?
So this weekend when he got home, he proceeded to argue with my wife about how we needed to get this gaming system, and the valid reasons for it. I personally don't care if we get this system anytime soon, because I've got other things that can fill my attention span, and keep me occupied. My wife doesn't want another game system in the house, as we've already got a Wii and a "regular" XBox, so the two game consoles are plenty for her.
My son wouldn't let up. He argued. He pleaded, and he begged.
I've tried to teach him that when a parent says "no" that it's final. End of discussion. However, while at his mom's house, I know for a fact (because I've seen it) that the other kids in the house don't abide by these rules. They question, the complain, and they outright defy their parents.
How can I set any kind of ground rules for my family when those rules are completely tossed aside each weekend that they leave my house? How can I instill values that are going to be ignored and rejected by the authority figures my children are living with?
I'm not sure.
All I can hope to do right now is keep the faith.
I give them my unconditional love, my promise of safety and security, and my undying support.
My hope and prayer is that they'll see the good, and want to keep the lessons and things I've taught, and mostly block those things that aren't as constructive that they see and live with at their mom's house.
This is the prayer of a divorced father.