Wrapping Our Heads Around Another New Reality

This week, the kids are at their bio-dad’s. It’s their first long visit since last December; only their 3rd visit in that time.

The past two years, visits have been very few and far-between, but recently, he has decided to get them one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer, and a couple of other times during the year.

It’s all been very stressful. When he wasn’t seeing them regularly (and for a long while, not calling) there was a certain mindset I had to go into, in order to shield the children from the reality of the situation. They, too, had to try to make sense of the things that they were aware of, and how things went when they did visit him. They met many different girlfriends/fiancees during that time, and stayed at different places; all very confusing.

But, they adjusted, and coped rather well with the absence. They’ve always been good about asking questions and they asked a lot of them:

Why didn’t he call… again?
Why didn’t he come down for a weekend, when he promised he would?
Why doesn’t he write letters back?

You know, the stuff that screws with anyone, but especially a child.

Every situation is different, and so is every parent/child relationship. Our children want to know things and will drill down to get to the answer. They also know when you are bullshitting them. So, while I haven’t divulged every detail, I haven’t lied and I didn’t sugar-coat what I did tell did them.

Having their reality explained to them in terms that they can grasp, while also knowing, without a doubt, that they are safe, secure and loved, has been a healing balm for them.

We moved forward and created a new normal. One with an absentee father. Because we had too.

But now, we are having to adjust. Again. And it’s been difficult for all of us, because, once again, we are having to wrap our heads around a new reality for them. For our family.

I still feel the need to protect them, and be on guard.

I am, cautiously, thankful that they will now have (*fingers crossed*) regular visits with him.

I am nervous that he will slip back into his old ways, but praying he doesn’t.

I am amazed by the resiliency of children.

*holding breath*

Just Write

This blog is my spot for sifting through my deeper, not-always-pretty thoughts. For the less gritty version of me, be sure to check out my other site: Living The Life Fantastic, where I blog about how we’ve been happily moving forward.


  1. http://Amy%20Mueller says

    I imagine this is a stressful situation for you all. I know I would have a difficult time with it, even letting them go in the first place. I hope it all works itself into a regular routine. xoxo

    • http://Karla says

      It has been stressful for all of us. The stomach issues they all had leading up to it were heartbreaking. It shouldn’t be so hard… And it didn’t have to be. I’ve had a lot of ugly cries at night (out of sight of them) leading up to it.
      Thanks for the sweet words, Amy. xoxo

  2. Bless their hearts. And yours. I know it can’t be easy trying to handle this as gracefully as possible for their sakes. I hope this is a turn in the right direction for things. I’m just so glad they know they can find their stability in you.

  3. I’m thankful for them that he wants to be a part of their lives. So many fathers do not. I hope it keeps up and that he can be a good example, not a bad one. xo

    • http://Karla says

      Thank you, Elaine. I’m thankful they have had stability in the meantime.
      I’m hoping for the best too.

  4. I sit here shaking my head at the brokenness of the world, of humanity. Why don’t people understand how easy it is to mess with kids’ minds and hearts, and how long-term those consequences might be? But then, I could ask myself the same question when I mishandle any matter of discipline…

    Hugs to you. God bless as you fight the good fight.

  5. http://Heidi says

    My dad was the same way, only he lived in the same spot my whole life and since I was from a small community, I would drive past it regularly, knowing he was inside but didn’t care if he ever saw us again. We’d meet him entirely randomly (skiing, fishing, etc.) and he’d be excited and claim to want to see us again, but never did. It was hard for me and my siblings, but the best thing my mom did was to tell the truth but never “bash” him. I think if she had talked negatively about his character, it would have driven a wedge between us and her, because after all, he was still our dad.

    • http://Karla says

      I’m so sorry you had to experience that, Heidi.

      It’s a difficult line to walk, that’s for sure. While I’m (obviously) aware of the fact that they are a part of him, I also want the cycle to be broken. There is no handbook on how to do that.


  6. I’m so sorry, Karla. My father lives five minutes away (if that) and has never seen Ezra. Know that because YOU are such an amazing mother, THEY will be okay, no matter what happens with bio-dad. Love to you, sweet friend.

  7. I like how respectful you were in this post. I’m sure the positive narrative you portrayed wasn’t exactly how you think, but you decided to be boss instead of your feelings.

    I hope that you are able to express your true feelings safely somewhere, but I applaud you for protecting your family as much as you can.

    Way to go MOM!

    • http://Karla says

      Thank you, Gianna — I admit, I was so nervous about how my words would come across. I fretted. Because, while I’m ok venting in my safe spot, I also understand the power of connecting with others who may not have that.

      Thank you for your words.

  8. http://Chrissy says

    Karla, this is my first time commenting here! I am so glad that you have continued to write and blog. Bless your beautiful family!

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