Now is Good.

Just because life hands you lemons doesn't mean you have to suck.

Seeing The Light.* February 24, 2011

Filed under: Accomplishments,divorce,Divorce Perk — nowisgoodblog @ 10:45 am

Last week the toggle switch for my garbage disposal went kaput.  It would turn on, but then not turn off.  Given that the bar seats where my kids’ butts are firmly ensconced 99% of the time are within arms’ reach of the disposal, that seemed like a fairly dangerous condition to ignore. I taped up the switch so it couldn’t be activated and tried to figure out my next move.  My dad was out of town.  I was already asking The Ex for another household favor (with which he complied but failed sort of miserably, meaning I used up a precious favor for nothing … grrr).  My other go-to guys were similarly unavailable.  I almost just called an electrician, but work has been slow and there’s not a lot of extra cash lying around these days.  So …

I fixed it myself.  Let me preface that by saying that electricity freaks me the hell out.  Always has.  I have never done any kind of household repair or installation that remotely involved electricity.  But this week I got online and Googled some instructions and watched a video and then just … fixed it.  Ok, so yes it took me more than one attempt to figure out how to remove the old switch and yes it took me two trips to the store to get the right parts and yes the Home Depot guy was totally laughing at my complete and utter ineptitude in trying to figure out which switch I needed to purchase, but whatever.  I did it.  By myself.  (And yes, to answer my sister’s second question after I told her of my accomplishment … it actually works.)

I know it’s not a major project and I feel a bit silly even writing about this because in hindsight, it was quite an easy job.  But the thing is—I never would have attempted it if I were still married.  I’d have asked The Ex to do it and if (when) he failed to get around to it I’d eventually have just called an electrician and paid him to come take care of it.  Sometimes I think marriage fosters a sense of learned helplessness in both spouses.  The division of household labor becomes so etched in stone that neither person branches out of their assigned roles.  Over time in our marriage, I stopped doing yard work or home repairs or anything to my car.  The Ex stopped cooking or cleaning or doing laundry or buying groceries.  I know why that happens, but the loss of self-sufficiency that comes along with it seems ridiculously hampering in hindsight.

Replacing that light switch felt good. Score one for the divorced lady.

*Ok, so technically, it was a garbage disposal switch and not a light switch, but “Seeing The Garbage Disposal” seemed a pretty crappy title.

 

Moving Right Along …. February 23, 2011

Yesterday marked the culmination of the (possibly ill-endeavored?) She Said/She Said Project.  In an email conversation weeks ago, Tara and I came clean about the ways in which we felt threatened by the other, the things we feared about these other crucial relationships in our loved ones’ lives and the motivations behind some of our actions in the parenting/SO arena.  It was an enlightening exchange and it sparked my interest in doing this project to begin with.  We later discussed using this final week to share those personal perspectives in our guest posts—to provide a more vulnerable explanation for why we felt the way we felt, and for why we had taken the positions we had.

Perhaps we should have done that entry first.  Or perhaps we shouldn’t have done any of this at all.

In any event, although a project summation still seems apt, as does a sharing of my feelings about ALL that has risen to the surface during these last few weeks, I decided not to post that final chapter over on the Relative Evolutions site (although Tara has written a lovely closing post on the series—check it out).  That’s no reflection on Tara at all—I imagine (and hope) that she and I will continue to email off-blog about these topics as they arise.  But I have no desire to further bare my soul in the lion’s den and no interest in continuing to interact with some of her readers.  I know this is a public site—they may come and read here, they may throw out their empty advice and unfounded criticisms, they may tell me all the ways in which I am a bad mother and a worse ex-spouse—but I truly hope they won’t.

I’m not sure what I hoped to learn by this project.  I think I believed people might have insightful ways to find areas of compromise with The Ex on the role of The Girlfriend in our kids’ lives.  That didn’t happen.  Here’s what did:

  • I realized that criticism hurts, even when it’s given by someone you don’t know and with whom you probably have nothing in common.  Criticism based upon completely incorrect assumptions, however, is both hurtful AND annoying.
  • I realized that there are some people out there who still seem to be very angry at their exes (even while they dismiss anger as a non-emotion or provide empty counsel to just “get over it”), and they may have directed some of that anger toward me.  I happen to think anger is a perfectly valid emotion and only becomes destructive when it isn’t accurately recognized and processed.  I make no secret over the fact that I am still angry at The Ex, but just because I *feel* angry doesn’t mean I *act* on that anger.  I haven’t tried to alienate my children from their father.  I haven’t tried to cut him out of their lives.  I haven’t used the “Bobby/Suzy, you may invite anyone you want, but I’m sure you don’t want to invite her” bullshit tactics.  (For what it’s worth, I respect my kids’ intelligence far too much to ever think that such an approach would do anything more than lessen their respect for me and completely undermine my authority with them.  They’re not stupid.)  I realized I am no one’s ex-wife but The Ex’s.  Our problems are specifically ours.
  • Along those lines, I realized that what works for other readers or commenters may not work for me.  I see the potential value in parallel parenting, as well as the potential need for it when conflict can’t be otherwise minimized.  But I haven’t given up the hope that we can truly co-parent and I don’t think The Ex has given up that hope, either.  I realized that the way we’ve already done things and the way we’re trying to do things in the future takes us out of the normal mold a bit and I realized there is no personalized roadmap for how to proceed.
  • I realized that I do still think we are a family—a mother and a father and three children.  I know that The Ex’s idea of his family now includes another person.  My idea does not … yet.  For now, we have incomplete overlapping family circles (hello, Venn Diagram).  Eventually, The Girlfriend may exist in my circle, but not yet.  I realized that healing to the point where I may be able to welcome The Girlfriend is just plain and simple going to take time.
  • I realized that whether or not our approach works for others, it’s working for us.  Mostly.  Usually.  And as a result of our efforts, our kids seem to be doing fine.  (Mostly.  Usually.)  They are excelling in school.  They have friends.  They easily go back and forth between our houses.  They love us both.  We live in a very family-oriented community where divorce is uncommon.  None of their friends’ parents are divorced; they have no peers in this arena, yet they are finding their way and we are doing our best to help them.
  • I realized that I may inadvertently put pressure on my children without knowing it.  Not having been in their position myself, I hadn’t thought about the fact that giving them a choice in certain matters may make them feel pressured to pick sides (and really, make them feel pressured to choose my side, because they know that I’m the one who is pained by this process and because they want to protect me).  That has never been my intention.  Hopefully, being aware of that potential pressure will help me refrain from placing it upon them.
  • I realized that although I haven’t done everything perfectly since our divorce, and I’m sure I’ll make more mistakes, I’m trying.  Really, really, really hard I’m trying.  I communicate with The Ex on a daily basis about what is going on in the kids’ lives.  I try (and succeed about 99% of the time) to be civil, even bordering on friendly.  I do not allow the kids to disrepect him—ever—either in public or in private.  The first time my child ever yells obscenities at The Ex in public will be the last time that child sees the outside of his or her bedroom for a long, LONG time.
  • I realized that other people’s pain needs to be respected.
  • I realized that there is a crucial, intrinsic difference between me and people who seem insistent upon full integration of an SO into their childrens’ lives.  I’m not saying it’s better or worse, but it is different and the difference seems to reflect a fundamental tenet of the way we parent our children.  For those who say, “The SO has a right to be there, whether or not the children want him/her to be,” for those who tell or show the children that their wants and needs always come second behind the parent’s, for those who are so concerned about the potential risks associated with the children calling the shots, the imperative seems to lie in showing the child who is boss and showing the child whose needs come first.  To the contrary, my imperative lies in making sure that my children always know that their fears and concerns and desires and feelings are being heard and understood by me.  My kids come first—always, always, always—before a husband, before a boyfriend, before a family member or friend.  My kids come first before me and I want them to know that.  That doesn’t mean they always get their way and it doesn’t mean they are allowed to manipulate the situation.  But it does mean that if and when they express a valid dislike or discomfort, I will  take it into account—even if it means an SO has to stay home.  Ultimately, my childrens’ feelings are simply more important than any SO’s.  Because my children are more important.  They come first.  Period.  For me, there’s no point in having children if you can’t give them that security during childhood.  Different parenting principles, perhaps, but violating that one is the thing that I’d most regret.
  • I realized I’m going to keep writing, just the way I’ve been writing.  Despite feeling exposed and vulnerable and stifled and scared to keep baring my heart and soul when I know there are people out there who have no desire or intention to be careful with me, I’m going to keep going.  I don’t write to advise others and I don’t write to preach the one true path to divorce and co-parenting and dealing with the myriad of issues that arise therefrom.  I write to process, to think, to feel, to share, to ask, to seek, to get through.  I need it and although I’m not exactly sure why, some of you seem to need it, too.  I love that it’s a group journey.
  • I realized that I’ve been pretty lucky to find a kind and judicious blog community out there, who support and applaud and question and critique with fairness and with open minds.  Seeing a bit of the alternative has made me even more appreciative of those I count as readers and friends.
  • I realized I have a support system the likes of which I never imagined.  Some are family, some are close friends, some are past acquaintances, some are folks I’ve met in person solely because of this blog, some are strangers I’ve only “met” through comments and email.  But the number and quality of people who are in my corner (and that doesn’t necessarily mean they agree with everything I do or decide) humbles me.  About 20 months ago, right after The Ex had filed for divorce, a girlfriend who had been through it herself and knew what was ahead for me asked me if I had a good support system.  I remember the question and I remember not knowing the answer at the time.  I know now, and I am so completely grateful for it.

Thank you to those who entered the fray on my behalf.  Thank you to those of you who didn’t want to enter the comment war but emailed your support anyway.  Thank you to those who opened my eyes to some dangers and concerns with the kids that I might not have foreseen.  Thank you.

And that’s that.  Moving right along ….

 

She Said/She Said, Part 3. February 15, 2011

And … once more to the chopping block we go.  Today’s post topic deals with celebration of special occasions—birthdays, Christmases, mother’s days and father’s days—and the presence or involvement of a parent’s significant other in connection with same.  Given the overwhelming (and overwhelmingly emotional) reader commentary on prior posts, I feel a bit like Tara and I are beating a dead horse here.  Nevertheless, here is her take on the girlfriend’s perspective; my post on the mom’s perspective can be found over on Relative Evolutions.

For Week 3 of our project, Meredith and I have agreed to address the topic of special events:  birthdays, holidays, religious celebrations, etc.  Before I get too far into what I think, I’d like to share a story…

A few years ago, Boyfriend’s ex had plans during one of Drakes baseball games.  She asked Boyfriend to drive Drake to the game and she left Josh home with a sitter.  After the game (which I too attended), we took Drake home and found his brother frolicking in the front yard with the babysitter and some neighborhood kids.

Boyfriend got out of the car to chat with an old neighbor and encouraged me to exit the vehicle as well.  Feeling out of place, I stood on the sidewalk and made friends with the dogs that were on site.  A few moments later, Josh (age 5 at the time) approached and took my hand.

“Come see my bedroom,” he said eagerly.  (I should note that Josh has always been somewhat ignorant to his parents’ conflict.  He simply doesn’t care.)

From ten feet away, I felt Drake bristle with anxiety.  He knew that his mother would not approve of my setting foot inside her home.  My own body tensed as I searched for something to say.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I told him.  “Your mom isn’t home and I don’t think she would want any strangers in the house.”

Josh’s blue eyes were wide with hope and anticipation.  “No, it’s OK,” he pleaded while pulling my arm.  “She wants you to see my room.  I know she does!”

My upper half lurched forward with his tug but I kept my feet planted on the sidewalk.  “Not today.  Maybe sometime when your mom is home, OK?  You need to ask her first.”

Josh dropped my hand and looked down, appearing deflated by my rejection.  He didn’t (and couldn’t.  and shouldn’t.) understand all the reasons why.  To him, it was simple:  he wanted to share something with me and I refused.  I felt like such a bitch.

…Which brings me back to this week’s topic.  I think this is an area where the kids’ preference should be given significant weight, especially if the celebration is scheduled to happen in a public place.

Speaking for myself, if a birthday boy requested my presence at his bowling party, I’d be comfortable to rent a lane nearby and venture into the party space only to offer some congratulatory words and a gift.  In the meantime, I’d be there, but I wouldn’t be assaulting anyone with my presence.  If the birthday boy wanted me to watch him open his gifts, I’d oblige… awkwardly.  And I hope Mom would keep the peace for the sake of her child.

Within the home, I understand there may be some more stringent boundaries.  And I respect that.  Completely.  I would not cross Mom’s threshold against her will even if my presence was requested by a child.  I think in that case, I might “have other plans”.  If the event was to take place at my house, I would welcome Mom to attend.  I’m relatively certain the situation, though uncomfortable, would not be life-threatening.  At least, I hope not.

Boyfriend and I have not dealt with such scenarios.  So far, he and his ex have been content to let the occasions fall where they may in the schedule.  In most cases, the boys are with Mom for their birthdays and holidays so we adapt accordingly and celebrate in our own fashion during the boys’ time with us.  I prefer the opportunity to do our own thing.  It extends the fun for the kids and opens their minds to alternate possibilities.  At the same time, it frees us from participating in something which doesn’t agree with our own family culture.  It’s important, I think, to form new traditions in the wake of divorce.

A few paragraphs ago, I mentioned not “assaulting anyone with my presence”.  This is important and it goes both ways.  If exes and new partners are sharing a space, there’s no need to flaunt (and flaunting, IMHO, has more to do with attitude than action) one’s particular status.  The kids know who you are and what you mean to them.  Be open-minded and respectful.  Let the kids enjoy themselves and remember that “this too shall pass.”

 

Drained. February 10, 2011

“Drained Heart” by C. Mary Howard

I’m not sure I like this guest posting gig.  I think it may be beneficial and I think it may be productive, but I’m not sure I like it.  I don’t like people calling me petty or bitter and I don’t like people calling Tara a “babysitter with benefits” (though for anyone who is wondering, I can overwhelmingly assure you that comment was directed at The Girlfriend and not at Tara).  I don’t like people making assumptions about who I am or how I present myself or how I interact with my children or The Ex.  I don’t like people assuming that Tara hasn’t paid her dues in time and effort with Boyfriend and his kids and his ex.  I don’t like that Tara and I seem to be able to discuss these issues with each other without judgment and from polar opposite positions, but that when the issues “go live” on our respective sites, judgment seems to rain down.

I don’t like it.

Yesterday left me feeling drained and angry and attacked.  And a little sorry that through guest posting, I inadvertently opened my blog to people who might not otherwise have found respite here.  My blog is not a self-help site; it’s not for providing guidance to others; I don’t claim to have the answers to a successful divorce or to successful co-parenting or to successfully integrating unwanted people into my and my children’s lives.  My blog represents nothing at all other than my own personal journey through this phase and my own examination of what happens to me and through me.

You know what?  I am angry at The Ex and at The Girlfriend.  I think what they did sucks.  I resent being told to just “accept it” and I resent that I’m supposed to bless their actions because anything and everything can be excused by some after-the-fact saying “I was unhappy.”  Most of all, I’m offended that some people are allowed to wreak havoc on the lives of everyone around them in order to make themselves happy, but those left picking up the pieces are not allowed a small window of irrationality or possessiveness in saying “I don’t want the SO present for awhile” for various activities.  Someone please measure those acts up on the scale of selfishness and see which one weighs more, or which one continues to cause the most damage to the children.

I’m a little surprised that it was the parent/teacher conference issue that set off such sparks.  I didn’t see that coming, although possibly I should have—I myself had a stronger emotional reaction to it than expected.  Tara’s viewpoint in off-site emailing has helped me put a different face on “the girlfriend issue” (one that doesn’t trigger an automatic gag reflex in me) and I think on occasion my viewpoint has helped her understand where some of the mom animosity directed toward her is coming from. The idea behind doing the guest posts was to further explore those positions to develop greater understanding.  I’m going to finish what I started, because that initial goals still exists.

But please, in the future, be kind.  I’m guessing we’re all doing the best we can.

 

She Said/She Said, Part 2. February 8, 2011

Today’s guest post is part two in a series of looking at various post-divorce, co-parenting and blended family situations that arise.  I am posting the mom’s perspective over at Relative Evolutions (The Divorce Encouragist), and Tara is posting the girlfriend’s perspective here.  Please feel free to comment either place.

As the partner of a parent, I’ve attended parent/teacher conferences (separate time slot from Mom) since November of 2007.  Go ahead and take a moment to catch your breath… :)

I was delighted the first time Boyfriend invited me to tag along for one of his conferences.  Not only did this present me with a chance to gain further knowledge about the boys, it also told me that he valued my presence in their lives.  For someone who struggles with the insecurities resulting from being a constant outsider (that would be me), this was a big deal.  The gesture meant a lot.

I think the invitation was born out of Boyfriend’s past:  when he was married, his ex preferred that he not attend meetings with the children’s teachers.  I know he was happy to have classroom access following his divorce.  I imagine that, once I was integrated into the boys’ lives, he didn’t want me to feel excluded as he once did.

I love Boyfriend’s sons and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your opinion) my access to them is minimal.  By attending conferences (and Back-To-School Nights), I can indulge my interest in the boys’ as the individuals that they are.  In their element, they aren’t just their father’s kids, they are “Drake” and “Josh”. Seeing their classrooms and meeting their teachers is an opportunity to observe where they exist on a daily basis:  the desks they sit at, the artwork they create, the tests they take, the words they learn, etc.  It gives me a chance to know them better without employing the eye-roll-inducing Twenty Questions.  The experience allows me to engage with them by complimenting their good work or asking for more information about the current science lesson.  They see that I take an interest in their lives and they appreciate it.

At one of the first conferences, I asked the kindergarten teacher if they studied bugs in class.  When she looked puzzled, I explained that Josh had recently been drawing bugs on construction paper.  Her forehead creased, her nose wrinkled and she replied, “Oh, no!  I don’t like bugs!”

Regardless of what came out of her mouth, her look of disgust was far too potent to be an insect-induced reaction.  The message I received with every other sense of my being was, “You should not be here!”

Which leads me to my next reason for standing by my man at these events:  I want to confront the world with the reality that families aren’t always defined by a prescribed formula. Regardless of my last name and DNA composition, I provide a valid contribution to the boys’ educational process.  Years ago, I made flash cards to help Drake study for a vocabulary test and the fruits of our labor (100%, yeah!!) still adorn the fridge.  Last fall, I took Josh shopping to buy materials for a science project.  It was rewarding to visit the classroom and see his hard work on display with that of his peers.

Last week, I touched on the Turf Issue.  The classroom is the kids’ turf (at least, it’s more their turf than Mom/Dad’s).  It’s a place where they learn and grow into the adults they will someday be.  In my opinion, all who support such growth should be welcome in that space.

–The Divorce Encouragist

 

Snow, Ice And A Little Bit of Nice. February 5, 2011

This was early, when we were all still like, "Awwww ... pretty snow!"

 

We are slowly, slowly crawling out from beneath Snowmageddon 2011 around here.  It snowed and sleeted and froze for days on end, with temperatures never coming close to rising above freezing.  It got down to like, 10 degrees or something.  Ten.  One-zero.  Add another zero to that and we’re back to our norm, but 10?  It boggles the mind.  Two days before the storm hit, we were enjoying 75-degree days and sitting by the pool in shorts and tank tops.

It has been WINTER here, folks.  I know this is not at all a big deal for some of you, but around here it’s cause for grocery stores being completely cleaned out, government offices closing, and much gnashing of the teeth.  It’s End of Days type stuff.  School was canceled for four straight days.  That has NEVER happened before in the thirty years I’ve lived in Texas.  I have no idea how the school districts will rectify that—I doubt there’s a contingency plan in place for making up that many bad weather days.  We do not own much cold weather gear (I have a closet full of “Cute” Coats, but none that provide any real warmth).  The cities don’t know how to clear the roads—the streets in my entire neighborhood have been a solid sheet of ice since Tuesday.

Avery's snow angel, that she photographed herself because her mama was too cold to go outside and do it.

 

There’s been some serious cabin fever.  There’s been a movie marathon or seven.   There have been wine stockpiles depleted.  There have been cookies baked, popcorn popped and junk food eaten by the ton.  There were snowball fights.  There were snow angels.  There were floors full of melted snow and boots and hats and gloves and pants left soaking by the back door (and then there was a broken clothes dryer so … the wet pile stayed wet).  There were bedtimes jettisoned and mornings slept in.  There were icy streets navigated back and forth by parents desperate to swap off kids for sleepovers.  There was one kids-plus-parents sleepover with dear friends that Saved.My.Sanity. and wore everyone out SO much that they ended up like this:

Kids-Plus-Parents sleepovers are the bomb!

 

There were foot rubs (NO idea why, but I didn’t argue because I got mine next!)

Spa d'Avery

There was snow cream made and devoured and made and devoured and made and devoured again.

Snow cream ... the simplest way to wow a child.

It’s been a bizarre, but bizarrely good, week.

Avery told Owen he was her best friend.

Owen told me he was glad we couldn’t get out of the house because nothing could possibly be better than sitting on the sofa watching a movie with me.

Amelia told me repeatedly, “Mom, you’re the best mom in the world!” (No doubt the “repeatedly” was spawned my by borderline psychotically excited response to the first time she said it, but whatever.)

Pretty much enough sunshine for everyone.

The snow and ice are melting now and life is beginning to return to normal.

But they’re calling for more snow again tomorrow. :-)

 

She Said/She Said, Part 1. February 1, 2011

Filed under: Balance,Dads,Dating,divorce — nowisgoodblog @ 7:44 am
Tags: ,

One of the things that has helped me most over the past 18 months has been hearing about other people’s good divorces.  Divorce is never easy and it’s never fun, but there are varying degrees of how much impact (both negative and positive) it can have on your life.  I regularly read a blog called Relative Evolutions (née The Divorce Encouragist) to be reminded of the good things that can come out of a divorce and of the ways in which I can make my own divorced situation better and easier for all involved.  Tara, the blog’s author, is a happily divorced woman who shares her life with her boyfriend and his two sons from his prior marriage.  Tara is A Girlfriend (not to be confused with The Girlfriend) helping care for her partner’s biological children.  As such, her perspective of the co-parenting relationship often differs from mine.  I’ve benefited from that different perspective in my attempt to gain objectivity in evaluating problems that arise with The Ex and The Girlfriend.  It has been helpful for me to see a situation through her eyes in a way that is not personally threatening to me.  Toward that end, she’s going to guest post here on several occasions throughout February and I will guest post on her blog, each of us providing a different take on a given Divorced With Kids/Co-Parenting/Significant Other scenario.  The first such post appears below.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in either space ….

 

 

Scenario:  Dad left the kids with a babysitter at his residence and provided The Girlfriend, instead of Mom, as an emergency contact.

I think I understand why Dad did this.  It has to do with turf, trust and lack of A Bigger Picture.

Turf:  This isn’t about replacing Mom, it’s about differentiating between households.  When the kids are with Dad, they are on his turf, in his care and he’s the responsible party.  Not Mom.  Therefore, when it comes to emergency contacts, Dad is going to list people from his camp. Furthermore, he doesn’t want to be in a position of vulnerability should Mom find out that something went wrong on his watch.

In my case, Boyfriend and I live together.  If a child vomits on my couch, I feel entitled to know about the incident before the ex wife.

Trust:  Dad loves and trusts his girlfriend.  At this point in their relationship, he considers her to be part of his family.  And he’s making the statement in a big way.  This action sends a message to everyone that Dad and Girlfriend represent and official partnership.

When it comes to stepfamilies, Ron Deal suggests that a biological parent “trust the stepparent’s heart”.  A parent and stepparent might disagree on issues where the kids are concerned, but that doesn’t mean the stepparent doesn’t care.  I think this advice applies in this scenario too… Mom should trust Dad’s heart and know that he loves his kids and would not intentionally put them in harm’s way.  His family is evolving and it’s a big change for everyone.

Lack of A Bigger Picture:  It’s appropriate that Dad feels responsible enough to handle his turf on his own terms.  And it’s nice that he trusts his girlfriend to replace a babysitter if necessary.  But what if the emergency involves legal or medical professionals?   Dad might not be thinking about such severe instances.  If he was, he’d likely realize that there might come a time when it’s necessary to notify Mom. (The dad I’m most familiar with doesn’t worry much.  His mind doesn’t constantly conjure up suggestions of What Might Go Wrong.  Lucky him!) There are some things that girlfriends aren’t qualified to deal with… nor do they want to.

As a girlfriend, I’ve sat with sick kids.  I’ve cleaned up various bodily fluids at all hours of the day/night.  I’ve washed and bandaged wounds, administered medication, settled fights and tended to broken objects.  To date, I’ve successfully completed such tasks without the intervention of an Official Parent.  I’m pretty sure Boyfriend’s ex believes that I should be disqualified from such activities because I haven’t incubated little people inside my abdomen.  Quite frankly, she’s wrong.

That being said, there’s a big difference between cutting a finger and cutting a finger off.  Sometimes, issues arise when it’s necessary for Mom and Dad to work together and secondary authority figures need to take a back seat.

Ultimately, my personal preference for this scenario is that the babysitter would have the contact information for Dad, Girlfriend and Mom.  I think a good guideline for emergencies might be to ask the question:  Can the problem be solved within the confines of the home?  If so, call Dad and/or Girlfriend.  If not, call Dad and/or Mom.


 

 
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