Why I f#@king hate Wednesdays!
I fucking hate Wednesdays. At least I used to.
Not in the general way some people do because it's hump day, or just because the word itself makes no sense when you say it out loud WED - NES - DAY. No I hate Wednesday's because it's the day my son leaves to go back to his mum. And when you've never had any restrictions placed around when you can and can't see your child, it hits hard, and for me, that's a Wednesday and I felt really disconnected.
I felt really
Look, as far as custody goes, I'm grateful. I couldn't imagine seeing my little mate for anything less than 50/50.
And... he has a great mum. And.... while we've had our fair share of getting the shits with each other through breaking up, there was never any doubt that she loves and cares for him as much as I do. And.... we agree on 90% of how to parent and care for him. And..... no this blog isn't just a place for me to whinge and complain about how unfair and bad single dad life is (but surely you're allowed to bitch and whinge for a period of time).
No this blog is hopefully an exercise in "hindsight" for everyone else, but me. Which doesn't really help me.... but Im happy to share my failings for your enjoyment.
And.... Wednesdays were one of the things that hit really hard for me.
Before you know it, I've watched a whole season in one sitting, and achieved little more than finding out it IS possible to eat a whole tub of
Ben and Jerrys...
So one day you too may hate Wednesdays, or Tuesdays, or every second Saturday or what ever day it is you hand your child/ren back. I know there are some single dads that love their time with their kids, but can't wait to hand them back again. The "Weekend Dads". But that's not me. Don’t get me wrong I love time to my self, binge watching Netflix letting each episode roll into the next in a never ending cycle, while flicking through Tinder on my phone. And before you know it I've watched a whole season in one sitting, achieved little more than finding out it is possible to eat a whole tub of Ben and Jerrys even when you put it back in the freezer three times trying to tell yourself you're done, until you find yourself licking the tub dry like an excited dog. And still no matches on Tinder? Go figure.
So what happens when Wednesday rolls around now? In the back of my mind I know it's coming. Sometimes I'm completely fine and tell myself to turn it into a positive - “this is time for you to concentrate on the 6 million ideas you have but have never start, like writing a single dad blog”.
And sometimes it just hits me like a ton of lego bricks. And you feel really alone. But your not. For a start there's me. And that other guy over there, and that girl at the gym putting on a brave face, and.... there's lots of us.
One minute you're in your tiny apartment, full of the loud joyous, entertaining energy of a 6 year old, then along comes Wednesday...
I remember my first few Wednesdays, in my tiny little apartment (Ok maybe I'm still a little bitter we don’t have our beautiful big family home with pool, surrounded by native bushland, and full of memories... but more on moving house in another blog post)…. Where was I? Yes…. One minute you're in your tiny apartment, full of the loud joyous, entertaining energy of a 6 year old, then along comes Wednesday.
And it’s quiet as fuck.
In fact the quiet can be more deafening than the noise a little boy create. Complete silence.
With all the loaded pressure I put on myself with Wednesdays approaching, I remember this overwhelming feeling as I dropped Jethro at school, watching him running in with his school bag on his back, driving off and sitting in traffic and the tears coming. I also noticed that the pressure I was putting on myself was manifesting into being less patient and short with Jethro on Tuesday nights or Wednesday mornings in the lead up which was pointless.
"Not that I like being apart from you or mummy, but it's nice to miss you and then be really excited to see you again"
Jethro 9 years old.
You'll be pleased to know it gets easier. It does. I have learnt to deal with my Wednesdays. And yes sometimes I still find they sneak up on me and I really miss my little housemate, but that's what happens when you are away form someone you love. And as Jethro says "Not that I like being apart from you or mummy, but it's nice to miss you and then be really excited to see you again". Wise words form a now 9 year old. The cliche is true, time heals.
I've discovered the less pressure I put on myself to be happy, be better, to stop thinking about this or that, and simply accept and no that this feeling is ok, and its normal and natural, I end up dealing with it more quickly and easier. That and the help of a core group of supportive friends, a psychologist, and hours of Netflix and endless tubs of Ben and Jerrys. It all helps.
I guess all I want to do is alert you of what your “Wednesday” could be like so you can be prepared. Trust me - It wont feel as hard after a while. With time, as you heal and your new life takes shape you will learn to cope with and accept Wednesdays. Sometimes even appreciate the calm. But be ready for them. Have something to do, make a date with a friend. Plan an activity for your next day out with your child/ren. Do something you've always wanted to do. Start a course. Get out of the house (or tiny little apartment) for dinner and take a book and enjoy your own company with some good food and a bit of people watching. Or stalk an old high school crush on Facebook. (I was meant to delete that last comment)
So beware of...... no, be ready for Wednesdays!
REMEMBER - YOU ARE NOT ALONE - IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF YOUR FRIEND AND FAMILY GROUPS, THERE ARE PLENTY OF FREE SERVICES WITH TRAINED PROFESSIONALS. FIND SOME IN THE "SUPPORT" PAGE LINK BELOW.