Their Dad lets them stay up till 11:00...
...I make them go to bed at 8:30.
Their Dad puts a TV in their room...
...I refuse to put TV's in their rooms.
Their Dad lets them watch rated R movies (of which I can't say a word)...
...the most vulgar thing we watch is Duck Dynasty.
Their Dad doesn't watch his language in front of them, and rarely gets onto them when they repeat something...
...I won't let them say anything ugly. I mean anything.
He is their friend, and I'm the bad guy. It's been that way since the day they were born. Just because we parent from different houses now doesn't change that. I could dwell on things like this that keep me up at night, or I can turn it around and list what I am thankful for:
I'm thankful they are exposed to him only 5-8 days each month.
I'm thankful I'm able to teach them that love cannot be bought, and neither can happiness.
I'm thankful I get them most weekends so they can go to church.
I'm thankful they see their dad in a stable relationship, and not the alternative.
I'm thankful she is a nice girl who is good with them.
I'm thankful I can spank now.
I'm thankful the Lord gives me the strength to hear all of the "But Daddy lets us.."'s, and I can still make them do what they are told.
I'm thankful for the positive changes in their behavior over the last year and a half because I continue to be the bad guy instead of babying them because of what all has happened.
I'm thankful for positive male roll models in the church that they can look up so they can see how a family is supposed to be.
I'm thankful we can now read the bible and pray without being ridiculed.
I wish after a year and a half it would get easier for them to go back and forth from my house to his, and it has a little. But still, the day after they stay with him is rough on them. It's like they have to change gears... or change motors for that matter. It's hard on them, but it's also hard on them when they have to go a long time without seeing him. We always have behavioral issues when they don't get regular time with him. So I'm thankful for the days they do see him, it brings balance to their lives.
I'm thankful I don't have as many days of worrying as I used to. My days of worrying are made better with prayer.
This is my real life. It's not always pretty, and there's a lot that happens that only the Lord and I know about. But He helps me through these days, and I'm so thankful.