Wednesday, 29 August 2012

If I struggle with change - How will my children cope?

 Back in 2001 my 1st husband flew over to collect his 3 children for  Christmas as I could not face taking the children to the airport and handing them over even though this was their 3rd trip- I look back at this photo and I see 3 happy kids looking forward to time with their dad. Time changes everything.
 The hardest part for me was when I got remarried and had P & Q both born during the Summer when my older children had to be in Italy . They also spend their Christmas over there so I would video them on the last day with a gut wrenching sadness as I saw them leave.
Of course on each return there would be smiles all round here they are tanned ad healthy meeting their new baby brother for the fist time. It would take a good 3 weeks to get back into routine but over the years it began to get easier as the children grew to understand the new family dynamics. For me it is still the toughest part of being a Mum.
Old enough to travel alone for the 1st time !
Each Summer I dread having to take my children to the airport for their court ordered contact with my first husband . I drop out of public view and sulk like a toddler who is missing her comforter and spend a few days wallowing in my sadness. This year I decided to get some help and signed up for a life coach to see me through what promised to be another flat summer of loneliness. I was able to type out my fears,frustrations and hurtful memories and lay them to rest. I realised for the first time ever that my perception of this annual event was still locked into my past and that looking at it from a different angle I could see that the children have benefited hugely from what I perceive to be an annual sacrifice. They have a bond with their extended family to be proud of. They get to travel to places I could never afford to take them, they taste foods and see sights that could never have been possible and they form friendships that have lasted . My daughter was just 15 months old the first time I had to put her on a flight to Italy and by the time she came back she was weaned and I felt I had missed so much of this process.
This year my daughter was 15 yrs old and traveled unaccompanied for the 1st time and even had to negotiate the airport and train  with her 17 yr old brother. I was very proud to see how well they coped and it was lovely to see how happy they were over skype .My eldest who is now 19 chose to join them for a week this year as he is no longer bound by the court order.
They will be home tomorrow from their adventure and are already planning their next trip to be away for the whole of Christmas break.  I am so looking forward to seeing them again .

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