communication explosion makes SM's head explode
Since BM quit her job, things have gotten crazy. She didn't work for nearly 10 years, then worked for 8 months, and then resigned two weeks ago to accommodate her new husband's student teaching schedule. (They don't believe that more than one parent should work at a time.)
(Let's put aside for the moment the latent hostility I feel over the fact that the only reason she can afford to not work is because my husband forks over an enormous check every month that far exceeds what the kids need. I'd love to quit my job! Or even change to an easier one. But can't. But that's not what this blog is about. I do understand all the different ways to look at that and I'm trying hard--based on sage advice from Candice long ago--to let go of my resentment over that issue and just accept that it is what it is, and a cost of my husband's choices that I need to accept.)
The problem is that now that BM is back to being a full time mom she is INUNDATING us with calls, emails, etc. Between in-person pick-ups, calls and emails we have heard from her 20 times in the last 11 days. Granted, there is a lot going on right now with the kids (dental procedures, school talent show, decisions about switching schools for GATE programs, summer activity/vacation plans); but honestly, over half of the communications/contact could have been consolidated or eliminated, and she is trying to manage things that don't need managing, like reminding DH about appointments that I already have on his calendar. She goes on and on about how she is feeling about the kids, how cute they are, what cute things they said, etc. We are bound to hear from her many more times in the next three days because my DH has appointments today and Thursday to visit/observe the potential new school, she has a separate appointment on Wednesday; Wednesday is a school open house/ice cream social, etc. Friday is a pick-up day. Sometimes I feel like she gets to talk to my DH more than me.
This past Sunday we had the kids, and my SD had a practice session for her school talent show at 4:00. BM suggested in the Thursday email transmitting the practice info that it wasn't necessarily important for us to go (she always assumes it puts us out to participate in events/kids' parties on weekends--in fact, my DH loves it 'cause he gets to connect with his kids in their every day environment and with the other parents). We were expecting an email from the organizer, who had been given our info (and whose number was on the forwarded email, and our class phone lists, etc.) On Sunday, BM called our house AND emailed to tell us that "there isn't any info on location yet for the practice, I'll call as soon as I know." She was all harrassed and fluttery b/c the ladies hadn't confirmed practice location yet. Um, excuse me, but today is your day off, BM. Why are you fretting about this? It's our problem. We are big kids and can pick up a telephone!! (and p.s. didn't you say it wasn't critical that SD go?) She would have called AGAIN but I responded to her very politely that we had the organizers' info and would check in with them ourselves, so we were all set, thanks BM! As it was, she asked to talk to SD while she was on the phone, which isn't a big deal except she had just seen SD four hours earlier prior to DH picking her up, and that day was the first and only time we were scheduled to have the kids in a full 12 day period. Come ON.
Among other things, in the last few days BM called DH at work to remind him about an appointment at the new school that I had already reminded him about (not necessary), called him separately to tell him when *her* appointments were (email would have done nicely, thanks); and emailed separately about school activities, school vacations, the talent show audition, etc. We got three emails from her yesterday, AND she called DH at work.
DH agrees with me that this is getting ridiculous, but won't communicate with her about the need to respect boundaries because we have a custody mediation coming up in May and he doesn't want to be seen as the bad dad who doesn't want to communicate.
If you read my blogs, I am all for positive co-parenting communication in the kids' best interests. But BM has this need to control everything and she constantly inserts herselves in our lives, and I am ready to blow. I am trying to back off, to tell myself that there's just a lot going on right now and with BM just quitting her job there's all this extra energy and things will settle down soon. I remind myself that it isn't about me or DH, it's her personality to be all fluttery about details and need to "check in" and "coordinate" on EVERYTHING, and now there's this perfect storm. But I am ready to blow.
There has been too much tension lately over these co-parenting issues and try as I might to put it all on a shelf, combined with other/related stresses, me and my marriage are under a lot of strain. I have had a headache for 9 days straight. I woke up at 5 am this morning after dreaming about receiving emails from BM, and couldn't get back to sleep even though I didn't have to be up until 7. I have a big project due today and keep talking to myself about compartmentalizing, "making a habit of happiness", keeping things in perspective, etc., but IT'S NOT WORKING.