It took a while for the kids to adjust to a new place. While they welcomed the big and open outdoors, all three of us had to squeeze into one bedroom. There were times when I wondered how ten years of our lives in a big apartment have been reduced to this. That was just the physical part of it. The kids had to start adjusting to life in the farm. YK had allergy problems and his sinus acted up badly when we first moved in. We dealt with some bad asthma attacks.
To avoid making too many changes in their lives, I didn’t change their school. Both boys attended the same school that used to be just a mile away whereas my parents’ house is located some 30km away, so I started driving them to school. (Ha! In an old Mazda after I traded in the Beemer!)
In the beginning, I arranged the school bus to send them to an aftercare centre near school and would only pick them up when I finish work in the evening. The kids would return home feeling miserable, sometimes crying pitifully after a long day.
Eventually I took them out of daycare and picked them up after school. There was a lot of trial and error until things settled into a routine and we finally managed to work out all the kinks.
The most difficult part was the ‘weekend visits’ to their father’s place. The kids had never been close to their father to begin with. When it became mandatory for them to see him every other weekend, it put a lot of pressure on them, especially YK who would start agonizing about it days before the visit. In the beginning, their father would brainwash them about how evil I was and that I was going to abandon them one day. He was constantly telling them that my parents and friends are evil and bad people.
The kids would come home asking me “Are you really going to abandon us?” or “Can we be a family again?”
It took a lot of reassuring and explaining before they could understand and see the real scenario. YK used to wake up screaming and crying in the middle of the night or would have sudden screaming fits during the day.
It didn’t take long before their father lost interest in the weekend visits and stopped paying child support altogether. In the second year, he probably saw them 2 days out of the year, which was a good thing. These days, while YK is still reluctant to meet his dad, SK sees him more often.
Kids are really adaptable and the boys are well adjusted and very happy with their lives now. As for me, I can finally hold a decent conversation with my ex without ending up arguing or screaming at each other. We’ve moved on.