I took some wonderful photographs this weekend. Some, admittedly, are for the iHeartFaces blog-fest, but most are just for me.
Dylan is going to live with his dad.
This is, and is not, as horrible and as heart-wrenching as it sounds. We finished the custody agreement last night, and short of tidying up a few details, we should be ready for the notary by the end of this week.
It’s just become clear that while we both love Dylan, and both want to do our best to care for him, we weren’t really doing the best we could be doing. Dylan really does seem to be affected by the constant going back and forth. The more I read about children, too, the more I see that they do better when they have a more consistent situation.
I’m going to have Dylan during the two days a week that I don’t work (Mondays and Fridays). His father is going to get a day job, and Dylan will be going to preschool three days a week. Dylan is going to spend evenings and every night of the week in the same place. In the same bed, and in an environment that has proven to be consistent. For some reason, he sleeps through the night at his Dad’s house, but not mine. For some reason, when his dad says “Bed time, Dylan,” he goes right to bed instead of attaching himself to me and insisting that he be held the entire time until he falls asleep, and doesn’t wake up several times through out the night because I’m not there.
Part of me is dealing with the inevitable mommy guilt (what kind of woman/mother ARE you?), but I have to say that I would feel guiltier if I wasn’t doing whatever it took to ensure that my child has the best environment possible. Dylan and his father have a great relationship, and it just has become apparent that the best thing for Dylan is for it to be the same way, all the time. I hate the idea of not being the parent in complete control, but that’s the control freak in me talking. His father did his part. He got his own apartment, and the fact that it’s in the same apartment complex as me makes things terribly convenient. He has maintained the same job for three years. Dylan comes home happy, well-rested, and seems to eat just fine there. While I may not approve of all the food choices, he still hasn’t lost any weight and is in acceptable health.
We’ve come to a very detailed and acceptable to both parties custody agreement, at least through next August. Despite his father wanting to take Dylan and move to New York State to live near all his family up there, I’m just not ready for that. So for now, Dylan will live two buildings down, in what I really hope will be a more consistent situation for him.
The hardest part is having to acknowledge that I might not be the one who is providing the best environment for my (well, our) son. Of course, if his father lived farther than my apartment complex, my response probably would have been something like Over My Dead Body. So much of last night was spent agonizing over this decision, but in the wee hours of the morning, it just settled in. (Especially when Dylan woke up at 4 a.m. and stayed up until 6 a.m.) I think, logically, that I am making the best decision for him. My heart hurts like a motherfucker right now, though.
I am, and am not, completely heartbroken.