Repost: What a Difference A Year Makes? Part II
Yesterday, I wrote about the day my husband’s sons were born. I wrote about the range of emotions that I felt and how ill prepared I was to handle those emotions. Today, I am writing about 365 days later. Today is the boys’ birthday. Who would have thought that I would be ordering cake for little ones that I now call my sons? But today that’s where I am.
I wish I can say the past year has been an amazingly glorious time of reconciliation and growth. While that statement is true, I have to note that for each step we’ve taken forward, there have also been some pretty big potholes that we’ve had to overcome.
Like the fiscal aspect. It goes without saying that kids are expensive. When you are pregnant, you get a baby shower with cake, games, and gifts. These gifts help offset the huge financial hit of having a baby. Well, imagine having TWO babies, years after you’ve given away all of your oldest kids’ baby stuff without a shower. From formula to diapers to clothes to cribs, it’s been a tough fiscal year.
Then there is the legal hassle. Call me crazy but I thought that since there are 365 days in a year, one parent would get 182 and the other would get 183. In this age of all sorts of blended families this should be easy, right? Ummm, not so much. This has been a painfully slow, nerve racking process that still isn’t over.
An unexpected problem has been the interference from family. We’ve had the oddest people to totally overstep their boundaries and basically act a fool. For the first few months of the twins’ lives, they were not allowed to come to our home. Because of that my husband and I had one rule – no extended family should meet the boys until the immediate family meets the boys. Not because we were hiding anything. Not because we were ashamed of anything. But we as a family unit had to come to terms with this first. We were the ones who were going to be here day in and day out. And we deserved a few moments to define ourselves and unify before we had to deal with anyone else. That went out the window when family – family that we thought would be rallying around us – decided to ignore our wishes. And not just once but repeatedly. So some family have been dropped from our “family circle.” If you can’t respect my husband as head of our household, and abide by the rules we set for all of our children, then you can no longer darken my door. Harsh? Maybe. But I can not concerned about what extended family thinks when I am fighting for the survival of our family unit.
The question I get asked most often is “how do you and the other woman interact?” I guess in this age of Basketball Wives people expect me to continue the drama. And why write if you aren’t going to keep it honest? While I wish I could say that I’ve been all Joyce Meyer-ish, I’ve gone “Real Housewives” more than a few times. For the longest time I wanted an apology. I wanted her to look me in my face and admit her wrongdoing in the situation. I wanted her to look past her wants and think about the kids and what’s best for them. But alas, we aren’t there. And honestly we may never be there. I may never like her – ever. But I do have to respect her as a parent and eventually forgive her – not for her sake but for my own. But for now, we rarely cross paths. It’s better that we keep it real church-like. You know “let the Lord watch ‘tween us whilst we are apart.” And that is a good first step.
And finally, I’ve embraced my title as mom-mom. Is it made up? Yep. But it’s mine. In the past year I’ve learned that I can love God enough to trust him. I’ve learned that people really can change. I’ve seen my daughters show such compassion and care for their brothers. I’ve learned that forgiveness is real. And I’ve learned that in just 1 year – just 365 days – that my life can be fuller than I ever imagined. I get to live Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”