An Empty House

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For the first time in 11 days I am completely alone in my house and I don’t like it one bit. There is such an eerie quiet that I can hear every creak of the building and every gurgle of the heating pipes. I live in an old house full of ghosts but even they seem to be absent today. I’ve tried playing music but that just seems to emphasis the fact that I am home alone as no-one is rushing in turn up the volume or change my music selection. I look at the clock and I swear that it is one a go slow regime, how can it still be morning? My kitchen table is clear of clutter for the first time in almost two weeks, there are no dirty cups and plates waiting for the house elf to put in the dishwasher, no empty biscuit or crisp packets littering the floor of the sitting room ‘on their way to the bin’, no demands for food or drinks or enquiries as to the day’s menu plans. I should be revelling in the peace and quiet but no, I’m finding it impossible to concentrate and focus on my ver long to-do list. All through half term (extended by children’s sickness)I kept planning what I would do on the first day of ‘freedom’ but now all I can think about is when will my house be noisy and chaotic again. What is wrong with me?

I’m exactly the same when me children all go to stay with their dad, luckily for me something that happens very infrequently. As soon as they leave I launch myself into a mega blitz of the house, repatriating all the clutter that has made its way downstairs, restoring my home to (almost) glossy magazine splendour. I then go round shutting all the children’s bedroom doors so that I am less aware of their absence. At this point I should be able to enjoy my newfound freedom but instead I wander around the house looking for things to do and only reach the point where I am starting to enjoy the peace and quiet just as they stampede through the door announcing their return home by depositing bags, coats and other paraphernalia all over my beautifully clean and tidy house. And for once I rejoice in the noise and even the inevitable squabbling because my family is around me again and my house is once more a home.

Perhaps I’ve reached the point where I can only function when I have too much to do and too many people talking to me at once. If that’s the case how on earth am I going to manage when all my chicks have flown the nest? Contact rent-a-crowd?It’s probably just a case of the grass being greener on the other side and in a few hours I’ll be wondering what the big deal was as I run around the kitchen like a headless chicken making meals, picking up clothes, helping with homework, and nagging boys to tidy up, pack bags, go to bed. As the saying goes, ‘be careful what you wish for…….”

My ex drives me mad! (ex files #1)

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I have been divorced for many years now so why does my ex still have the power to drive me to distraction and why do we have conversations that end with me appearing to be the childish, unreasonable one when he’s totally in the wrong?When we first separated we were the perfect divorced couple but that was because nothing in our relationship had changed; he came and stayed with me and the children at weekends, I had total responsibility for all matters to do with the family, he could just dip in and out when it suited him. Now I hate him being in my home and feel he should be able to take responsibility for his own relationship with the children but this means that he continues to pick and choose when to be a father and never seems to put them first. Every so often he’ll have a “daddy day” and phone them or perhaps even me to find out how school is but then that will be it for weeks. When things go wrong it’s all my fault and he has a knack of making me feel like a bad parent.

People tell me that I more than make up for his shortcomings and that the children are happy and doing well but it seems so unfair. They deserve more and so so do I; it isn’t fair that all the decision making is my responsibility; it isn’t fair that I am always the nagging parent; it isn’t fair that I  am always the parent worrying where they are at night; it isn’t fair that he forgets their birthdays; it isn’t fair that they don’t hear from him for weeks at a time and don’t even know where he is. But then what really isn’t fair is that he then makes me feel like the spoilt child who is making too many demands!

How do other people cope with their exes?