I have reached a point now where I can refer to him as 'the boys dad' rather than 'that stupid bastard ex-husband of mine' so I can verify that time does indeed appear to be healing things. I have adopted a new mantra, just to remind myself, when the going gets tough:
Recently (in the misty hours of the 3am feeding zone) I've dipped in and out of my old haunt on Mumsnet, the Relationships board. Whenever I do I am reminded again to be grateful - after the hideous heartbreaking stage I went through, things do seem to be getting more okay by the day. As for the things that aren't okay yet, well, I believe patience will sort them out.
I still haven't served papers to STBXH. Unsurprisingly, he is anxious to pick up the divorce proceedings... and I feel the hand of the OW steer conversations now and then from afar. The topic is brought up here and there like an annoying little stone in my shoe - reminding me that I still have some business to take care of. But I'm able to (for the most part at least) deflect and dismiss the conversation until I am ready to have it, on my own terms. Even better, I find I am able to laugh at any attempts to steer me off course, when they would have had me in floods of tears six months ago. I take this as a good sign that I am healing, and thank god my sense of humour is coming back!
As the dust settles I've realised that keeping my dignity in those early days is paying dividends. It turns out that not shouting from the rooftops what nob-job I think my ex may have been was a good move. After all, the anger passes and he remains the father of my children. I'm glad that by focusing on the important things, I've managed to weather the first bluster of a pretty big storm. In particular, I'm so glad that I'm still considered part of the boys extended family, even if I'm now only an Aunty/SIL by marriage once removed. Keeping my head down and my chin up <briefly wonders if this is even possible?> reaped it's own reward. STBXH's family still love and respect me, and welcome my children in their homes, which feels like a triumph all by itself... I always believed I could be the bigger person. But walking the walk was tougher than talking the talk. Many, many times I struggled to bite my tongue and carry on. It's gratifying to realise that my parents were actually right, good behaviour can be it's own reward!
Off the back of celebrating good behaviour, I've spent a good chunk of the week making lovely paper bunting with Sprout, decorating it all with stickers of trucks and diggers and hanging it up around the kitchen. At the grand old age of two, I've decided it's time to introduce some house rules... so far, we have agreed on "no hitting", "no spitting" and "no kicking". After much discussion he agreed to let me write the rules on the bunting so we don't forget them, as long as his sticker chart (for good behaviour) gets pride of place on the wall. Fair exchange I think! I'd rather be passing out numerous gold stars than enforcing time outs anyway
dons slummy mummy t-shirt.
It's hard to believe we are at the point now where I can even have a conversation with my little Sprout, where did my chubby little toddler go to? Overnight he seems to have grown into an actual child! I do know that sounds odd, but I guess mums will know what I mean. Every little stage we go through passes so fast, I try to remember to appreciate it before it's gone. Beany-baby has already bust out of his teeny baby clothes and is now filling up the newborn suits like a good 'un (he was but a wee chap when he arrived). And now Sprout is such a lovely, chatty little two year old. He is perfectly charming when he witters on about his 'lellow diggers and sings "twinkle star" to his brother
studiously ignores the one time so far he has kicked Bean in the head.
This child is a world away from the anxious little 17mo I brought down to the country to live with Nana and Papa. Upon reflection, we have all blossomed here. SIL kept telling me yesterday how amazing I look compared to when I'd just given birth to Sprout. Well, it's easy to look good when you're feeling good. Not to mention when you've managed to fit in a trip to the hairdresser and squeeze into your Bridget Jones pants so you can do up a pair of non-maternity jeans at last...happy days! Anyone for a celebratory brew? <ignores tight pants and opens biscuit tin>