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Ruth....you always know just when to swoop in. Must be the cybertwin ability of feeling Goody's need to vent.

I flew out Monday, the day before K.'s birthday. She was completely surprised!!! And the smile on her face was "priceless". I have been spending the days in what I would like to categorize as an "unnatural" state. And I am having some difficulty making adjustments to that. I will explain that in a little while as I progressively update you.

I have been spending the time driving K. to & from her new school.....I use my SIL's car on the day she works from home and on the days she goes to work she drives. The school is a 25 minute drive and on my first day here K. shared with us how a boy walked her from lunch to Bio and gave her a hug!!! Another boy she met, she eats lunch with and is in at least 2 of her classes. She is making lots of boy "friends" and is happy with that. K. really needs a car....the drive to school is definitely a hardship that I would like to take off of my brother & his family. She now has a full license and K. was quite disappointed on her birthday NOT HAVING FOUND A CAR. She had seen a cougar and was disappointed when my brother & his wife would not entertain placing her on their insurance because of the liability & cost...K. will pay the insurance but would need a separate policy which would place major stress on her having to come up with $350/mo. to drive that car. M brother wishes to put K. on his insurance but feels too uncomfortable with her having a sports car on it and I fully agree. We spoke with K. about this on her birthday eve and she cried sharing that having a car was a big part of turning 17 and that she had saved for one and had the money for the car and first years insurance. We explained to her that it would be the future insurance & gas that would place major stress on her and that she had enough of that on her plate. And that there was a compromise....she saw a Cavalier....much less expensive but not "plush" enough for her. We explained that while only seeing two there would be one that would be in the middle, a compromise, that would not place stress on her.

K.'s birthday came and it was sooo apparent how not having a car to drive on her 17th birthday was a big disappointment but she did well. I greeted her when she got home with a fluffernutter sandwich, her favorite snack, singing Happy Birthday. When everybody got home I saw the chaos that exists with my brother's family....my brother is on his 3rd marriage of less than a year and is remarkably wonderful when it comes to parenting. He has never missed a visit, event, or milestone in any of his kid's lives. One daughter lives in NY very close to me....she flies out 2 weekends a month and various 10 day vacations throughout the school year. My intentions are to fly K. home to me when he goes to get his daughter at the airport at least once a month. His second family resides about an hour from him in DE. He gets them one weekday and every weekend. And attends all their extracurricular events at school if need be. And then his new wife has 2 which are with them fulltime...a 9 year old and 1 year old. Okay.....do you get the picture??? It's a virtual circus of juggling everything under the sun under one roof!!! I am truly amazed having just spent a few days here at what goes on!

So....K. is in the midst of this and adjusting well for the most part...she is the oldest in terms of the kids and helps out quite a bit,, my brother has some health issues and part of my sacrifice of allowing K. to live with him comes from that. It is what I refer to as a "symbiotic" relationship where it is helping K. and at the same time helping my brother.

However...I am going through some emotions as a mom where I feel you and others may help me out with. K. seems to open up so much more with my brother & sister in law. She shares her day & events so much more readily...she smiles and is a daughter I haven't seen. She seems happy...but when it gets to the end of the day the frustration is projected on me. The disappointment of not having a car is shown to me in terms of "I need a car and what has been promised to me didn't happen." I explain that things changed in her life and if she were at home her dad & I would have had alot more time to focus on that need but that in my brother's life it is much more difficult and while I can understand the disappointment, that it will happen, only at a different time....a little delayed. I explained what a hardship it must be for my brother & SIL to drive her back & forth and that it was on their list of priorities to see her get her a car too....The smiles and openness are saved for others while mom gets the frustration & pain!!! And while on my brother's turf I almost feel like an outsider looking in.....they don't intentionally make me feel that way but I can't help but feel that way. I need K. home on my own turf and it is a priority of mine to get her home as often as possible without causing her added stress.

In addition to all of this I see that K. doesn't eat right....she doesn't eat breakfast and I don't know about lunch & only picks at dinner. Her sleeping quarters are out in the open lacking privacy....my brother lives in a beach bungalow....very tight quarters and all. She is situated in a sunroom which has a queen bed in a corner with a dresser and serves also as a family room. There is one shower for all!! Dinner sometimes is at 8-9pm. K. goes to sleep with a TV (something I have not allowed in our household) and a can of coke at her bedside...no milk in her diet here!! I went over this with K. and compromised to the TV timer being set at 30 minutes rather than 2 hours and how important good sleep is to her success in school. And how even grabbing a power bar in the morning is a must in starting her day with some type of nutrition no matter how busy. I also discussed these concerns with my brother & SIL both of which share the concern regarding K's eating habits. (The TV is no issue for them since everyone has a TV in their room)

My greatest concern came yesterday when I was informed by my SIL that K. will have to take all the state tests here to qualify for graduation. This was not part of our knowledge in weighing K's decision to come here or to K's knowledge. In speaking with the high school principal and guidance counselor about her transfer NO ONE informed us of this. Now....K. took all the NY State Regents exams AND state tests which are from what I understand the highest standard of testing in the nation....and they will not transfer that here and exempt her from DE state tests. I am very concerned about K's ability to take that on in addition to all the other changes/stresses in her life. She is in a new state, new school, with all new people, and has minimal ability for a social life outside of my brother's family. A car she sees as her only means of that which she has yet to get. Her high school schedule is soheavily weighed in terms of academics as it is and I am soooo afraid that the state tests will be the straw that breaks the camels back!!!!! K. avoids answering my questions regarding the tests...she has a college essay & application due by Nov. 1st and all these exams must be taken in October in order to apply to the college of her dreams!!! Okay.....I must admit that I am probably more stressed than K. but in the past few nights the stress is coming out of her...."this room is sooo hot and I can't get to sleep...there's a football game this weekend that Will wants me to go to but I can't beause I have no car"....I soothe her as much as I can. I told her I would ask my brother if she can use his car here & there until she finds one. She is somewhat relieved.

My biggest thing is that I wonder if this is still okay & in K.'s best interest. And I can't help but feel like the outsider looking in while she is here because now it involves 4 adults while she resides at my brother's home and I cannot fully act as a parent in the capacity without weighing the impact on my brother & his family, after all it is his home she is living in so my hands somewhat are tied. And I couldn't help but feel a little twinge of pain when K. said to me last night..."We're thinking about buying the lot across the street & building a bigger house." She was seeing herself as part of a new family and while I should be happy that she sees herself as so, it still hurt.

So....Ruth, my cybertwin, that's the pain of it all in a nutshell....I am here but dealing with something new as a mom....not quite sure of how to deal with the emotions that comes with sacrifice...but trying to let my daughter know that I am still here. I seem to get the pain & frustrations not the fun....but then again, we are able to share those feelings best with those we hold dearest....right??

Thanks for allowing me to vent. After I schedule a few home visits I think I will feel better. I will allow K. to pick those visits out with me.

Today I announced to my brother & SIL some much needed one on one time...I asked to borrow a car so that I can pick K. up after school and just go out the two of us. I am leaving tomorrow and need this very much as I am sure K. does. Sharing her is difficult...this mom needs her all to herself!!!

Ruth...I would be honored to share K. with you and have you adopt her as your cyberdaughter/cyberniece. I really look forward to your wisdom and comfort as a "mom" at heart....something we are both capable of. Thanks for wanting to play that role in my life and my daughters...it is truly an honor to know that you care enough to want to.

Big (((HUGS))) ~ Goody :angel:





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